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Parshas Pekudei

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Parshas Pekudei
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Revach L'Neshama

Bnei Yisroel Learns To Follow Instructions

"Like Hashem Commanded Moshe". In Parshas Pekudei we find, after each item that Betzalel made it says, he made it exactly the way "Hashem commanded Moshe". Why was it necessary for the Torah to repeat this so many times?

The Bais HaLevi answers, the aveira of the Egel was that Klal Yisroel decided to make something to serve as a "go between" -between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel. Although their motives may have been L'Shem Shamayim, they sinned by not asking Hashem if he agreed to this way of serving him. Their Cheit was not doing "like Hashem had commanded". Since the purpose of the Mishkan was to be Michaper for the Egel, they had to make the Mishkan in total compliance with Hashem's command in order for the kapara to be acceptable. Therefore the pasuk tells us after each step of its completion, that it was done exactly the way "Hashem commanded Moshe".

3 Month Old Bread?

After the Mishkan was completed, it was all brought before Moshe on the 25th day of Kislev. The pasuk lists all the items that were brought. It says, "the Shulchan and all its implements and the Lechem HaPanim? How is possible that the Lechem HaPanim was made on the 25th day of Kislev and stayed fresh until the Mishkan was erected on Rosh Chodesh Nisan - 3 months later?

The Netziv answers, just like it was a miracle that the Lechem HaPanim stayed fresh for 9 days each week (it was baked on Friday and was not eaten until the following Shabbos - 9 days later) it was also a miracle that this bread stayed fresh for 3 months. Another answer he offers is, this bread was only made as a sample to show Klal Yisroel what the Lechem HaPanim is going to look like. This bread was not actually used 3 months later. With this the Netziv answers another question. The 39 Melachos of Shabbos are based on the 39 Melachos that were done during the construction of the Mishkan. One of the Melachos is Bishul - Cooking; since they cooked the dyes that were used to dye the wool for the Mishkan. Why is Cooking counted and not Baking - for they also baked the Lechem HaPanim? The Netziv explains, since the original bread baked for the Lechem HaPanim was not used for the actual Mishkan (it was only a sample) therefore it is not counted as one of the Melachos.

The Poles of Galus

"The Aron and its poles... The Shulchan...The Golden Mizbayach.... The Copper Mizbayach and its poles." When listing all the vessels that were brought to Moshe, the Pasuk only mentions the poles by the Aron and the Copper Mizbayach but not by the Shulchan and Golden Mizbayach?

The Netziv explains, the Aron represents Torah and the Copper Mizbayach represents the Avodah. Torah and Avodah (Tefillah) will always be with Klal Yisroel even after the Churban - even in their darkest days of Galus. However, the Shulchan represents Malchus and the Golden Mizbayach represents the Kehunah - these will cease to exist after the Churban. Therefore the poles were put in to the rings of the of the Aaron and the Copper Mizbayach immediately after their construction was complete; to symbolize that even during the travels of Klal Yisroel in Galus (traveling is represented by the poles which were used to carry these vessels when they departed from their place of encampment.) they will have Torah and Tefillah. The poles were not placed in the rings of the Golden Mizbayach and the Shulchan at their completion, since in Galus we will not have Kings and the Kehunah.

Suspicious Accountants

In the beginning of Parshas Pekudei, the Pasuk gives an accounting of how much was donated for the Mishkan and what it was used for. Interestingly, it lists how much gold, silver and copper were donated but only gives an accounting of what was made with the silver and copper. Why does the pasuk not tell us exactly what was done with the gold, the same way it accounts for the silver and copper?

The Tzeidah LaDerech answers that the purpose of the accountings were because Klal Yisroel accused Moshe of pocketing some of the donations. This was only so by the silver and copper. However, by the gold they had no reason to accused Moshe since the amount of gold (29 Kikar) donated was not physically sufficient to cover all that needed to be made out of gold. It was a miracle for that amount to suffice. They therefore had no thoughts that Moshe could have also taken some for himself. There simply was not enough to go around. Only by the silver and copper did these accusations arise, therefore there is a more detailed accounting by them.

Malbim - Order Matters

"Vayitain Es Adonav Vayasem Es Kirashav"; "And Moshe put down its sockets and placed its beams." Why does the pasuk change its terminology by writing Vayitain concerning the sockets and Vayasem concerning the beams?

Malbim answers, there is a difference between the word "Nisinah" - "giving" and the word " Simah" - "putting". Nisinah is not in any specific order, unlike Simah, which is. The Kerashim had to be erected in the same position of the Mishkan. The Kerashim that were in the Kodesh Kodashim were not allowed to be placed, in the Ohel Moed. Therefore each Keresh was marked off in order to enable them to be placed in the same spot each time. For this reason the pasuk says "Vayasem Es Kirashav" - the Kerashim were placed in a specific order, unlike the Adanim.

Sfas Emes - The Secrets of The World are in The Mishkan

The Mishkan is called the Mishkan HaEidus, the residence of testimony. The Medrash says that the Mishkan is testimony to the fact that Hashem created heaven and earth. The Sfas Emes explains that in this world Hashem is hidden. We cannot see Him or His greatness in every part of creation. We don't know why things were created or their connection to Hashem.

The Mishkan is the link between Shamayim and Aretz. Each part of the building of the Mishkan and its Keilim represent things on this world and reflects the face of Hashem hidden behind them. Therefore seeing the Mishkan and understanding the purpose of it, is the greatest testimony to the fact that Hashem created a very spiritual world hidden behind seemingly mundane objects of nature.

Do We Need Our Mishkan Back?

Rashi says in (38:21) that the Mishkan is called so because it is a "Mashkon"; a security guarantee for Hashem that we will keep the mitzvos. When we failed to keep it Hashem takes his Mashkon and destroyed the two Batei Mikdash. The question is that the halacha clearly states that even when a creditor takes away the Mashkon he must return it for the debtor to use when he needs it. The classic example is that his work tools must be returned by day so he can earn a living. Why doesn't Hashem return to us the Bais HaMikdash? Our Merciful Father is surely charitable beyond the Torah's requirements.

I heard from Rav Yosef Chaim Kupshitz Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef that the Mashkon is only returned if it is something that is essential for us to have in order to function properly. The fact that Hashem does not return it, is a sign that we don't consider the Bais HaMikdash critical to our lives. May we all be zocheh to greet Pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, rejoice in the Binyan Bais HaMikdash, and witness the Hashroas HaShechina amongst us once again.

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