Yet, in reality it’s not easy to create that harmony – sometimes it seems like it might be easier to learn the Kabbalistic permutations of Hashem’s name – all because we are selfish and focus on our needs and wants, rather than on those around us.
Isn’t it ironic? To build a Mishkan, you have to make sacrifices! The Mishkan was built through nidvas lev, the giving of our hearts, a concept mentioned three times in connection with the beginning of our parsha (Vayakhel 35:21-3). R` Chaim Shmulevitz, zt”l (late Rosh Yeshiva of Mir Yerushalayim) explains it as “they gave their hearts.”
Giving your heart is how the Mishkan, the resting place for Hashem’s Shechina was built, and it is how we can turn our homes into a Mishkan as well. Shalom bayis requires us to give our heart; give up our personal desires, our impatience, our “rights” (next time you’re ready to sling-a-zinger at your spouse, remember: you have the right to remain SILENT!). Don’t feel bad, either. Think of it as your personal donation to the third Beis HaMikdash; the one being built in your living room!
And one more tip we can take from our parsha: when do you know you’ve given enough? When you hear those to whom you’re giving say that you’ve given enough and more! (See perek 36, pesukim 4-7). Bnei Yisroel gave and gave and gave…and so should we.
That’s the formula for a successful marriage and the way to create a Mishkan in our homes.
About the Author: Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is Associate Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute, Passaic, NJ.
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