Where God dwells

They shall make a Sanctuary for Me – and I will dwell among them (Exodus 25:8)

We would have thought that the verse would conclude, “and I will dwell in it”.

The last phrase can also be translated as “and I will dwell within them”. The Sanctuary as a place for God’s presence points to the ultimate place where His presence is to rest – in the heart of each human being. The Kotzker Rebbe famously answered the question ‘Where is God” by quipping: Wherever we let Him in.

This idea is beautifully expressed in Psalm 30: “A psalm, a song for the inauguration of the Temple, by David” (verse 1). Surprisingly, the following 12 verses make no mention of the Temple!

Rather, David writes about his constant feeling that God was close to him and involved in his life. This beautiful psalm reflects the intense trust David had in God during his tumultuous life. The Temple is merely a symbol of this intimacy, and so, as Rabbi S.R. Hirsch points out, this psalm is the ultimate expression of what the Temple truly is meant to be.

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