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Pekudei: Rabbi Eliyahu Mishkovsky: Holy Earth

“These are the reckonings of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of Testimony.” Why does the Torah say, “The Mishkan, the Mishkan?” Rabbi Shmuel taught: The Holy One, Blessed is He, said, “The Mishkan (Temple) will twice be used as a pledge of security – a ‘Mashkon.’” (Midrash Tanchumah: Pekudei #5)

Was it not the Beit Hamikdash, and not the Mishkan that was taken as a Mashkon?

The Mishkan refers to the building, the structure, even that of the Batei Mikdash. The Mishkan did not sanctify the land underneath. The land had no sanctity once the Mishkan was moved. However, the Beit Hamikdash sanctified the earth underneath and it remains holy even two thousand years after its destruction.

It was the building, the Mishkan, that was the security, the Mashkon. (Rabbi Eliyahu Mishkovsky, as quoted in Peninim miShulchan Gevoah)

The Children of Israel were not able to sanctify a place despite their ability to build a House for God. They succeeded in sanctifying a place only after they settled in Israel.

There is a difference between sanctifying a building and sanctifying a place – developing such a powerful sense of Kedusha that the place of a building becomes holy.

This would apply to a home as well: There are two stages, one, creating a sense of kedusha in our home, and two, imbuing our home with so much Kedusha that its very place becomes holy.

It seems that the second level is only possible after having “conquered and settled Israel,” meaning, having achieved a sense of building our own home, not as a continuation of the past, but as an expression of our beliefs and values. We must have a sense of the home being uniquely ours; a reflection of all we hold precious.

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