We spent this past Shabbos at the home of our children, Rabbi Reuven and Gitty Epstein, in Toms River, New Jersey and attended the Shul which is led by Rabbi Meir Boruch Turin, a Scranton native.

The Shul was graced with a visiting Rabbi from Israel, Rabbi Simcha Scheinberg, who gave an inspiring speech during the service.

Within his remarks, he shared a story about his famed and legendary father, Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg o.b.m.

About twenty-five years ago, an affluent woman from the US came to his father, Reb Chaim Pinchos, with a request that he pray for the healing of her young son who had a problem with his eyes. She related that the doctors said that if his eyes would not get better within the year, he would require delicate surgery, which she wanted to avoid. “Please Rabbi, pray for my son.” The rabbi took the child’s name and the mother’s name and said he would pray for the boy and wished that all should go well.

The woman was taken by the rabbi’s sincerity and piety and pledged a significant sum to Yeshiva Torah Ore, the Yeshiva he led in Jerusalem.

The year went by, and the child’s eyes did not improve and he needed surgery – which was successful.

Rabbi Simcha related that he got wind that the woman was disappointed that the rabbi’s blessing did not work out as she expected and he sent her a message that if she felt the money was contingent on a positive result of the rabbi’s blessing he would return the entire sum. The woman responded that she still wanted the money to remain with the Yeshiva as it was given wholeheartedly. That was the last that he heard from the woman.

Rabbi Simcha said that just recently his son met up with a relative of the woman, and during the conversation he said, “You know, your grandfather gave a blessing for healing the eyes of my relative’s son. Although the blessing did not save him from having surgery, his mother noticed over the course of time, this child in particular, was drawn to spirituality – Torah study and observance – more so then his parents or siblings. His mother attributed his elevated nature to the fact that Rabbi Chaim Pinchus prayed for his eyes. His blessing hit the mark that his eyes should see, appreciate and deepen his commitment to G-d, His Torah and Mitzvos!”

Rabbi Scheinberg continued with conveying a message of encouragement, that even though we may not see the immediate results of our prayers and deeds, a prayer never gets lost. G-d holds onto each prayer and applies it in the best way He sees fit.

Our Parsha talks exclusively of the materials, dimensions and details of the construction of the Mishkan/Temple that the Jews were commanded to build while they were traveling in the desert.

When G-d wished that there be a Mishkan – A dwelling place for His presence in this world – He did not leave it to our imagination or our human vision to develop. Rather, He explicitly detailed and specified all the instructions as to how it should be built and function.

The following gives us a glimpse of what G-d had in mind for His Mishkan. G-d chose a young 13-year-old named Betzalel to be the chief architect of the Mishkan. Our Sages tell us that Betzalel knew the art of combining sacred letters with which heaven and earth were created. Commentators tell us that the Mishkan was a microcosm of the universe.

When Moshe gave the instructions for the components of the Mishkan, he first stated the threads, materials, size, and craftsmanship needed for the creation of the three coverings of the Mishkan, and only then did Moshe give the instruction and details of the beams which formed the walls of the Mishkan, upon which the coverings lay.

Why did he give the instructions seemingly out of order?

An answer given is that since the Mishkan symbolized a creation of a mini universe, and during creation, G-d first created the heavens and then the earth. So too, the instructions for the upper part of the Mishkan, the coverings, which symbolized the heavens, were given first – and then the actual structure which symbolizes the earth.

The Mishkan/Temple in the desert was at the center of the encampment and there the service and sacrifices were offered.

Today, when a Jew prays, he faces towards Israel. The Temple mount – where our two Temples once stood, is where all our collective prayers arise to the Heavens. Even now, in the Temple’s absence, we conduct ourselves this way praying towards where one day the third Temple will be built with the arrival of the Moshiach.

There is another reality of the Temple that we can still experience. When G-d instructed us to create a Temple, He says something unusual, ‘So that I dwell among you.” Our Sages are quick to point out, G-d does not say, so that I dwell in the Temple, rather among you – which means – G-d dwells within each and every Jew!

Every Jew was created with the wherewithal to create a space for G-d to dwell within himself.

Just as G-d did not leave it to us to determine how His Temple dwelling should be fashioned and He detailed how He wanted it to be, so too, He did not keep us in suspense how to make Him feel welcome in our personal space and lives. G-d clued us in through His instruction to us in the Torah how He will be most welcome to dwell within each and every one of us!