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Parshas Teruma: A Worthy Sanctuary

  Shemot 25:8 "And they shall make a sanctuary, so that I shall dwell within them."

Many have interpreted this to mean that G-d is not to be represented as dwelling in "it", but among the people, in contrast to the concepts of the pagans, who assumed that their deities actually dwelled in their temples. However, G-d refers to His appearing in the Holy of Holies (Lev. 16:2), His speech is described as emanating from there (Exod. 25:22; 30:6; Num. 7:89), His "name" - a less anthropomorphic way of referring to Him is said to dwell there (Deut. 12:11, etc.) and passages in the Prophets (Jer. 7, etc.) and Psalms speak of His dwelling in His house. Scripture assumes a religious sophistication on the part of its audience such that "dwelling" is to be understood metaphorically, unlike the pagan concepts. Thus, in Exodus 25:8 G-d may be stating that when the Tabernacle will be constructed it will be His holy abode in which He plans to abide, and by doing so He will be dwelling among the Israelites.

 

 

 
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