Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to Hashem. (Shemos 35:2)
If you look at parshas Vayakhel/Pekudei, he will notice Rashi does not do much commenting. The reason is because most of this week’s parsha is a repetition. Most of this week’s parsha was already mentioned in Parshas Terumah and Tetzaveh – so why does the Torah need to repeat it again? We know the Torah does not waste any words.
The reason is to show us the importance of the sections that are discussed. These parshas talk about the building of the Mishkan – the Tabernacle that was used in the desert. This was one of the most important items in our history. We could reach amazingly high levels through the Mishkan.
But as we know, we no longer have the Mishkan. We no longer have the Holy of Holies, Altar, Menorah, or any of the other vessels from the Mishkan. So why do we need the repetition of these items? I understand they were important and that is why they were repeated, but since we no longer have them, what lesson can I learn from the repetition of all of their details in these parshas?
The answer is to teach us the importance of Shabbos!
Imagine you get two invitations in the mail. One is for a reception for a neighbor who you speak to about once a year. The other is for a formal affair with the president of your company. Not only that, but you are invited to sit at the dais. The only problem is that both of them are at the same time. Which one do you go to? Although you would like to go to your neighbor’s reception, the affair with the president of your company is much more important. No one would think very much about which choice to make. Your neighbor probably would agree that you should go to the other affair.
At the beginning of this week’s parsha, the Torah tells us that we work for six days but on the seventh day we rest. Our Sages tell us that this is placed here to tell us that although the erecting of the Mishkan was important work, Shabbos is more important. Therefore, on Shabbos, we must stop doing work on the Mishkan and we must rest. We see from here that Shabbos is greater than the Mishkan!
Although we no longer have the Mishkan, there is a great lesson we can learn from it. The Torah repeats sections regarding the Mishkan because it is extremely important. If the Mishkan is important, then Shabbos must even be more powerful because we rest from working on the Mishkan in honor of Shabbos. Shabbos is something we still have! Let’s not waste this great opportunity!
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