My son Raffi is known for his kindness, gratitude, compassion and beautiful smile. In high school, he took a theater course that was held in the school’s auditorium. Raffi has severe cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. The lift to the stage was broken, so Raffi couldn’t access it.

His teacher decided that no one was going on stage until everyone could. And so, the school fixed the lift, and from that day on the whole class was on stage. For his finale, Raffi delivered more than 60 lines in a play with the use of his electronic communication device and a head switch.

In his senior year, Raffi was asked to share a message with the world. He used adaptive equipment to paint a self-portrait, complete with his kippah, his communication device and the words: “Listen to me, I have a voice, too.”

The Torah provides many examples of the importance of inclusion. Three of the strongest examples involve the Mishkan, the temporary dwelling place where G‑d’s presence rested. Perhaps G‑d was teaching us if we truly want to create a home for Him, we need to include everyone.

When constructing the Mishkan, “Every man and woman whose heart motivated them to bring for any of the work that G‑d had commanded to make, through Moses—the Children of Israel brought a free-willed offering to G‑d.” (Exodus 36:3)

According to Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar (1696-1743) in his popular commentary Ohr Chaim, there were two kinds of givers. There were those “whose spirit motivated them,” who gave voluntarily and sincerely; and those whose “heart inspired,” who gave more than they could afford driven by their desire to contribute to the Mishkan.

We came together as one nation to create a dwelling place for G‑d, where we could serve G‑d according to the commandments given to us as a holy nation. According to what G‑d endowed us with, we each contributed different materials and labor for the Mishkan, its vessels and the priests’ garments. United by our desire to serve G‑d, our freely given offerings resulted in a surplus of what was needed.

Nevertheless, each contribution was important.

What did we accomplish through the inclusion of everyone who wanted to contribute? Unity. And G‑d loves to dwell in a place where His children are united.

After the Mishkan was completed, the Midrash states that many people tried to set up the Mishkan, including Bezalel and his assistant Oholiab, “but the beams collapsed.”

The Midrash explains that G‑d caused this to happen because He saw that Moses had a “heavy heart” from not being included in the construction of any object in the Mishkan. So G‑d created a situation for Moses to be included by giving Moses the honor of setting up the entire Mishkan.

G‑d shows us the attributes He wants us—as His people—to emulate. In constructing a resting place for the Shechina, G‑d includes everyone.

Another example is at the dedication of the Mishkan (Parshat Nasso). The leader of each tribe brought the same offering: one silver bowl. Rather than state that each tribe brought a silver bowl, the Torah repeats the exact description of the offering for each tribe. Every Divinely-inspired word of the Torah is necessary. The repetition of the exact descriptions 12 times emphasizes the value of each individual contribution and the value of including each tribe in the dedication.

We make individual contributions that create a collective difference. The Rebbe teaches that if you see what needs to be repaired and know how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that G‑d has left you to perfect. Through inclusion, we honor the roles each of us plays in repairing the world and helping to create a place for G‑d to dwell.

Over the years, Raffi has attended several wonderful schools. One time, a group of students were congregating in the middle of the room. My son’s wheelchair is not motorized. So one of his classmates dropped their crutches, grabbed onto my son’s chair and brought him into the group.

At the heart of inclusion is treating each other with compassion, thereby creating a better world together.