They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I shall
dwell within amidst them
-- This week’s Torah portion (Terumah)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SINAI DESERT – Rosh Chodosh Nissan, 2449
Seven generations ago a man had a vision. Now,
some 400 years later, his vision is fulfilled.
The man was Abraham. The fulfillment was the Sanctuary
built by Moses. Only seven generations separate these two men.
But these seven generations were the most eventful in history.
They set the stage for all generations to come. Their experiences
shape history and above all, they teach us about the upheavals
of our generation today.
The story line really begins earlier, with Adam
and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In the Song of Songs we read: “I have come into
My garden, My sister, My bride.” The Midrash tells us that this
verse refers to the time when the Sanctuary was constructed
(in our weekly Torah portion). At that time G-d came into his
garden – the Divine manifested itself in the Sanctuary, “(make
for Me a Sanctuary) I shall dwell amidst them.”
The Midrash continues, that in the beginning of
time the Divine Presence was revealed on Earth, in the Garden
of Eden. In the wake of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, G-dliness
‘departed’ (i.e. was obscured) from the earth and rose into
the heavens. But it did not end there. Six subsequent generations
of sins – Cain, Enosh, the Flood generation, the Tower of Babel
generation, Sodom, the Egyptians – making a total of seven –
caused the Divine Presence to withdraw seven spiritual levels
from its initial manifestation in this world.
Abraham reversed the process. Through his discovery
and embrace of G-d he reintroduced the Divine into our existence,
bringing Him back from the seventh heaven to the sixth. Seven
generations of tzaddikim – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kehot,
Amrom, Moses – drew the Divine Presence down through the seven
levels, until Moses, the seventh generation from Abraham, concluded
the process and brought Heaven back to Earth in the holy Sanctuary.
During these seven generations much transpired.
Abraham taught faith to his children. These children would become
the fathers of major civilizations to come. Ishmael – father
of the Arab/Muslim world. Isaac/Jacob – fathers of the Jewish
world. Esau – father of the Roman/Western/Christian world. Abraham’s
children and grandchildren struggle with each other (see previous
articles special edition #7-15).
In generation six and seven the Israelites are
enslaved by the Egyptians, fulfilling G-d’s words to Abraham
that his children would be “foreigners in a land that is
not theirs for 400 years. They will be enslaved and oppressed.”
And then Moses, in the seventh generation from Abraham leads
them out of Egypt, fulfilling the second half of the promise:
“But I will finally bring judgment against the nation who
enslaves them, and they will then leave with great wealth.”
And from this wealth (taken out of Egypt) Moses builds the
The Egyptian exile is the archetype of the empires
and civilizations to come – all shown to Abraham – each empire
presenting its own unique challenges in history, until the clash
of civilizations in our times, between the children of Ishmael,
Esau and Jacob.
What we learn from the seventh generation is that
the purpose of each confrontation is to refine and extract the
Divine sparks – the ‘great wealth’ – in each respective situation
and build with it a Sanctuary for G-d.
All the seven generations and all their efforts
come to fruition and fulfill their objective in the Sanctuary,
which manifests the purpose of all creation: To make the material
world a home – and garden – for G-d.
As long as the Sanctuary is not built, as long
as the material universe remains detached from its true purpose,
tensions will escalate, battles will rage, the universe and
its populations will not be at peace.
With the construction of the Sanctuary all the
pieces are in place that would empower generations to come to
deal with their struggles, and ultimately learn to build ‘Divine
sanctuaries’ from our material lives.
This is the call of our times – which in many
ways is its own seventh generation – to transform our world,
each of us our corner of the universe, into a home for G-d.
We must ask ourselves: Is my home and work a place
where G-d feels comfortable? What are we doing to make this
world into a Divine garden?
More about our work at The Meaningful Life
This life skills article is one of many services
that we are providing in response to September 11th.
We want you to know that all of us here at The Meaningful Life
Center are working overtime to provide clarity and direction
in these trying times. As people everywhere are undergoing a
new soul search, we are redoubling our dedication to our mission
to help us all appreciate the deeper meaning of our lives and
build security with all the uncertainty brewing around us.
If you or anyone you know has any specific needs or questions,
please call on us. We are committed to doing everything we can
to serve you.
Our ability to bring you more such vital services
is entirely dependent on your financial support. We have established
a special September 11 fund specifically dedicated to address
the unique needs of our times. We urge you to make a donation
to this fund and help us reach as many people as possible with
insight and direction. Some of the programs we have provided
so far include:
- Special classes and workshops, both in New York and around
- A special series of weekly articles addressing the situation
- Syndicated articles in the national and local press.
- TV and radio commentaries.
- Special life skill tools to deal with fear and uncertainty,
to build security in your life.
- Personal comforting sessions.
- Healing workshops
Special September 11 section on our
We need to join together as never before to nourish the
grass roots awakening that has consumed this nation and
its gravitation to faith and G-d, and transform it into
a permanent spiritual transformation. Our calling today
is to demonstrate leadership and light up the way in which
to forge ahead amidst this tragedy, and these new, challenging
Our sages teach us that by intensifying our charitable
acts we open up new channels of blessings. In this spirit,
may your commitment be a source of blessings in all aspects
of your life.
We look forward to working together with you in this divine
cause. Through our joint effort we can grow through this
process and build a better world a world where
there is no evil and destruction because it is filled
with Divine knowledge as the waters cover the
Phillip, Jason, Neria, Shoshana, Chani, Sarah, Yael, Eli
and of all us at The Meaningful Life Center
Helping You Redefine What Truly Matters
WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL THING YOU CAN DO IN RESPONSE
TO SEPTEMBER 11?
Join us in creating a passionate spiritual
revolution for the good.
As passions of violence have been released
against humanity, our most powerful response is to counter
with a passionate revolution of purpose.
This is our mission at the Meaningful Life