Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshios Vayakhel & Pekudei

Detailing the Mishkan

The book of Shemot that began with such high drama just a few months ago ends this week on a rather bland and apparently purely technical note. The Torah once more reviews and recounts for us the details of the construction of the Mishkan and an exact accounting of the material goods that were used in its construction.

Through the ages, the commentators have dwelt long and hard on these parshiyot in the holy Torah, where every letter and word is eternal, in an attempt to justify this seemingly superfluous repetition. I will not attempt to review all of the different approaches to explain this issue. They are all satisfactory and yet all are somehow short of the mark as well.

I certainly have no great or brilliant insight into the matter myself. But, there is an obvious teaching that all of the commentators agree with that does derive from this review and repetition regarding the construction of the Mishkan.

The Mishkan had the miraculous quality of being built exactly and unwaveringly according to its original plan. Many times in life people and institutions set out to create structures, organizations and policies that will be of great benefit to society upon completion. Rarely if ever does the finished product match exactly the plans and true intentions of those who planned and initiated the project.

All human plans and blueprints are subject to change, alterations and even to cancellation. The plans for the Mishkan, shrouded in the spirituality of Godís commandments, were not subject to such changes. Therefore Bezalel and Ahaliav and the Jewish people were complimented for their strict adherence to the original plans given to Moshe for the construction of the Mishkan.

Every detail of the construction of the Mishkan is reviewed in the parshiyot of this week. All builders are aware of the importance of detail in their work. A missing screw or nail or hook can lead to later disaster. This is true in the physical mundane life of people. It is doubly true regarding the spiritual and moral character of a person and a community. Only in the completion of the details is the whole person or project seen.

The measure of an artist, whether in pictures or music, is always in the nuances - in the details. The avoidance of shortcuts that invariably lead to shabbiness is the true hallmark of the gifted performer. Moshe lovingly records for us every piece of material goods that came together as the holy Mishkan. In kabbalistic thought, every nuance of the construction of the Mishkan is truly an influence on the general world at large.

This only serves to reemphasize the importance of detail in dealing with the Mishkan. The Mishkan is no longer physically present with us but its lessons and greatness still abide within the Torah we study and in the value systems of the Jewish people. By reading the Torahís description of it and studying the underlying principles that it represents, the Mishkan gains life and influence within us individually and collectively. May we be strengthened by this eternal knowledge.

Chazak chazak vínitchazek Shabat shalom

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

A New Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Goal Oriented
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Age Old Questions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Good and Bad Company
Shlomo Katz - 5768

ArtScroll

A Little Light Chases Away a Lot of Darkness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Every Little Bit Counts
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

> Just Two Words
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Worms and Wagons
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Uneasy Questions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Wagons That Yosef Sent
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

To Fergin Or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Miracles: The Majestic and the Mundane
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information