The task of bringing holiness into the world, which is the main obligation of the Jew, has always been seen in the Hebrew Bible as a partnership, a combined project of humans and God. The Holy, or the Godly, can be manifested in the three dimensions of the real: in space, time and the person (depicted in an ancient Jewish mystical book as olam-space, shana-time and nefesh-person). God desires to encounter human beings by meeting them half-way as partners. In time: the Sabbath, which He sanctified (Genesis 2:3) and commanded them to sanctify (Exodus 20:8); in space: the sanctuary, about which we are told here; and in person: through the mitzvah, the sacred deed, which brings us into His presence every time we perform it.
The in-dwelling of God among the people cannot take place as long as the people are passive and do nothing to help bring the sacred into the world. “And let them make me a sanctuary – that I may dwell among them” (25:8). My dwelling among them is on condition that they make my sanctuary. The same expression used here in the sanctification of space is used elsewhere (Exodus 31:16) in the sanctification of time: “And the children of Israel shall observe the Sabbath to make the Sabbath unto their generations.” Man must start out on the path towards God, both in time and in space, in order to God to meet him half-way as his partner in the act of sanctification. “Torah Today/Exodus” Pinchas Peli