Points to Ponder
And this is what you should do (25:9) – Rashi adds that this is what you shall do in future generations. It sounds as if Rashi is telling us that after the Mishkan is over and the Mikdash is destroyed you still need to do this. How is one to achieve this? Rav Shaul Yisraeli ztl. explained that in today’s times one needs to make his home into the Mikdash of today with a beautiful table that has Korbanos that are Kosher. No expense should be spared in this regard.
You shall make 2 Keruvim (25:20) – Why do we use the term שנים כרובים instead of the more common שני כרובים? Rav Chanoch Ehrentrau ztl. (Kometz HaMincha) explains that each one of the Keruvim symbolized something different and unique. In this case it was a symbol of 2 types who protect the Torah – the Tofsei Hatorah and the Machzikei HaTorah. Those who are Machzik Torah provide the cover for those who study it (the Tofsei HaTorah). BOTH protect the Torah equally but differently. They need to see eye to eye and have mutual respect for the job their partner engages in if they are to work together to support the goal, Torah support.
I shall appear to you there and speak to you from atop the Kapores (25:22) – Ramban explains that the whole purpose in creating the Mishkan was to create an Aron that would have the same power as the extraordinary experience on Har Sinai. Why was it necessary? Why would there need to be the same experience of Har Sinai with the people all the time? Rav Elya Svei Ztl. suggested that the purpose of Matan Torah was not that it be a single event in the annals of history but rather that it repeat itself every day of our lives. The Midrash notes that Torah and the one who gave it go together wherever Torah is. That means that Torah keeps on being given daily. The entirety of physical structures (indeed the entirety of the physical universe – as symbolized by the Mishkan) is so that there be a place to hold onto the meeting place for the one who gives the Torah and the Torah’s giving. The 2 are inseparable. Today, in the absence of the place, we have the 4 Amos of Halacha alone.
And you shall make the Menorah (25:31) – Rashi notes that Moshe had a hard time making the Menorah. Why was the Menorah specifically the utensil he had a hard time with? Moreover, if Hashem was going to have to make it in the end, Why bother giving the instructions to Moshe first? Rav Betzalel Rudinsky Shlita explains that the menorah symbolizes the Torah wisdom. Hashem wanted Moshe (and Bnei Yisrael) to know that when one wants to be committed to Torah, then Hashem will make it possible for him to achieve, even if natural means seem impossible. Hence even if Moshe could not “get it” Hashem would bring it to him.
And you shall make the beams for the Mishkan (26:15) – Rashi explains that the Kerashim came from the cedar wood that came from the cedar trees that Yaakov Aveinu brought to Mitzrayim. They teach the lesson of Emunah and Bitachon that Yaakov had as he went down to Egypt. Rav Menachem Genack Shlita added that this cedar wood helps us understand why the building of the Mishkan is included in the Sefer HaGeulah. According to Rav Genack, the building of the Mishkan demonstrated that the people had risen to the level of their forefathers and completed the Geulah process started by Yaakov Aveinu.
The Paroches (26:31) – Here the role of the Paroches is to separate between the Kodesh and the Kodesh HaKadoshim. In Pekudai, it sounds as if the role is to cover the Aron. Why is there a difference between the roles? The Mishna L’Melech explains that the Rambam distinguishes between the sprinkling of blood on Yom Kippur versus that of the sprinkling of other Chataos Penimiyos. The focus too, is whether it is set opposite the Aron versus just paroches. Rav Schachter Shlita pointed out that this highlights the idea of different levels of Kedusha. It is not just Kodesh and Chol, there are also levels of Kedusha. This reminds us that Melo Chol Haaretz Kevodo.
And you shall make its corners on its 4 ends and cover it in copper (27:2) – Rashi explains that the covering of the Mizbeiach in copper was because the Mizbeiach was to atone for brazenness. Rav Wolbe ztl. asked how a Mizbeiach can atone for a sin that one does not engage in Teshuva for doing? The Shelah HaKadosh explains that the Kappara was not for the individual but rather for the community. When a community shares responsibility for the sin of the individual, the community too, needs Kapara. Rav Wolbe added that this is the case here as well. The Kappara here is due to the collective “Arvus” that takes responsibility for the individual.
Haftorah: He made the windows (Melachim I 6:4) – Why did he make the windows that could not let the light in? Rashi explains that this was done to show that the Beis HaMikdash did not need the light from the outside. But if so, why make windows at all? Rav Yaakov Kamenetzsky ztl. explained that to do so would make the place look like a prison – not a house. Making a Mikdash or davening in a place with windows lets one develop a more positive disposition about the Tefillah and helps with the concentration.