Parshat תרומה Shmos 25:8 – Work is Praiseworthy

Exodus 25:8 – And they shall make for me a sanctuary, and I will dwell amongst them.

Avot d’Rabbi Natan: We learn in a braitha: Rabbi Tarfon says, “Great is work as we see that even G-d did not allow His divine presence to dwell on the Jewish people until they did work.” We see this from the posuk: Make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell amongst them.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #9:

It is probable that the Avot d’Rabbi Natan is deducing this lesson from the exact wording of the posuk. The posuk should have said “make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell in it” rather than “I will dwell in them.”  Therefore, Avot d’Rabbi Natan concludes that the concept of a building is not for G-d and it does not pertain to him. This is shown by the posuk in Isaiah Chapter 66:1 “The heavens are my throne and the earth is my footstool, where is the house that you would build for Me?”

From here we see that the reason why G-d wanted the Jews to be involved in the work of the temple for His Name’s sake and He commanded them to build the temple as a way to endear them to Him through their efforts. After this, He caused His divine presence to dwell amongst them, wherever they may be.

It is clear from this that work itself is so great that it can cause G-d’s grace to be shown to the Jewish people through causing his divine presence to dwell amongst them.

DBS Note: In other notes also, the Torah Temimah stresses the value of work.


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