This week’s Torah reading describes in detail the preparatory service for the dedication of the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was a very significant place; it was G‑d’s dwelling. Now anything significant, how much more so a dwelling for G‑d, does not happen by itself. Therefore, for seven days Moses and the Jews were involved in preparations. Each day, they erected the Sanctuary. Aharon and his sons were dressed in their priestly garments, and Moses himself brought the sacrifices. This is how they set the stage for the revelation of G‑d’s presence.

One might ask: The revelation of G‑d’s presence surpasses any service man could possibly perform, so what value was there in the sacrifices the Jews brought? Since every thing is dependent on G‑d’s initiative, why was it necessary for the Jews to do anything at all?

These questions can be answered on the basis of a story from the Midrash. Our Sages relate that Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa once saw a huge stone which he desired to bring to the Temple. The stone was too large for him to move himself and he was too poor to hire workers to carry it. As he was contemplating what to do, he received a vision in which G‑d told him: Push it with your small finger. He did and he saw angels who helped him bring the stone to the Temple.

Often, like Rabbi Chanina, we are daunted by the enormity of the challenges in front of us. We must realize that what G‑d is asking from us is to push with our little fingers. We must know the desired purpose - to help build a Temple. And we must do what we can. When we do that, we find success beyond our greatest expectations. G‑d endows our efforts with blessings that empower them to accomplish more than could ever be achieved on our own.

But we must start. These blessings are only granted when we do something. Moses had to bring sacrifices. Rabbi Chanina had to push with his little finger, and we have to do our part to confront the challenges we face. And then we realize that our actions are far more powerful than we could possibly conceive. They create a Temple, a dwelling for G‑d, here in this world.