The dimensions of the various components of the Mishkan (The Tabernacle) are specified in great detail in this week’s Torah portion. These measurements were certainly relevant at the time, required information for those tasked with its construction. The lessons of the Torah, however, should be relevant throughout history. So how are the measurements of the Mishkan relevant to us? What do we learn from these details?
Let us take but one example. The measurements of the Ark of Covenant, the Aron box that held the tablets and the Torah written by Moses himself, were 2 ½ x 1 ½ x 1 ½ cubits. Of all the components of the Mishkan, the Aron was the only one whose measurements were all partial measurements — all of them ending with a half.
Conceptually, a half measure always hints to a lack — the fact that it’s missing the other half, that it is merely half of a whole. The completion of the half comes from a connection to the other half. The purpose of the Mishkan is to forge a spiritual connection between ourselves and the Al-mighty. The Holy Aron is representative of the Torah that G-d gave us at Mt. Sinai, as it held the actual Tablets and the Torah we received at Sinai. The fact that all of the measurements of the Aron are in halves hints to our potential to forge a spiritual connection with G-d through all “dimensions” of the Torah.
Some Commandments, like the requirement to pray, are obviously designed to connect us with G-d. But there are many Commandments where the connection is less obvious — for example, the prohibition of mixing milk and meat. The measurements of the Holy Ark demonstrate that every dimension of Torah links us to our Creator. Every Mitzvah we do brings us closer!