Thursday, February 24, 2011

Parashat Vayakhel

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Vayakhel. In this portion the Torah tells us how the Jews contributed generously, and constructed the Mishkan with all the details as described in the portion of Terumah and repeated again in this weeks portion.

As we discussed three weeks ago, when G-d commanded Moshe to have the Mishkan constructed he repeated several times the term, as you were shown on the mountain (Sinai). We discussed an explanation as to the significance of the fact, that he was shown on the mountain. This week I would like to share with you another explanation.

We know, that before receiving the Torah, the Jews were united - k'ish echod b'leiv echod - as one man with one heart. This was perhaps the main ingredient for being a nation worthy to receive the Torah. Perhaps, this is what Hashem was telling Moshe when the Mishkan would be constructed; when people will bring donations of gold, they are not to be treated better than the person who will bring wool or red thread. Everyone should be treated as one. The wealthy man did not get a tablet with his name and the poor man was not mistreated. Everyone was united, just like the time of Kabolas HaTorah. Without absolute unity there can be no G-dly presence.

This explains why this weeks portion begins with Vayakheil Moshe, Mosher gathered the entire Jewish nation the reason for the gathering was, because without unity the mishkan can't be constructed.

Another interesting observation perhap: we find in this weeks portion (Shmos 36/7) that the Jews brought donations and there was enough (dayom) and extra (v'hoseir). This seems to be a contradiction, if it was enough then there wasn't extra ? The commentaries (sichos tzadikim) explain this text. Had there been exactly enough, one could have thought that thanks to his contribution the mishkan was constructed, and without him nothing could happen. With such an attitude there would not be a chance for a G-dly presence. On the other hand, when people knew that there was extra they may think maybe they didn't really merit to have a part in the mishkan thereby being humble and equal to others. That's what the Torah says it was enough, the reason is, because there was extra. had there not been extra the mishkan could not exist only after there was extra was it enough. This is the way the large contributor along with the small contributor who gave his last property, were all equal. Everyone gave with their whole heart in unity.

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