Why God Cares about Precision https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/religion-holidays/2017/03/why-god-cares-about-precision/

March 3, 2017 | Jonathan Sacks
About the author: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a British Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, author and politician. He served as the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013.

Starting with this week’s Torah reading of Trumah, the final third of the book of Exodus is concerned primarily with the construction of the Tabernacle, about which God instructs Moses in great detail, specifying the exact dimensions of each item—from the curtains that surround it to the ark of the covenant at its center. Jonathan Sacks comments:

Torah commentators . . . have drawn attention to the way the terminology of the construction of the Tabernacle is the same as that used to describe God’s creation of the universe. The Tabernacle was, in other words, a micro-cosmos, a symbolic reminder of the world God made. The fact that the divine presence rested within it was not meant to suggest that God is here [rather than somewhere else]. It was meant to signal, powerfully and palpably, that God exists throughout the cosmos. It was a man-made structure to mirror and focus attention on the divinely-created universe. It was in space what Shabbat is in time: a reminder of creation.

The dimensions of the universe are precise, mathematically exact. [For instance], the universe is shaped by six mathematical constants which, had they varied by a millionth or trillionth degree, would have resulted in no universe or at least no life. . . Precision matters. Order matters. The misplacement of even a few of the 3.1-billion letters in the human genome can lead to devastating genetic conditions. . . . That is the message the Tabernacle was intended to convey.

God creates order in the natural universe. We are charged with creating order in the human universe. That means painstaking care in what we say, what we do, and what we must restrain ourselves from doing. There is a precise choreography to the moral and spiritual life as there is a precise architecture to the Tabernacle. Being good, specifically being holy, is not a matter of acting as the spirit moves us. It is a matter of aligning ourselves with the Will that made the world.

Read more on Rabbi Sacks: http://rabbisacks.org/architecture-holiness-terumah-5777/