In his commentary on this week's parsha, The Sefat Emet, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter writes,
"Material things have no will. And everything must have a will-that is essential. This proves that these things depend upon humanity who has a will. And with this will humanity can incline every thing towards G-d...this is the meaning of the verse "let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them..." --among each individual." (Trumah 5633)
In The Guide For The Perplexed, Maimonides states that the mishkan serves as a spiritual conduit to G-d, not as a physical dwelling. The physical structure was used to elicit a spritual reaction.
Nehama Leibowitz asks whether the passage "make Me a Sanctuary for Me to dwell therein" "contains the message of Divine love, a promise of intimate contact with Him?" (Studies in Shemot, p.468.)
I believe that the message of this week's parsha is that there has to be a direct link between the will of G-d and the will of humankind.
Why does the construction of the mishkan come up at this point in the Torah? Most commentators have an opinion. The one that I find to be most fitting and understanding is the one posited by Abravanel,
"G-d's intention with the construction of the mishkan was to contest the idea that G-d had forsaken the earth."
As the people journeyed farther and farther into the desert, they needed the reassurance that G-d was present in their lives.
How does this relate to us as parents and to our children who are questioning their connection to their religion, to their parents and to their past?
Now more than ever, we need the assurance and our children need the reassurance that G-d is still present in our lives. We must prove to our children that Hashem has not forsaken them, nor have we forsaken them.
We are unable to build a physical structure. Thus no one can fulfill all the commandments laid out in the Torah. Therefore we must find other ways to build a mishkan. Together, we must build a spiritual dwelling place where we can embrace our children and our families and teach them how to be better Jews and better human beings. We must be encouraged, and we must encourage our children to follow as many mitzvot as is possible, with the limited capabilities that we as humans have.
Our children were raised as frum children. Because of who they discovered themselves to be as they were growing up and reaching maturity, they have felt rejected by the Torah community or by us, their parents. I believe that it is their will to remain as frum Jews, if only they could be encouraged to do so in a non-judgemental environment. I believe that a loving G-d who commands us to build a dwelling place wants everyone to share in this endeavor.
Each effort we make to bring ourselves and our children closer to Hashem, brings the mishkan closer to home.