G-d instructs Moses to obtain supplies for construction of the Tabernacle, a portable Temple.
Text: “Speak to the Children of Israel; let them take for Me a donation, from every man whose heart moves him….And they shall make Me a sanctuary, and I shall dwell among them.” [Exodus 25:2-8] When G-d told Moses about the Tabernacle, he said, “Master of the World, are the Jews capable of making it?” G-d said to him, “Even one of the Jews can make it!” As it says, “From every man whose heart moves him.” [Midrash]
Question: What was the dialogue between Moses and G-d? G-d told Moses the Jews should construct a Tabernacle. Why did Moses question His command? And how did G-d address his concern?
Answer: The Tabernacle was a “home” for the Divine Presence; constructing it was not a physical challenge but a spiritual one. Moses understood the spiritual greatness necessary for such a project, and could not fathom that the People possessed such holiness. G-d responded, not by denying that the project was daunting, but by reassuring Moses of the People’s spiritual potential: not only can they do it jointly, but even one of them can do it!
Message: Moses, though told explicitly that the Jews should construct a Tabernacle, was at a loss to comprehend how this was possible. Yet Moses was wrong. What Moses thought was beyond the grasp of the entire nation was actually within the capacity of a single individual! If Moses so underestimated our inherent greatness, we are certainly liable to make the same mistake. No one but G-d fully grasps the depth of holiness we can attain.