Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei is primarily a repeat of two previous parshiyos in Sefer Shemos, Terumah and Tetzaveh. While those parshiyos discussed what was required for the construction of the Mishkan, this week’s parsha deals with the construction itself. While it may seem a waste of space to simply repeat everything we’ve seen before, there are many new lessons and ideas that come from this. For example, the Torah tells us several times throughout the parsha that all the construction was done exactly the way Hashem commanded it to be done. There were many creative people involved with the development of the Mishkan, and they had the best materials to work with. Still, none were tempted to develop their own designs and creations; they stuck to the exact plans and modifications that Hashem had set for them.
This idea was a tremendous credit to the Bnei Yisrael and showed a tremendous love and devotion to Hashem. But truthfully, the entire concept of the Mishkan was an example of this. Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky points out that while the Mishkan ended up being used for 40 years in the desert and another 400 years in Eretz Yisrael prior to the building of the Beis Hamikdash, it was really only supposed to be used for a few months! Until the sin of the Meraglim, the Bnei Yisrael were supposed to enter Eretz Yisrael a few months after Matan Torah. According to Reb Yaakov, under those circumstances, they would have immediately built the Beis Hamikdash, and the Mishkan would have become obsolete.
This sheds an entirely different light on the establishment of the Mishkan. Moshe called for Bnei Yisrael to donate anything of value they had towards the construction. The most expensive and rare materials were to be used. And even though this building was only supposed to function for a number of months, no one hesitated to bring whatever was needed. In fact, the pesukim tell us there was a surplus! The nation clearly spared no effort or expense in fulfilling the mitzvah of making a home for Hashem in this world.
This is an important lesson for us as well. We have no idea of the reward for a mitzvah. And when looking at the mitzvah of the Mishkan, this idea is only confirmed. Therefore, it is important for us to treat every mitzvah with equal value and effort. Ultimately, that is what Hashem desires from us in the performance of the mitzvos; not only to perform them, but to place value in fulfilling His word regardless of the difficulty, glamor, or extent of the mitzvah.
Chazak Chazak V’Nischazek!
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