In this week’s parsha, Vayakhel, we read about the participation of all the Jewish people, men and women, in donating to and construction of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.</p>

After the sin of the Golden Calf, G‑d’s presence left the Jewish camp. The Mishkan was meant to be a dwelling place for His presence. G‑d’s command to build the Mishkan was a clear indication that He forgave us.

The Torah tells us that women brought more than the men. But the fact is that they were not involved in the sin of the golden calf. Why were they so driven to be involved in its rectification?

Later, we had various Mishkans in Israel; and finally, the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Now that we have neither Mishkan nor Temple, how do we merit G‑d’s presence in our midst?

Today, one of the ways to do the mitzvah of building a Mishkan is by making our homes a dwelling place for G‑d. Each and every one of us can be involved: men by keeping Torah study and prayer times; women by keeping a kosher home; and children by getting a Torah education. Since the mother is the backbone of the Jewish home—and she naturally understands the value of having G‑d’s presence blessing her home—she sets out to design and manage her home in a way that it will create an environment for His presence.

Her family is influenced by her, her attitude, her insistence on Jewish atmosphere, and her ability to move her husband and children in the right direction. She knows intuitively that the future of Judaism rests in her hands.

Although the men gave to and were involved in the construction of the Mishkan, their involvement didn’t reach the level and enthusiasm that the women displayed. Why? While the men were obligated to give, the women were not. The men gave from a sense of obligation, but the women gave from their hearts. The men felt the burden of guilt of sin golden calf, while the women felt their connection to G‑d, and yearned for His presence and closeness.

Every man, woman and child can now give of themselves from a place of love and closeness. In this way, every family can make their home into a Mishkan.

In this merit, Hashem will surely send Moshiach. May it happen soon!

Dedicated to Devorah Schochet in honor of her birthday. May G‑d always be with you. And may we merit either a cure to ALS, or a miracle. Ben, keep strong.