Having a place to call home is one of our innate human needs. Did you know that it’s a Divine “need” as well?

That’s right, it’s a mitzvah to construct a home for G‑d, a place where sacrifices can be brought and humanity can experience His presence.

The Divine Home had many components. Its innermost sanctum contained the Holy Ark, upon which there were two cherubs of gold, and in which were stored the two tablets.

The outer room contained a seven-branched candelabrum (the menorah), a table upon 12 loaves of bread were to be placed weekly, and an incense altar. All of these impediments were to be made of gold.

The outer courtyard contained a large copper altar upon which animal sacrifices were to be brought, and a laver from which the priest would wash their hands and feet.

For hundreds of years, this home took the form of a portable tabernacle, known in Hebrew as the mishkan. Then, Solomon built G‑d a permanent home in Jerusalem. Hundreds of years later, this was followed by the Second Temple, also in Jerusalem.

Even though it is not feasible for you and me to construct a sanctuary on the Temple Mount, this mitzvah still remains in force. How can we fulfill it?

● Built your internal holy place. Elevate your heart and your mind and direct them heavenward, making G‑d your primary focus and the object of your worship.

● Make your home a holy place, where G‑d would feel “at home,” replete with holy books, acts of kindness and everything else He would want.

● Our synagogues and study halls function as micro-Temples. Do what you can to make sure these places are beautiful and properly respected.

● Every mitzvah that we do adds a “brick” to the heavenly temple. It is our prayerful wish that once that temple has been completely built, its presence will be manifest in a earthly temple as well.