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Parshas VaYakhel

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Parshas VaYakhel
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Dubno Maggid - Good Medicine, Bad Doctor

We find that the mitzva of Shabbos is both highly praised when we keep it. When we don't, Hashem says (Yeshaya 1) "Chodsheichem UMoadaichem Sanah Nafsi" my heart despises your special days. Why the drastic emotions for this particular mitzva?

The Dubno Maggid explains with a Mashal. A very wealthy man had chronically sick children so he hired a top doctor to permanently stay with them. He loved the doctor very much as he tended to the children and always came up with the perfect medicine to cure them. One day one of the children became deathly ill and although the doctor prepared medicine that would save his life the child refused to take it. As the child's health deteriorated and he hovered near death the father became very angry with the doctor and couldn't hide his contempt for him. The doctor asked the father, "Why are you angry with me. It is your child's fault that refuses to take his medicine." The father answered that if there was no medicine he could accept his son's fate but because the doctor prepared medicine that can save his life and he won't take it, when he see the doctor and is reminded of this, his the pain is double.

The Dubno Maggid continues. Hashem gave us the Mitzva of Shabbos which is a medicine that cures our soul from all the ills from during the week. Hashem, our Father in Heaven, wants us, his dear children to take this medicine torestore our good health. If we don't use this medicine to save our neshama Hashem looks at it in despair saying that they are worthless and they just add to his anguish. Shabbos is the ultimate medicine. Make sure to follow the instructions.

The Keruvim Embrace

The Gemorah asks a contradiction. In the Torah, the Pasuk says, the Keruvim faced each other (Ufinayhem Ish El Achiv); however, in Divrai HaYamim it says they faced outward - away from each other? The Gemorah answers, when Klal Yisroel did the will of Hashem the Keruvim faced each other, but when they did not do the will of Hashem they faced outwards.

The Gemorah in Yoma 54a states, when the Bnai Yisroel would come to be Oleh Regel, the Paroches would be rolled up for them and they would see the Keruvim hugging each other. This would make Klal Yisroel aware of the love that Hashem had towards them. The Gemoroah in Yoma 54b states, when the Goyim entered the Bais HaMikdash to destroy it, they also saw the Cheruvim hugging each other. How can this be? Wasn't the time of the Churban a time when Hashem was angry with Klal Yisroel? Shouldn't the Cheruvim have been facing the opposite direction?

The Chafetz Chaim answers with a Rashi Kiddushin. 31b. The pasuk says "A song to Asaf (Mizmar L'Asaf), the Goyim have entered the Bais HaMikdash and defiled it." Why is the term Mizmar used, which means a song, the pasuk should have said Kinnah L'Asaf - which would mean that Asaf was lamenting the fall of the Bais HaMikdash? Rashi answers, we are praising Hashem for letting his anger out on the wood and stones of the Bais HaMikdash as opposed to destroying Klal Yisroel. That is why Mizmor is said and not Kinnah. Here to, explains the Chofetz Chaim, at the time of the Churban the Keruvim were hugging each other showing the love of Hashem. The love that Hashem bestowed upon us, by letting his wrath out on Aytzim VaAvaim and not on us.

Tzedoka From Deep Down

"Kichu Mayitchem";"Take from yourselves a separation as a donation to the Mishkan." What does this peculiar word "Mayitchem" - "from yourselves" come to teach us? Isn't it obvious that the donations are coming from yourselves?

The Kli Yakar answers, many times people give Tzedoka only because of social pressures. They feel that they must give because it would be embarrassing to say "no" to the prominent Rosh Yeshiva who came to his house. Or at an appeal in his Shul, it would be disgraceful for him if he does not announce that he too is giving a substantial sum to this worthy cause, after all his buddies threw around the "big numbers". Such donations are not Mayitchem - from yourselves. It is not you giving the money, rather the social pressure of others. The pasuk is telling us that for the donations of the Mishkan it should be purely yours. Whatever you give should be what you would like to give, not what you would like others to think that you gave!

Mirrors, Are They Good Guys Or Bad Guys?

Rashi writes (38:8) that Moshe initially refused to accept the mirrors, which the women wanted to donate for the Mishkan. He found them disgusting because they were designed to incite a person's Yetzer HaRa. Until Hashem commanded him to accept them ,since the women had used them to arouse their exhausted husbands in Egypt, thereby enabling the conception of their children. Why didn't Moshe express similar reservations about accepting the Kumaz, (an acronym for Kan Makom Zimah) which Rashi explains (35:22) was a type of ornamentation placed opposite the private part of a woman's body?

The Meforshim offer a few answers. Some say that the purpose of the Kumaz was to stop someone else from being Mezaneh with this woman. It was a type of protection against the Mezaneh. Therefore Moshe was willing to take it as a donation. It was not a means for Znus, rather a protection against it.

Others answer; the copper mirrors were kept in their original state to make the Kiyar. Anyone who saw the Kiyar would know immediately where this copper was taken from. Therefore Moshe was hesitant to accept them. However, the Kumaz was just 1 of many golden ornaments which were donated by the women. They also donated bracelets, rings and nose rings. All these ornaments were melted down for the gold of the Mishkan. For this reason Moshe has no issues in accepting these pieces of jewelry.

Why VaYakhel is So Important

The Gemorah says that one who learns the Parsha of Olah is considered as if he brought a Korban Olah; and so is true by all the Korbonos. Rabaynu Bachye adds, one who learns about the vessels of the Mishkan and the Bigdai Kehunah and understands how they looked with all their details, it is as if he built the Mishkan and caused the Shechinah to dwell among Klal Yisroel. One should not say that these parshios are not important since the Mishkan and the Bais haMikdash are not in existence today; rather he should delve in to the Niglah and Nistar of their construction.

Chasam Sofer - Equal Opportunity Employment For Women in The Midbar

The pasuk (35:25) says that all the talented women spun the wool for the Mishkan. The pasuk also points out that all the work for the Mishkan was done by Nidiv Lev, generous volunteers. The Chasam Sofer asks, since a woman's earnings belong to her husband how can she volunteer her services if it doesn't belong to her?

He answers that the reason why Chazal decreed that a woman's earnings should go to her husband is because he supports her. In the Midbar where everyone lived from "Mun" that fell from Shamayim, the men had no claim on the earnings of their wife. Therefore the women were free to use their talents for the task of building the Mishkan.

A Mishkan With a Broken Heart

The pasuk (36:7) says that after all the donations were made to the Mishkan they had enough (Dayum). At the end of this pasuk it says "V'Hoseir" and there was even more than they needed. So which is it; was it exactly enough or did they have extra?

The Iturei Torah brings from Sichos Tzadikim that if there exactly enough and no more, each person would become full of pride thinking that his contribution to the Mishkan made it all possible. "Without me there would be no Mishkan". This would make the Mishkan a place where Hashem's Shechina would definitely not rest since Hashem does not dwell among the haughty.

However if there was more than enough materials and some were left out of the actual building then each person would be broken hearted thinking that his contribution may have been left out and he has no share of the Mishkan. This made for the ideal sanctuary for Hashem's Shechina as it always finds rest among the broken hearted.

Therefore the pasuk tells us that the amount of materials donated was exactly enough to build a Mishkan for the Shechina. Why? Because there was excess.

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