Parshiyot Vayakhel/Pekudei 5778: The Mishkan — Unity, Continuing Teshuvah and Meticulous Mitzvot

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Vayakhel/Pekudei is being sponsored by Dov and Bracha Moses for a refuah shlaima for Rachel bat Chaya Perel and lilui nishmas both Chaya Perel bat Chaim Mordechai and Yehudit bat HaRav Me’ir Moshe . To the Moses family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshiyot Vayakhel/Pekudei 5778: The Mishkan — Unity, Continuing Teshuvah and Meticulous Mitzvot

by Moshe Burt

The word Vayakhel — Assembling together of Kol B’nai Yisrael, introduces the building of the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting), the forerunner of the Beit HaMikdash, which would serve as a kappara (atonement) for the Eigel Zahav (Golden Calf).

The parsha begins by stating that “Moshe assembled the entire congregation of B’nai Yisrael…” (Sefer Shemos, Perek 35, Posuk 1).

Aharon Yaakov Greenberg, in his sefer, “Torah Gems”, volume two, provides two citings explaining our this posuk:

…The second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of senseless hatred. Division and disputes always serve to undermine the foundations of social order. Therefore, before erecting the Mishkan, Moshe gathered together all of the Bnei Yisrael. The completion of the Mishkan depends upon the unity of the people. (Or Penei Moshe)

“Moshe assembled…” On the day after Yom Kippur (citing Rashi). Moshe wanted to hint to the Bnei Yisrael that not only on Yom Kippur must people be filled with remorse and contrition, brotherly love and friendship, but that on the day after Yom Kippur one must continue in the same fashion. (R’ Moshe of Kobrin)

The entire posuk reads:

“And Moshe assembled the entire congregation of B’nai Yisrael and said to them: ‘These are the things that Hashem commanded, to do them:'” (Sefer Shemos, Perek 35, Posuk 1)

“Torah Gems”, volume two, provides this citing:

People differ in their understanding and appreciation of different commandments. But when it comes to performing them, there is no difference — all have to perform them in the same way. (R’ David of Chortkow)

A few years ago, Rav Arye Gordon z”l of Ramat Beit Shemesh, formerly of South Africa, said of Parshat Vayakhel;

Vayakhel, when used for Tov, is to actualize immense power and potential which is capable of being used for the most lofty, noble goals — building, growing and developing love for our fellow Jews, Kavod shel Shemayim V’Torah (man’s recognition of Hashem’s control of the world and Torah as Hashem’s blueprint for man’s service).

Vayakhel, when used for rah, is capable of being used, Heaven forbid, to undermine and destroy. Or if the vehicle, Vayakhel is not used at all, the reticence and inability of Am Yisrael to come together and even talk about unity is something for which we all would be held accountable.

Mida keneged Mida, Vayakhel of our Parsha, by Moshe Rabbeinu’s emphasis on the holiness of Shabbat and his appeal for funds and donations toward the building of the Mishkan, he serves to bring about rectification of the previous misuse both of gathering together and of the donations of gold which went into the making of the avodah zora. The message of Parsha Vayakhel seems meant to atone for the Chait HaEigel.

Much later on, as the B’nai Yisrael is finally about to enter the Land of Israel after their 40 years in Bamidbar, Moshe calls together the Kahal in parsha Vayeilich to give over his final discourse on Torah and Halacha before his passing.

To segui into Parshat Pekudei, after Moshe brought Am Yisrael together along with the funds and material donations — gold, etc. which were made, Parshat Pekudei teaches about the performance of constructing the Mishkan as a paradigm for meticulously adhering to Hashem’s Commands.

Our Parsha Pekudei begins;

“These are the accounts of the Mishkan (the Sanctuary), the Mishkan of testimony, which were drawn up on Moshe’s orders …” (Sefer Shemos, Perek 38, posuk 21 — Metsudah Linear Chumash, page 579).

In searching through various s’forim while preparing this vort, this author stumbled upon an old National Council of Young Israel D’var Torah from twenty-three years ago by, of all people, our own Rabbi Harry Greenspan of Ramat Beit Shemesh, who was then Rav of Young Israel of Long Beach, California.

Within his Drash, Rav Greenspan discusses the numerous recurrences in Parshat Pekudei of the phrase: “as Hashem commanded Moshe”:

These words reoccur many times, says the Beis HaLevi to emphasize that which was rectified upon completion of the Mishkan. Our sin in seeking to approach Hashem while ignoring Torah law [via the Egel Zahav] was forgiven by performing this Mitzvah with meticulous observance of every detail, and by completing the most perfect edifice ever built by man.

….The phrase, “as commanded” is repeated eighteen times, corresponding to the eighteen Brachot of Shemonah Esrei. What do the Mishkan’s construction and Amidah have in common? Perhaps the answer is… as follows:

….The lesson of the Mishkan is…. if we sincerely desire to reach spiritual heights, to become true servants of The Holy One, we need to pray and perform all Mitzvot precisely according to the details recorded in the Shulchan Aruch. If we act in such a fashion, we can hope to receive (in our Shuls and homes) that which our ancestors experienced upon completion of the Mishkan: Hashem’s glorious presence [which] filled the Mishkan and thus was infused into Klal Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three and a half years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.