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Why did God want a Tabernacle to live among Israel (Exodus 25:8)? What is the significance of the Tabernacle built by Moses?

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    Hey selva, welcome to Mi Yodeya! ....I took the liberty of editing your question for clarity and tags; the clearer a question is, the better chance it has of being answered well. If I did anything you didn't like, you can always fix it here. – MTL Sep 11 '14 at 5:50
  • Thank you for the correcting Shokhet. Now my question is clearer. Thanks again :-) – selva Sep 11 '14 at 6:12
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    Duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/30213, methinks. – msh210 Sep 14 '14 at 3:39
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    @msh210 You're probably right....looks like the same answer in both places, too.... – MTL Sep 14 '14 at 4:57
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Rav Hirsch writes on that verse (Exodus 25:8 -- page 538 in the Shemos volume of this set), that the message of the Tabernacle is based on that verse: "ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם" -- "make for me a Mikdash, and I will dwell [שכן] in your midst."
He writes that our mission ("ועשו לי מקדש," to build the Mikdash) results in ושכנתי בתוכם (the manifestation of the Shechinah).

[ This is an exact quote, comments in brackets and emphasis in bold are mine (italics belong to Hirsch) ]

...... Mikdash, then, is nothing but the expression of that collective task on whose fulfillment the promised presence of the Shechinah in Israel's midst depends. Thus, the statement ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם contains two concepts whose symbolic expression will be the construction of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. These concepts are מקדש [Mikdash -- Temple] and משכן [Mishkan -- Tabernacle].

Mikdash expresses the totality of the task we are to fulfill towards God; Mishkan expresses the fulfillment of the promises made to use by God in return for our fulfilling that task. ......

The Tabernacle is to be Mikdash, the place of consecration, and Mishkan, the place of God's closeness. The Tabernacle is to be a place where we are to seek and attain our consecration and god's closeness. This consecration and this closeness -- i.e., the mutual covenantal relationship between God and Israel, established through the giving of the Law by God and its acceptance by Israel -- is the context within which the significance of the Tabernacle as a whole and in its parts is to be sought and found.

Throughout the rest of the discussion in the Chumash about the Tabernacle, Rav Hirsch discusses how each piece and facet of the Mishkan has its own symbolism and relevance to the message of the Tabernacle.

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    Rav Hirsch, כדרכו בקודש, is amazing. – MTL Sep 11 '14 at 19:22
  • +1 for you Shokhet but since i can't upvote ur answer for now (i have only 11 reputation) ill upvote it later (when i reach 15 reputation).. Thanks for the response Shokhet – selva Sep 18 '14 at 5:07
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    High five! R' Hirsch is my #1 go-to for any questions about the significance of holy practices in the Torah. I like how we both ended with "go and study." – Isaac Moses Sep 30 '14 at 13:57
  • @IsaacMoses Same :) – MTL Sep 30 '14 at 14:15

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