In this week’s portion, Terumah, we read how G‑d commands the Jewish people, to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle).

While most of the vessels in the Mishkan were constructed from a combination of materials, the menorah and the kaporet (cover of the ark) were made from solid gold. Welding was forbidden; they were only to be hammered from single chunks of gold.

What significance do these two hold? Why did they have to be made of one solid piece?

The kaporet covered the ark. It was a rectangular plate that had two cherubim protruding from the top. One had the face of a girl, the other a boy. It symbolizes the relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people. It is one solid piece because though at times our relationship seems rocky, we are essentially one..

The menorah symbolizes the relationship the Jewish people have to one another. It had seven branches, suggesting differences and diversity. Again, it was from one solid piece, because at the core, we are one. This core is the neshamah, the soul, which is truly a part of G‑d. The more we are in tune with our neshamah, the more love we feel towards others because they and you share a single essential core. Loving another is like loving yourself.

Both were made of pure gold to show how important these ideas are to us as we accomplish our mission: to change the world into a Mishkan, a place where G‑d’s presence can dwell openly.

First, being one with G‑d, we can accomplish extraordinary things. Second, even though we each have a unique mission, we are all in this together. Being there for each other is necessary to accomplish our common goal. Loving each other is the catalyst for change.

Let us strengthen our bond with G‑d and with each other. This will surely help us in our mission to usher in the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon!