Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

We are each born into a certain family and many go through life being associated with another family or more.

When we are young we are called by the name we were given. When we grow up a bit we are known as someone’s best friend. As time goes on, we get married and our name changes.

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With the years we become parents and then grandparents and many times we are known as the grandparents of our little ones. Finally, we leave this world after 120 and get back our name on our tombstone.

Being part of the Jewish people we are all one big family. We are all part of the 12 Tribes of Israel that are made up of the 12 sons of our forefather Yaakov. That makes up the Jewish nation.

We are Hashem’s chosen children. And we are each part of a different sect in Jewish culture; some are Ashkenazi, others Sephardi, Chassidic, or Litvish. We are constantly being aligned with the families we came from or the circles we created for ourselves throughout our journey here in this world.

In this week’s portion of the Torah reading, we learn about the completion of the building of the Mishkan.

All the work that was created for the Sanctuary was executed under the direction of Itamar, son of Aaron the priest, Bezalel of the tribe of Judah, and Oholiab of the tribe of Dan. Each associated with a different family.

The families we come from are very important, since it gives us insight as to what is expected of us in this world.

The Mishkan, which was the worship house of Hashem, had to be created by those specific families, since each one of those families represents and stands for a different building stone in the nation of Israel.

Moshe and Aaron come from the holy tribe of Levi who were designated by Hashem as those special souls that would be the direct catalysts from G-d to the children of Israel.

The special souls that come from the tribe of Judah, are the strong and courageous ones, whom Hashem chose to be the kings and leaders of Israel.

And last but not least are the children from the tribe of Dan who Hashem chose to be part of the team of building the Mishkan who were called the Measef. The tribe of Dan were in charge of making sure no one was left behind during the travels of the Jewish nation in their journey throughout the desert.

To create Hashem’s worship house, all parts of the family must be involved since each part adds something special that only they can add. There is a head of the family. There is the immediate family, and there are the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the rest of the family.

When we are young the most important part of our family is our parents since we can’t do anything without them. However, as time goes on, we stand on our own, in merit of our lineage.

The Jewish people are constantly connected to their immediate family and to our ancestors. We cannot split one from the other.

The Tabernacle had to be created from all the different tribes of the sons of Yaakov. The spiritual side of Levi, the strength of Judah, and the simplicity of the honesty of the tribe of Dan.

The Mishkan, which is the house of Hashem, who is the Head of the children of Israel, is sending us a message of how to worship G-d. At the same time Hashem is telling us how to live as a united people that represent Hashem in whatever it is we are doing.

We each come from different families and different countries, and yet we are all part of the same family of Israel. This is why it’s written that Kol Yisrael arevim ze la’ze – all the Nation of Israel are accountable, and responsible one for the other. We are all one family and must look out for one another.

We learn in our micro-family how to love and respect one another, so that in our macro-family, which is the family of Am Yisrael, we will know how to act and treat each other, no matter how different or distant they are from us. And in this way we will be able to truly worship Hashem and show him that we are united and part of one family.

Only in this way will Hashem come back to dwell among His children like in the times of the Mishkan and of the holy Temples.

All a parent wants is to see their children getting along and respecting one another and their parents.

May all the family of Israel gather together and worship Hashem as we did in the desert while building the Mishkan. And then Hashem will be so pleased and dwell within the Nation of Israel and bless us and show us the light as He did back then.

May we merit this blessing soon as one big family. Amen.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com