פ’ פקודי תשע”ט
Volume 27, Issue 11
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, Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin and The Call of the Torah.
את כל אשר צוה ה’ את משה
“Everything that Hashem commanded Moshe…” (38:22)
The prayer of Shemoneh Esreh originally had eighteen blessings. One of the reasons our Sages chose specifically eighteen is because they wanted it to correspond to the eighteen times our parsha mentions that Hashem “commanded” Moshe. Actually, the phrase “that Hashem commanded Moshe” is found nineteen times in our parsha, not eighteen. However, its mention in the previous verse was meant to teach us a separate lesson, so we count only the ones mentioned starting from our verse. (Teachings of the Talmud, Yerushalmi Brachos 4:3)
ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית
“It was in the first month of the second year on the first of the month…” (40:17)
The day the Mishkan was built was the first of Nissan. It was a day that “took ten crowns,” meaning that ten special things began on that day: (1) It was a Sunday, which was the first day of Creation. (2) It was the first day of Nesi’im – princes brought korbanot to dedicate the Mizbeach. (3) It was the first day that the Kohanim performed the avodah – service. (4) It was the first day the communal offerings were brought. (5) It was the first day that the fire came down form heaven onto the Mizbeach. (6) It was the first day that the korbanot had to be eaten within a specific area. (7) It was the first day that the Shechina was present in the Mishkan. (8) It was the first day that the Kohanim recited Birkat Kohanim. (9) It was the first day that the Jews were forbidden to bring offerings on private altars. (10) It was the first of the months of the year. (Teachings of the Talmud, Shabbos 87b)
“The Mishkan was erected…” (40:17)
When Moshe gathers the nation to instruct them about the building of the Mishkan, the verse says “Vayakhel Moshe, and Moshe assembled. Now that the Mishkan was finally completed, the purpose of that assembly had been fulfilled. The numerical value of the word הוקם, erected is equal to the numerical value of ויקהל, and he assembled. (Kol Dodi)
וכבוד ה’ מלא את המשכן
“And the glory of hashem filled the Mishkan…” (40:35)
The numerical value of כבוד, glory, is 32. This is equal to the value of לב, heart. The heart and love of Hashem filled the Mishkan that had been constructed by His beloved people for His beloved honor. This is as the verse states: My eyes and my heart shall be there all the days (I Melachim 9:3). Hashem will forever grace the Beit HaMikdash with His heart. (Kol Dodi)
כי ענן ה’ על המשכן יומם ואש תהיה לילה בו…בכל מסעיהם
“A cloud of G-d was on the Mishkan by day and fire used to be over it by night…throughout their journeys…” (40:38)
QUESTION: This is the concluding verse of Chumash Shemot. Torah is never ending. What parallel can be drawn between the closing and opening passages of Chumash Shemot?
ANSWER: In the beginning of Shemot, the Torah relates how the daughter of Pharaoh saved Moshe when he was placed in a little box on the waters. On the verse, “vatishlach et amatah” – “she stretched out her arm” (2:25) – Rashi comments that Hashem miraculously elongated it and it was able to reach the box.
In the concluding parsha of Shemot, we learn that when the Mishkan was completed, no one was able to stand it up due to the weight of the boards. It was brought to Moshe and he, too, was puzzled: how could he possibly pick it up? Hashem told him, “Put your hand to it, and then it will stand up by itself” (Rashi 39:33).
The lesson we are taught in the beginning and the end of this Chumash is that when something has to be accomplished, we should not become disillusioned and frightened because it seems difficult or impossible. If we will make an honest effort to do the utmost, Hashem will bless us with success and the impossible will become a reality.
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