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Parsha Mitzvot: Tetzaveh: An Attractive Home

Male bowerbirds, like the males of so many species, mates with displays of wealth. The mail collects up to 5000 stones, bones, shells, and man-made objects to build an elaborate court where he awaits potential partners. And also like so many other males, bowerbirds exaggerate what they’ve got.

Last September John Endler, an evolutionary ecologist at Deakin University in Australia, reported that bowerbirds seem to use their trinkets to create a carefully plotted optical illusion. The birds arrange objects by size from largest to smallest along an avenue leading to the court. This may make the court seems smaller, and the male larger, two females looking up the Avenue. Using this trick, called force perspective, males may will passing females with their deceptively large stature.

The Mishkan was also designed as an avenue leading to a court. However, rather than have the size move from larger to smaller, or from more significant to less significant, as do the bowerbirds, the Mishkan was designed to be small at first and then larger and larger, to have the less important vessels in front and the more important vessels as one approaches closer to the Holy of Holies, the greatest heights.

The attraction of the Mishkan was not that what we had was big only in proportion.  The Mishkan represented how one can become greater, larger, and more significant, the closer one comes to attaching to God.

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