Points to Ponder

Pekudai 5776

These are the accountings of the Mishkan (38:21) – The Midrash Tanchuma (Pekudai 7) notes that Moshe wanted to provide a complete and accurate accounting of everything in the Mishkan. According to the Midrash, Moshe wanted to remove any suspicion from those who were complainers. While in the process, Moshe forgot to account for the Adanim – the hooks that attached to the pillars of the Chatzer. Only after Hashem opened his eyes to his accounting error was Moshe able to calm himself down in front of the people. Rav Chaim Sabato Shlita suggests that perhaps Moshe was put through this stress because he sought not only to placate the people but even those who complained about him excessively. The Meleches Shlomo cites Rav Shlomo Alkavetz (Shekalim 3:2) who explains that the concept of Nekiiyim M’Hashem V’Yisrael refers to those who received intelligence and wisdom – not an accounting in front of every single person.

Betzalel did all that Hashem commanded Moshe (38:22)  - Why is it that only in regard to the Bigdei Kehuna do we find the words Kaasher Tziva Hashem? Why not include the phrase by the rest of the Mishkan as well? Rav Velvel Soloveitchik ztl. explained that the word Tziva applies whenever you do something that is not to change at all. If it is a Mitzva L’doros then it can have the word Tziva attached to it. Since the Mishkan had curtains that would later be changed to permanent walls in the Beis Hamikdash, the term Tziva could not apply to it. The Bigdei Kehuna did not change – they got the term Tziva. Rav Schachter Shlita added that the same can be said when studying Maaseh Rav. Sometimes a Rebbe’s actions may be based on a unique set of conditions and his recorded Psak may be local to a unique situation. Learning where to apply a Maaseh Rav correctly is also part of the concept of l’doros.

They hammered out the sheets of gold and cut threads [from them] to work [the gold] into the blue wool, into the purple wool, into the crimson wool, and into the fine linen, the work of a master weaver.  (39:3) – Ramban is amazed at the detail that the Torah goes into in order to explain how they spun the gold thread for the Eiphod. Why not merely mention that they made an Eiphod with gold and Tekheles? Ramban explains that the mention here is due to the uniqueness of spinning gold into threads that could be woven. This process was not known or utilized prior in history and was so special to Hashem that he wanted it expressly mentioned. Rav Simcha Zissel Broide ztl. explains that the uniqueness should have not been so special. After all, Betzalel was able to infuse a tremendous amount of Machshava into each aspect of the Mishkan. In fact, he was able to utilize and attach the letters used in constructing the world. So why was spinning gold so special in the eyes of Hashem?  Rav Simcha Zissel answers that we learn the power of a Chiddush in the eyes of Hashem. Whenever one utilizes the power of chiddush in the opportunity to serve Hashem – such power is unique and has a special place in the eyes of Hashem. The same holds true for the spinning of gold as well as for the true Chiddush in Torah study.

And Moshe set up the Mishkan (40:18) – The Midrash Tanchuma (Pekudai  11) notes that Betzalel, Ohaliav and each of the Chachamim were not able to set up the Mishkan in order to give Moshe the opportunity to be able to do so. The Midrash applies the Possuk “Ish Baar Lo Yeida U’Ksil Lo Yavin Es Zos” to this situation. Why? Rav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi Shlita explains that when things go wrong,  a Ksil looks at the situation and determines the ideal from it. The idealist sets his goals and tries to figure out why the Metzius don’t meet the facts. A fool cannot figure out that Hashem wants Moshe to have his turn – Ksil Lo yavin – because he does not take it into account.

Bnei Yisrael did all of the Avoda… and Moshe saw all the Melacha (39:42-43) – Why did the Possuk change focus from Avoda to Melacha? Rav Nebenzahl Shlita explained that Melacha speaks to the constructive act done with foresight. Avoda speaks to the work itself. While Bnei Yisrael can be rated for having completed the physical activity properly (the Avodah), Moshe had the ability to judge their  intention and this too, he found to be proper.

And Moshe saw the entire work and they had done it as Hashem had commanded Moshe they did it. and Moshe blessed them (39:43)- Rashi cites the well known added Tefillah Moshe offered – Yehe Ratzon SheTishreh Shechina B’Maaseh Yideichem. V’Hi Noam Hashem Elokeinu Aleinu .  Rav Pam ztl. noted that it is obvious that the Shechina will be on the Mishkan for a receptacle built in holiness is a warm receptacle for the Shechina. Maaseh Yideichem referred to more – to the work that people do. It is hard for  a person to experience Shechina in those Maaseh Yadayim – to experience Shechina in everything man does and achieves. It makes the world a more Shechina-filled environment.

And Moshe saw the entire work and they had done it as Hashem had commanded Moshe they did it. and Moshe blessed them (39:43)- Why the double stress on the fact that they did it? Moreover, Betzalel did not do exactly as Hashem commanded? The Piacetzner Rebbe ztl. explained that within each Mitzva (like each Nevuh0 there are Kavannos and Yichudim but these are impossible to achieve if one does not perform the actual Mitzvah. Betzalel ultimately made the Mishkan – he recognized the intention of Hashem more than Moshe in the practical execution of the Mitzva. Doing is crucial in following the will of Hashem.

Haftorah: And Shlomo lifted his hands to the heavens (Melachim I: 8:22) – Rav Yaakov Kamenetzsky ztl. pointed out that the style of artists is wrong in the depiction. Outstretched arms means with the palm of the hands upward, as if ready to accept that which falls from the heavens. This is a lofty style of Tefillah not in practice today. Why? Rav Yaakov ztl. explained that today people are not always ready to accept the blessing from Hashem unadulterated. Instead, they want Hashem to do what they want Him to do irrespective of His will. Thus, we cannot use Prishus Kapayim in prayer.