"A home in the physical world." Or, to use the Hebrew-kabbalistic term, dirah b'tachtonim. "This," say the chassidic masters, "is what man is all about; this is the purpose of man's creation, and of the creation of all the worlds, supernal and terrestrial: to make for G‑d a dwelling in the lower realms."

What does it mean to make a home for G‑d in our world? Isn't He here already? And how is this home made? The concept of dirah b'tachtonim addresses the most basic questions of existence: What is our world? What is matter and physicality? What is holiness? What does G‑d want of us? Why are we here? Dirah b'tachtonim is the central theme in hundreds of chassidic works, particularly in the Lubavitcher Rebbe's teachings, which translate this seemingly abstract concept into a cohesive system and approach to meaningful living.

Over the years, Chabad.org has published numerous essays, concept pieces and stories — all deriving from the Rebbe's teachings — that explain this system and approach. This week — the week in which we read of the Divine request, "They shall make for Me a dwelling, and I will dwell amidst them" (Exodus 25:8) — we assembled a selection of twenty-three such articles, linked below:

The concept:


The Abnormality of Jewish Life


The Object

The Schoolteachers of Beshenkovitz

The Lunar Files

Patriarchs and Sages:

Bachelors in Heaven

Home of Stone

Gangs of Angels

The River and the Pitcher


Seventy Kopecs


The Breakthrough

Oxen and Cows

The Sinai Files

Ladies First

The Tabernacle:

The World a Home

The Anatomy of a Dwelling

Why It's Frustrating Having a Brain

The Glory of the Single-Minded Person

In Sum:

Where the Essence Dwells

What is the Purpose of Existence?

The Physical World According to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

The Discovery of Planet Earth

See Also: The Holy Temple: an Anthology and Moshiach: an Anthology

The articles in this collection were written by Yanki Tauber, Tzvi Freeman, Yaakov Brawer and Lazer Gurkow