Parashat Tetzaveh, most people will tell you, begins with the mitzva of lighting the Menorah. There's only one problem: the Menorah is not mentioned at all. The location of the nightly lighting is "in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain (parokhet), in front of the testimony." The location, within the Sanctuary, seems to be an integral part of the mitzva.
If we look back at Parashat Teruma, we find that virtually every step is phrased in the second
person singular--i.e., to Moses. But there are two exceptions, two
cases in which the third person singular is used, "yaaseh otah," "he
shall make it"--concerning the Menorah and concerning the hangings which
close off the Sanctuary, the Parokhet and the Masakh. These hangings
essentially ensure that the light of the Menorah does not leave the
This stands in dramatic distinction to the Menorah of the
Temple. Shlomo builds the Temple with "open closed windows" (I Ki.
6:4), explained by R. Hanina and R. Levi (Lev. Rabbah 31:6) as
"narrowing inside, widening outside, in order to illuminate the world."
This is the difference between Mishkan and Mikdash. The Mishkan is a
temporary structure, designed to be disassembled and reassembled for
travel. It represents a nation--or a person--in the stage of
development. Enlightenment at that point is quite insular. One is not
ready to illuminate the world.
The Mikdash, on the other hand,
represents permanence and maturity. It is literally set in stone. From
such an environment, light may go forth to illuminate the entire world.