Appearances Matter

Looks may not be everything, but physical impressions do mean something.

This week we delve in to the design and construction of the Mishkan. Hashem outlines a very detailed design including measurements, materials and overall appearance of His “wandering home”. It seems intriguing that we are not focusing exclusively on the purpose and focus of the Mishkan, but on its very physical attributes. 

Obviously, we know that there is more-much more-to the Mishkan than what it looks like, but let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge how much space the Torah dedicates to the physicality of the Mishkan. In reality, the Mishkan is a spiritual bonding agent, a means of connection between man and God. But we must not forget the crucial aspect; we are human. We are NOT God. As such, we must take pride in our appearance, in physically representing what we are spiritually hoping to accomplish. 

We are meant to be an “Ohr LaGoyim”, a light unto the nations. It is one of our biggest mission statements to bring God and Godliness into the world around us. We need to utilize the physical to unleash the spiritual. We must dress and speak and act-physically-in a manner which allows our spiritual entity to shine. 

Azi Z”L was terrific at this. It may be presumptuous of me to say, but I think that because he dressed with such dignity and acted with such kindness and spoke with such refinement, we were able to view him as a Neshama, the spiritual aspect of every Jew. Because the physical was so beautifully upheld, the spirituality was able to shine forth. If only we all could do that, always, we may yet bring the full force of spirituality to this physical world.