[First posted on The Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/trumah-concentrated-divine-presence/]
Ibn Ezra Exodus: Trumah
Concentrated Divine Presence
“The only thing that makes one place more attractive to me then another is the quantity of heart I find in it.” -Jane Welsh Carlyle
Man is often likened to a universe onto himself. Ibn Ezra relates to this theme often and states that by understanding ones inner workings, a person can often gain insight into the world.
It is agreed that the heart is the primary component for the functioning of the body. It is perhaps the most vital organ, providing life-sustaining force to the rest of the body. The major veins and arteries adjacent to it are likewise critical pathways to the other major organs. The further we get away from the heart, the less the amount of blood that is pumped to far away limbs. There is a greater concentration of life and vitality the closer one gets to the heart.
Ibn Ezra on Exodus 25:40 says that geographically it is the same. The Temple Mount has the most concentrated presence of God on our planet. That is where His heart is. The city of Jerusalem likewise has a high concentration of God’s presence and to a lesser extent so does the land of Israel. Outside of Israel, Ibn Ezra argues, God is still present, for He fills the world, but not in the same concentrated fashion.
As they say in the real estate business, the three most important factors are location, location, location.
To the memories of Rabbi David Hartman and Israel Ivtzan. They both contributed to the people of Israel with all their heart in their own significant and distinct ways. May their families find comfort amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
In honor of the marriage of Shoshi Taragin and Gidon Kupietzky. May they contribute much to the people of Israel in their own way.