Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei details the collection of materials and subsequent construction of the Mishkan. For the most part, these parshiyos are a repeat of Parshiyos Terumah and Tetzaveh, however, throughout the construction process, there are many ideas slipped into the pesukim. I would like to share two such small ideas found in Parshas Vayakhel.
When Moshe announced the materials needed for donations to the Mishkan, the response was overwhelming. Every person came with their arms full, to the point where Moshe had to command them to stop donating. “וַיְצַ֣ו משֶׁ֗ה וַיַּֽעֲבִ֨ירוּ ק֥וֹל בַּמַּֽחֲנֶה֘ לֵאמֹר֒ אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשָּׁ֗ה אַל־יַֽעֲשׂוּ־ע֛וֹד מְלָאכָ֖ה לִתְרוּמַ֣ת הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ וַיִּכָּלֵ֥א הָעָ֖ם מֵֽהָבִֽיא” “Moshe commanded, and they proclaimed in the camp, saying, ‘Man and woman shall not do more work toward the portion of the Sanctuary!’ And the nation was held back from bringing” (Shemos 36:6). Many commentaries ask what was so bad about the nation bringing more than necessary? Let them bring until the Mishkan was finished, they could place the extra in storage; why did Moshe command the people to stop bringing?
The Kli Yakar explains that Moshe understood that the Mishkan was a house for Hashem built by human beings, and it should be similar to the house Hashem built for humans, i.e. the world. The gemarah (Chagigah 12a) says that Hashem consciously stopped the creation of the world at the point where everything necessary for all of time had been created. There was nothing included in the original Creation which was extra or unnecessary. Therefore, the Mishkan had to be the same way, with nothing extra or unnecessary in its construction. So, the people had to stop donating.
This is an amazing idea! Everything we have in this world has a purpose. Whether it be human, animal, vegetable, or mineral, everything has its place and purpose. This is an important idea to keep in mind as we live our lives.
The second idea comes also from this topic, from Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky. He points out that originally, the Bnei Yisrael were only supposed to be in the desert for a few months, until they sinned and had to stay for forty years. They were actually supposed to enter Eretz Yisrael and begin construction of the Beis Hamikdash immediately. So the Mishkan was intended to be used only for year or two at the most. And yet, we see that there was no hesitation on the part of anyone to donate the most valuable of items towards its construction, so much so that Moshe had to tell them to stop bringing!
Their intentions were clearly only to fulfill the mitzvah of “וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ”, to provide a resting place for the Shechinah among them. Even though this building would only be used for a short time, no one hesitated to provide their support, whether financially or physically, or their time. This is a true example of the famous statement of Chazal that we have no idea the true reward for any particular mitzvah, therefore, we must perform all mitzvos with the same effort and passion. The donators and workers on the Mishkan all knew this idea, and did not hesitate to give everything they had even for a mitzvah that they knew would be short-lived.
Chazak Chazak V’Nischazek!
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