“And they shall make Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell amongst them…” (Shemos 25:8). After having given the Jewish people the Torah the Midrash states that G-d desired a place in the lower realms, a place amongst them. Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi states that this is the sole purpose of creation, to create a home for G-d in this world. G-d desires a dirah b’tachtonim, a home in the physical world. G-d’s desire to dwell in a home in this world at first gives rise to a difficult question – if G-d is everywhere, why and how can I create a home for him in this world? Surely he is already here?

Our Sages resolve the problem, teaching us that a home is not just a place but somewhere that is receptive to Hashem, someplace that welcomes him, that praises him, that embraces him when he enters. The Midrash Rabba tells of a story of a King who gives his only daughter

over to wedlock.

He asks her husband that he has a room decorated in his house for him, so when he comes visit his daughter he feels at home, and his daughter is never truly without him. Today despite being in exile the Jewish people still have a positive commandment to create a place for G-d in this world; and we have so many opportunities.

Shabbos alone is filled with plentiful opportunities to create a home for Hashem; a persons table is considered an alter to Hashem, and one should decorate their Shabbos table so it is fit for a king, and spare no expense. Welcome Hashem to your table, for as it says in Pirkei Avos “if three have eaten at one table and have spoken over it words of Torah, it is as if they had eaten from the table of G-d”.

Every time we talk about Judaism and embrace it we welcome G-d with open arms, every time we miss out on an opportunity we inadvertently reject Him. Standing here in Shul in Hillel House (Leeds, UK) is a prime example of creating a home for G-d in this world. A Shul is a room set aside in this world for the sole purpose of serving the Hashem.

And we should do all we can to not only to honour the building by decorating it nicely, but we should respect it as well. Next time you walk through the Shul as a short cut, remember you are in a room set aside for G-d. Stop and think for a moment – remember where you are. Would you walk through Buckingham Palace in front of the Queen without saying hello?

Just as we merited the reception of Shabbos this week, please G-d may we merit the coming of Moshiach and the ability to turn the Beis HaMikdash into a home beautiful enough for the presence of Hashem to once again dwell amongst us (Amen).

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