by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS VA'YAKHEIL-PIKUDEI 5773 BS"D
Ch. 35, v. 1: "Va'yakheil Moshe es kol adas bnei Yisroel" - And Moshe assembled all the congregation of bnei Yisroel - We find by no other mitzvoh the preface "va'yakheil." Rashi comments that this took place on the day following Yom Kippur. "B'derech tzachus" we might say that since all the bnei Yisroel were living in the desert and had all their physical needs attended to, they were full time Torah learners. Since it was the day after Yom Kippur everyone was about to go his merry way for "bein hazmanim," vacation/holidays. Moshe therefore had to assemble them before teaching them the next lesson.
Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim tei'oseh m'lochoh" - Six days work shall be done - Why is the word for "asioh" expressed in the "nifal" verb-form and not in the simple "kal" form, "taa'seh?" When a person is told to refrain from labour one day a week he might feel that this would cost him significant income, a reduction of one seventh of potential income. The Torah therefore expresses the active doing work during the six days as "tei'o'seh," to look at his work as if it is "done" not "he does it." The financial outcome of all efforts is in Hashem's hands. By having this mindset it is much easier to accept the restriction against labour on Shabbos. This also is a wonderful preface to donating for the Mishkon. One might be reluctant to give generously, but when he realizes that the resultant funds that he has come from "tei'o'seh" he gives with a greater "n'divus lev."
This is stressed even more when one reads the words of the Holy Zohar (preface to "Kiddush" Friday night) that the blessing of the six weekdays comes from Shabbos, "D'mi'nei misborchin shisa yomin."
Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish b'chole moshvoseichem b'yom haShabbos" - Do not ignite fire in any of your residences on the day of Shabbos - The gemara Shabbos 119 says that destructive fire is not found unless there is Shabbos desecration. We can thus interpret these words of our verse to mean, "Do not cause fire to destructively burn in any of your residences through the day of Shabbos (not being kept properly). (Rabbeinu Efrayim, Rabbi Vidal Tzrofosi)
Based on this insight the following story is very much in place. In Yerushalayim when Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld was its Rav he was told of one family that desecrated the Shabbos, albeit only in the confines of their home. They were very rough nasty people. Against the protests of his family members that he might be roughed up or even worse, he went straight to their home on Shabbos, and unannounced pushed open the door. He immediately saw much blatant Shabbos desecration. The people heaped great scorn on him, notwithstanding thast he was the Yerusholayimer Rav. Amongst their many loud insults was that it is a gross transgression of basic human behaviour to just barge into someone's house. He calmly responded that he came to save them from an impending fire. When there is an issue of fire burning down a home all etiquette rules are suspended. One knocks down doors to save the inhabitants.
Ch. 39, v. 3: "Va'y'raku es pachei hazohov" - And they flattened the plates of gold thin - The Ramban takes notice of the Torah detailing how the threads of gold were made while nowhere else does the Torah detail the way the craftsmen made things. He explains that all the other crafts were done by craftsmen worldwide, while the thinning of gold to the point that it could be cut into narrow flexible threads had never before been done by anyone.
The medrash says that because Hashem required gold as a component of the Mishkon and its vessels He gave the world an abundance of gold so that it could also be used for non-sacred matters as well. Gold has the unique property of being extremely malleable. I personally have seen plates of gold so thin that they were much thinner than even onion skin. It is used for gold leaf and the like in artistry. Perhaps Hashem imbued gold with this unique property because it had to be flattened extremely thin for the gold thread needed in the priestly garments. (n.l.)
Ch. 39, v. 43: "Va'y'voreich osom Moshe" - And Moshe blessed them - Rashi says that he said, "Yh"r shetishreh sh'chinoh b'maa'seh y'deichem," and "the verse "Vihi noam ……" (T'hilim 90). Although Betzaleil imbued many spiritual meanings into what he crafted the masses were not on his level. Nevertheless they did their utmost. Moshe thus blessed them that their work should likewise be imbued by Hashem with great sanctity. (Based on the Holy Zohar on the verse in T'hilim) The Ralba"g says that a great lesson can be derived from Moshe's behaviour. The leader of the generation should not take for granted that his underlings will follow all his dictates. When they fulfill his wishes he should clearly verbalize his satisfaction and bestow a blessing upon them. This will surely spur them on to continue doing good work.
Ch. 40, v. 17: "Hukam haMishkon" - The Mishkon was set up - The setting up of the Mishkon is mentioned three times. Besides in our verse in the next verse it says "Va'yokem Moshe" and earlier in verse 2 it says, "Tokim es haMishkon." In those two verses the verb form is transitive, while here it is "was done to it" form. These three places refer to the three future Botei Mikdosh, two of which were built by people, and our verse, where it is in "was done to it" form refers to the third and final Beis Hamikdosh shbb"o, which will come to us completed. (Kli Yokor)
Ch. 40, v. 24: "Va'yosem es ha'menorah …… nochach hashulchon" - And he placed the candelabrum …… across from the table - The menorah represents the light of the Torah. This is alludes to the halacha of saying divrei Torah at each meal. (M'kome Mikdosh)
Alternatively, the gemara says that one eats much more when he does not see the food he is consuming. By placing a source of light near his table one sees the food and does not eat too much. (n.l.)
Ch. 40, v. 35: "V'lo yochol Moshe lovo el Ohel Mo'eid ki shochein olov he'onon" - And Moshe could not come to the Tent of Convocation because the cloud rested upon it - Moshe's spirituality was so elevated that his physical body was a barrier to reach such a high level. It was only when Hashem called him that a path was struck through the physicality and he was able to reach the highest levels in communicating with Hashem. (Olilos Efrayim)
Ch. 40, v. 38: "Ki anan Hashem al haMishkon …… l'einei kol beis Yisroel" - Because Hashem's cloud is upon the Mishkon …… visible to the eyes of all the house Yisroel - Even though there were clouds that accompanied them upon their exodus from Egypt, that only lasted until they were at Yam Suf, and then the masses did not see the clouds. Only the prophets among them saw it from then on. Once Moshe prayed "V'niflinu ani v'a'mecho" Hashem responded, "Neged kol amcho e'e'seh niflo'os." The "nif'lo'os" were the "pelle" of the clouds of glory being visible to all, "neged kol amcho." (GR"A as cited by Haksav V'hakaboloh)
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