פ’ ויקהל – פקודי – תשע”ה
Volume 7, Issue 10
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
לא תבערו אש בכל משבתיכם ביום השבת
“You shall not kindle in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” (35:3)
In the Ten Commandments (Shemot 20:1-14), Hashem commands the Jews to observe Shabbat, because in six days heaven and earth and everything in it were created, and on the seventh day He rested. Adam was created on Friday and there was light the entire Friday night and Shabbat. Saturday night, seeing darkness for the first time, Adam rubbed two stones together and produced fire (Midrash Rabbah, Breishit 11:2). Because of this, we recite the berachah “Borei me’orei ha’eish” during Havdalah on Saturday night. (Pesachim 54a)
Some people may think that since fire was not created during the first six days, Hashem did not rest from it on Shabbat, and thus one is permitted to make a fire on Shabbat. Therefore, Moshe had to stress that it is forbidden to ignite any fire on Shabbat. (Pardes Yosef)
Because Shabbat is a day of rest, the Torah warns, “Beware not to kindle the ‘fire of dispute’ on the Shabbat day. Keep yourself busy with Torah study and davening, and avoid idleness.” (Shelah)
It is interesting to note that the last letters of the words תבערו אש בכל משבתיכם spell the word “שלום” – peace. This hints that, especially on Shabbat, we should exert all effort to keep the peace. (Beit Yaakov)
ששת ימים תעשה מלאכה וביום השביעי יהיה לכם קדש שבת שבתון לה’
“Six days work shall be done but on the seventh day shall be to you a holy day a Shabbos of solemn rest to Hashem.” (35:2)
It is not written “You shall do work six days”, rather it is written Six days work shall be done. The Torah promises us that whoever will keep the Shabbos accordingly, will merit Hashem’s blessings during the rest of the week and it will seem as if the work is being done automatically. (Ohr HaChaim)
Shabbos is a time –offering to Hashem. The Mishkan is a space offering to Hashem and the Kohanim and the wise hearted are a human offering. All three are interwoven together in this Parsha to sanctify Bnei Yisrael and atone for their sins. (Sfas Emes)
וכל חכם לב יבאו ויעשו את כל אשר צוה ה’
“And all the wise-hearted among you shall come and do all that Hashem has commanded.” (35:10)
The Vilna Gaon interprets the verse The wise at heart will receive commandments, but the chattering fool shall be punished (Mishlei 10:8) as follows: The wise man does not speak much about the mitzvah, but gets up and does it. A fool does not stop talking about the mitzvah, how important it is, how he is going to do it and what is entailed in doing the mitzvah, but he will always face one obstacle or the other and never manage to do it. The Torah warns the donors at all times: And all the wise-hearted among you shall come and DO all that Hashem has commanded – less talk and more deeds. The wisest of all wisdom is not to be too wise but to DO all that Hashem has commanded without deliberation. (Imrei Chen)
ויבאו כל איש אשר נשאו לבו
“And each person whose heart motivated him came.” (35:21)
The Ramban states that they needed motivation from their hearts because there was no one who had any previous experience with the skills necessary for the tabernacle. There were no teachers available to train them. But there were people who had the courage to come before Moshe and tell him, “I will do all that you say.” Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz commented that if we look at the really wealthy people of the world, we will see that they are people with great initiative. There are major differences between people who reach the top by having much initiative and those who stay behind because of a lack of initiative. The Torah notes that the people who were successful in the sacred work of building the sanctuary were successful because of their inner courage to come forth and volunteer to do what was needed.
Be aware of the moments in your life when you felt a strong desire to accomplish spiritual greatness. Let those memories motivate you in the future to have even more initiative for true accomplishments. Have the courage to accept upon yourself to do what is needed. A person who has a strong drive to accomplish something will find that he has many talents and ability that would have remained dormant had he lacked that drive (Growth Through Torah
אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדות
“These are the reckonings of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of Testimony.” (38:21)
The Mishkan and eventually, the Beit HaMikdash, were held by Hashem as collateral, as security against the sins of the Jewish people. The Ba’al HaTurim points out that the numerical value of the word משכן is 410, the number of years that the first Beit HaMikdash stood. Thus, the word משכן alludes to the number of years that passed before Hashem felt the need to collect His collateral as a result of the nation’s sins.
Looking at the other words of the verse, we can expand upon the Ba’al HaTurim’s idea. The numerical value of the word העדת is 479. This is the total number of years that the Jewish people had a Mishkan before the first Beit HaMikdash was built. During those years, the Mishkan was destroyed several times. This number is therefore an allusion to the amount of years that the Mishkan was available to Hashem as collateral.
The numerical value of המשכן is 415. The second Beit HaMikdash stood for a total of 420 years – ten years longer than the first. While the value of המשכן is five less than the 420 years of the second Bayit, this discrepancy is made up for by the five manifestations of holiness that were found in the first Bayit that were not in the second. They were: the Aron, fire from Heaven, Shechinah (Divine Presence), Ruach HaKodesh (the Spirit of Holiness), and the Urim V’Tumim (see Yoma 21b). The word המשכן can therefore be seen as an allusion to the years of the second Beit HaMikdash. Thus, our verse alludes to all three of the Temples that were held by Hashem as collateral. May Hashem see fit to return this security to us speedily in our days! (Kol Dodi)
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