In Parashat Pekudei, the Torah states, “VaYechas HeAnan Et Ohel Moeid UChvod Hashem Malei Et HaMishkan,” “And the cloud covered the Ohel Moeid, and the Glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan” (Shemot 40:34). Bnei Yisrael gave many donations for the construction of the Mishkan; every Jew assisted, offering as much as he could. And when the construction was done, even though the physical building had been completed, the Mishkan was not entirely finished, as the purpose of the Mishkan had not yet been fulfilled. The goal of the Mishkan was to be a place for the Shechinah to rest amongst Bnei Yisrael. Since this had not occurred, the Mishkan’s purpose had not yet been realized.
After its physical construction, when all the work and preparations had been completed and the Mishkan was spiritually prepared as well, the purpose of the Mishkan was instantly realized, as Hashem’s Magnificence filled the Mishkan. The Seforno comments that while Hashem’s Glory filled the Mishkan, it was not yet noticeable outside the building. Outside the Mishkan, one saw only a beautiful structure, but not the Shechinah. Rav Moshe Reis explains that although the Shechinah was capable of greater exposure, It was confined to the Mishkan to edify us that if one seeks Kedushah, he must enter a Makom Kadosh, a holy place, and not merely observe that place. Only once one is there will he be able to feel the Shechinah upon him. One must try to take the initiative and pursue the holiness by physically entering a holy building in order to gain the desired inspiration. A quick glance does not suffice. When the first step is taken, one will be able to experience the light of Kedushah and all of its glory.