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In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Terumah, we learn all about the vessels and structure of the mishkan, the tabernacle. The Torah tells us that God commanded: “Make for me a mishkan, and I will then dwell in your midst.”

One would expect it to say: “… and I will dwell in IT.” Why isn’t that what’s going to happen?

(Answer: God, without a body, doesn’t dwell in one physical space!)

If this is the case, that God dwells among us, then why build a building anyway!?!

Discuss why you think Bnei Yisrael had to build a mishkan – and later on a temple in Jerusalem – if God doesn’t even really fit into a space like that anyway?

How do you feel different in shul or synagogue than you feel at home? Why is this so? Have you been to the kotel? How do you feel there as compared to shul?

How does space/environment affect us?

What’s the difference between hearing a CD or being at a concert? Watching a sporting event on TV or being at the stadium?

Sure we can think about and serve God anywhere, but how does the mishkan, and later on the Beit HaMikdash, help us feel closer and stay focused?

Where do you most feel God? Why? What gets you thinking about God?