Make for Me a Sanctuary

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart

be acceptable to you Yah, my rock and my redeemer.

Oh lord prepare me to be a sanctuary

pure and holy tried and true.

And in thanksgiving I’ll be a living, sanctuary for you.

Ve’asu li mikdash veshachanti betocham

Ve anachnu nevarech yah Me Atah ve Ad olam

When the Israelites left Egypt they were instructed to create a Mishkan a sanctuary for God.

Looking at the texts below what was the purpose of the Mishkan for God? For the people?

Today we do not have a Mishkan or a Temple how has The Sanctuary Song reinvisioned the Mishkan for today?

What does it mean to be a sanctuary for God?

How might it change the way we relate to ourselves, others and to God?

וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם.

Ve’asu li mikdash veshachanti betocham

And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.

"ועשו לי מקדש" - ועשו לשמי בית קדושה

"Make for me a sanctuary" - Make for a holy place for the sake of My Name

Source Title

ויקחו לי תרומה... פתחי לי אחותי רעיתי עד מתי אהיה מתהלך בלא בית...? אלא, עשו לי מקדש, שלא אהיה בחוץ:

"Open up for me, my sister, my friend" (Song of Songs 5:2). For how long must I travel without a home? So the Torah says: "make for Me a sanctuary" so that I need not be on the outside.

Tzeda Laderech -- Rabbi Yechiya Eltshari

The Holy One does not reside in the sanctuary on account of the sanctuary, but does so only on account of the people Israel, for they constitute the Temple of God


How is holiness organized? Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath (1951)

...The mythical mind would expect that, after heaven and earth have been established, God would create a holy place -- a holy mountain or a holy spring -- whereupon a sanctuary is to be established. Yet it seems as if to the Bible it is holiness in time, the Sabbath, which comes first.

When history began there was only one holiness in the world, holiness in time. When at Sinai the word of God was about to be voiced, a call for holiness in man was proclaimed: "Thou shalt be unto me a holy people." It was only after the people had succumbed to the temptation of worshipping a thing, a golden calf, that the erection of a Tabernacle, of holiness is space, was commanded. The sanctity of time came first, the sanctity of man came second, and the sanctity of space last. Time was hallowed by God; space, the Tabernacle, was consecrated by Moses.

R. David Hartman, from “An Open Letter to A Reform Rabbi,” in A Heart of Many Rooms (1999)

The Jewish people is not just a faith community; it is not merely a collection of individuals, each longing to connect himself or herself spiritually with God. Rather, Judaism is a way of life of a people chosen by God to be a medium of His vision of holiness and justice.