Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dvar Torah for Parshas Vayakhel

       Parshas Vayakhel is essentially a repetition of Parshas Terumah. Then, Hashem told Moshe what to bring to the Mishkan and what utensils would be made, and now the Torah tells us how it was done. Next week’s parshah, Parshas Pekudei, is the same way as it repeats Parshas Tetzaveh. Many people ask why the Torah bothers to repeat everything that it already wrote down earlier instead of just saying that the job was done correctly and that’s the end of it! One answer that is given is in order to show the enthusiasm Bnei Yisrael had while donating to the Mishkan, as well as their carefulness to do everything exactly the way Hashem had commanded them. This week’s Dvar Torah is an example of this.
       Immediately after Moshe instructed Bnei Yisrael in the requirements of the Mishkan, they immediately set to gathering everything that was needed. The pasuk explains how every man came with generous donations, all given whole-heartedly. The next pasuk reads, “וַיָּבֹאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים עַל הַנָּשִׁים כֹּל | נְדִיב לֵב הֵבִיאוּ חָח וָנֶזֶם וְטַבַּעַת וְכוּמָז כָּל כְּלִי זָהָב And the men came with the women…”(Shemos 35:22); the pasuk goes on to explain that both men and women, brought a tremendous amount of jewelry with them. The Meforshim explain that the word “עַל”, while usually translated as “on”, is translated here as “with”, to show us that the men came together with the women. Why does the pasuk need to tell us that the men and women donated their jewelry together?
       The Kli Yakar explains that the pasuk is giving a special praise to the Jewish Women. As we saw during the episode of The Golden Calf, the women refused to donate any of their jewelry to its building because they did not want to have any part in it whatsoever. So instead, the men took from their own jewelry to build the Calf. The Kli Yakar explains that by bringing their jewelry now for the Mishkan, the men hoped to gain atonement for bringing it for the Calf. The women, however, not only did they not need this atonement, they didn’t even want Moshe to suspect that, similar to the men, they had taken part in the Calf and were bringing their jewelry now to make up for it!
       So the first praise that the women received was the fact that they brought their jewelry without needing an atonement; they brought it only in order to fulfill the commandment of Hashem and to beautify the Mishkan. In order that Moshe would, chas v’shalom, not confuse them with needing an atonement, the pasuk uses the term “ נְדִיב לֵב” “generous hearted”, only by the men. The women are credited with giving their jewelry, while the men are credited with donating it. Their donation, while given in a generous spirit, had an ulterior motive behind it. The women’s donation, however, was a pure gift with no other strings attached.

Shabbat Shalom!  

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