פ’ ויקהל-פקודי תשע”ח
Volume 22, Issue 10
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholars’ 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.
ששת ימים תעשה מלאכה וביום השביעי יהיה לכם קדש שבת שבתון לה’…את המשכן
“For a period of six days, work may be done, but the seventh day shall be holy for you, a day of complete rest, a day of complete rest for Hashem…The Mishkan…” (35:2, 11)
QUESTION: The parsha begins by talking about the mitzvah of Shabbat and continues to tell us about the Mishkan. In Parsha Ki Tisa, the Torah begins with items of the MIshkan and continues to discuss Shabbat. Why does the Torah switch the order?
ANSWER: In Parsha Ki Tisa, when the Torah discussed the Mishkan and Shabbat, it was prior to the Cheit HaEgel. Bnei Yisrael were on a high level, close to Hashem. They were ready to go into the “house” of Hashem, the MIshkan. The mitzvah of Shabbat was an opportunity for extra closeness, in addition to the Mishkan. Here in Parshat Vayakhel, it is after the Cheit HaEgel, after Bnei Yisrael had sullied themselves. They did not keep the fire of emunah burning during the week, in preparation for Shabbat; they were not ready to enter the “house” of Hashem. They first needed to rekindle the fire. “Shabboson La’Hashem” – Bnei Yisrael can add onto Shabbat and create even more kedushah, but it is something that must be worked on during the week. We must work on having the emunah blaze brightly within us all week long, especially on Shabbat Kodesh, to facilitate our developing and maintaining a tremendous d’veikut to Hashem. (Parshah Pshetl)
ויכלא העם מהבי
“And the people stopped bringing.” (36:6)
QUESTION: The Ba’al Haturim notes that the word “Vayikalei” – and they stopped” – is found twice in the Torah. Once here and also in Breishit (8:2): “vayikalei hageshem min hashamayim” – “and the rain from the heaven stopped.” What is the connection between the two?
ANSWER: Rain produces material abundance: Plentiful rain brings affluence, and drought leads to famine and deprivation. Many people give charity generously when Hashem showers them with heavenly blessings. As soon as “vayikalei hageshem min hashamayim” – they experience restraint in their income – immediately “vayikalei ha’am meihavi” – the first thing they curtail is the giving of tzedakah. Unfortunately, little do they realize that their wealth will not be minimized by the giving of tzedakah. (Vedebarta Bam)
אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדת
“These are the accounts of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of Testimony.” (38:21)
QUESTION: Rashi says in the name of the Midrash that the word Mishkan is repeated twice in the verse as a hint to the Beit HaMikdash, which was taken as a pledge (mashkon) in the two destructions for the sins of the Jewish people. How does the word Mishkan – Tabernacle – serve as a hint for the Beit HaMikdash?
ANSWER: The first Beit HaMikdash stood a total of 410 years and the second Beit HaMikdash lasted 420 years. The word משכן has the numerical value of 410 and the word המשכן has the numerical value of 415. If we add to the numerical value the five letters of the word, we will then have 420. (Rabbeinu B’chaye)
The fact that the gematria of המשכן, lacks five from the total of 420, forcing us to include the five letters of the word, alludes to the five things missing in the second Beit HaMikdash: The Aron Hakodesh, the heavenly fire on the Mizbeach, the Shechina, Ruach Hakodesh, and the Urim V’Tumim in the breastplate of the Kohen Gadol. (Yoma 21b) (Chasam Sofer)
The Midrash Tanchuma tells us: “Why did Moshe have to give an accounting? Surely, G-d believed him, as the Torah (Bamidbar 12:7) specifically states, ‘He is trusted in My whole house.’ Why then did Moshe give an accounting?
The Oznaim LaTorah observes that when the people collected to construct the Golden Calf, we find no hint of any call for an accounting. Yet the collection for the Mishkan sparked a pervasive grumbling that could only be stilled by an accounting of where all the money had gone. This tendency has survived to our times. Treasures of charitable organizations are always held to a strict accounting, while those who raise funds for modern-day Golden Calves are given much more latitude. Why is this so? (Oznaim L’Torah)
ויקח ויתן את העדת אל הארן
“He took and placed the Testimony into the Ark.” (40:20)
This parsha sums up the long narrative about the building of the Mishkan. In reference to the two Tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Torah says that Moshe “took” them and then placed them in the Ark. Rabbi Moshe Midner explains that it is only here that we are told that Moshe “took.” In regard to Moshe’s other actions in constructing the Mishkan, the verse speaks only of the final action: Moshe placed the various holy vessels in their respective places. Only about the Tablets does it say that he took them, and then placed them. We can learn from here that when it comes to Torah, a person must give as well as take. One should not be satisfied with learning for himself alone; he should strive to share his knowledge with others. (Rabbi Moshe Midner)
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