“These are the accounts of the Mishkan” (Shemos 38:21)
This week we finish the exciting book of Shemos, which included the exodus from Egypt, splitting of the Sea, giving of the Torah, and the building of the Mishkan. Why is the building of the Mishkan included in the Book of Shemos? What does it have to do with the other things? Also, last week’s parsha and this week’s parsha include much of the same information as Terumah and Tetzaveh. Why are they repeated twice? The answer is to show how precious Bnei Yisrael are to Hashem!
In the beginning of Shemos, the whole world clearly saw miracles performed by Hashem. The ten plagues, splitting of the Sea, and giving of the Torah were very public events to show how much Hashem loved the Jews. But that was not enough. The way to truly show love is in private. People many times behave differently in public than in private because others are watching them. To truly show someone how precious she is, it is shown in private life. That is the Mishkan. Hashem showed the Jews how much He loves us to the world, but He said build a Mishkan because I want to live privately with you. The private times show the preciousness.
A few years ago, I had an account on Facebook and had reconnected with over 100 of my old buddies from high school and college. We shared pictures and wrote on each other’s “walls”. It was nice to chat with people I had not seen in 10-15 years. But then, I began to listen to shiurim which spoke negatively of Facebook and I started to read articles about Facebook. I decided although it was nice to chat with my friends again, I needed to close my account. So, one Sunday morning about two years ago, I sent an email to all of my 100+ “friends” and told them I was signing off. I gave them my email address and told them to stay in touch. Out of my 100+ “friends”, three of them sent me an email (and with those three, we have lost touch with each other within the past two years.) Why did no one else contact me? I thought they were my “friends”?
The answer is really quite simple. In a public setting, we were friends, but we did not have a relationship. To build a relationship is to spend private time with others. Writing on someone’s Facebook “wall” or sharing pictures does not make a relationship. It might be fun and bring a smile to one’s face for a short time, but love will never develop.
So many things in this generation are public (just open any newspaper) while privacy is unfortunately becoming less and less. A relationship cannot be built unless there are private times though. Privacy brings preciousness. I once heard a lecture from Rabbi Paysach Krohn where he said he would spend a certain amount of time each week with each of his children. He would find time to have private time with the child, because these moments build the relationship. Although he did not say it, but I will: his children turned out very well! I think the private time he spent with them could be a big reason because he built a relationship with his children.
Hashem wanted a special relationship with Klal Yisrael. He therefore made us build a Mishkan – a private place He could dwell with us. The most important part of a relationship is the precious private times. This is why Vayakhel/Pekudei are repetition of the laws of the Mishkan – to stress this is an extremely important part of Judaism.
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