As Israel traveled through the desert, they frequently erected the mishkan (tabernacle) anew. This means that they also deconstructed the mishkan frequently, dismantling what had been sacred. When we are so aware of the logistics involved in creating spaces to facilitate a sublime experience, it can become demystifying, for better and for worse. In Parashat Bemidbar, we get a behind the scenes view of the logistics of holiness, and a profound message about how to balance the mystique of kedushah alongside the very mundane—and relentless—work to sustain it.
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