| Parshah |

Parshas Pekudei: Love Keeps Giving

It was because of this demonstration of love to Hashem that Hashem also went beyond what was necessary


These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony, which were counted at Moshe’s command….”

(Shemos 38:21).

he Mishkan that Bnei Yisrael built in the Desert was never destroyed. It was concealed in its entirety (Succah 45b). In fact, the Sfas Emes says that the Ner Maaravi of the Menorah is still lit in the place where it is concealed. In contrast, the two Batei Hamikdash were destroyed and lay in ruins. Why did the Mishkan merit to be preserved even after it was no longer in use? (Rav Shmuel Brazil)

I don’t make a big deal out of birthdays. For one thing, when you have a large family kein ayin hara, you end up having birthday parties every Montig un Donershtig.

Plus, birthdays have a nasty habit of coming back every year. So each year you have the pressure of making something bigger and better than the one before. (Think Purim themes and Chol Hamoed trips. You get my point.)

So when my oldest was one month old, I made a conscious decision that we were not going to celebrate these myriads of milestones in any major fashion. A simple happy birthday song and cake would do. Then Yitzi came of age.

To explain, let’s first address a question. In the pasuk above, why does it repeat, “the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony?”
When Bnei Yisrael were donating items to the Mishkan, the pasuk (36:7) says that there was enough and there was extra. Asks the Ohr HaChaim: Which one was it? Enough donations or extra donations?
He answers that in truth there were sufficient materials and finished products for the building of the Mishkan. However, the people continued to bring, and Hashem did not want to reject the nedivas halev — the donations of the heart, of those who brought surplus materials. Therefore, Hashem accepted the extras as well.
When Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem what he should do with the extra materials, Hashem responded, “Make for Me a Mishkan of Testimony.” This is difficult to understand since they had already finished all the products for the Mishkan.
What Hashem was telling Moshe is that miraculously there will now be a second Mishkan embodied within the first, which came from the surplus donations. Hashem calls the second Mishkan of the surplus items Mishkan Ha’eidus — the Mishkan of Testimony.

My Yitzi likes nothing more than making people happy. And party planning is perfectly up his alley. So at the tender age of seven, Yitzi was quietly counting his meager savings so he could plan a birthday party for me. Then he went on to party projects. One year he reprinted a whole album of old pictures for me to enjoy. Another time it was a slideshow. Then he expanded to his siblings as well. Balloons, cakes, streamers, confetti… (we kept finding stray pieces for months afterward!)… Yitzi was in his element. And who was I to deny him such pleasure?

What was this testimony? The surplus donations were a display of immeasurable love. It was because of this demonstration of love to Hashem that Hashem also went beyond what was necessary, and forgave Klal Yisrael for Cheit Ha’eigel, lifnim meshuras hadin — more than justice demanded. This second Mishkan is the testimony to that mutual love.
Now let us return to our opening inquiry concerning why the Mishkan merited eternal preservation and was not destroyed like the Batei Hamikdash. It could very well be that the extra preservation power granted to the Mishkan was because of the extra donations that Am Yisrael gave with love, beyond the requirement. It is as if there were two constructions of the Mishkan, one within the other, or better yet, two lives. Its double strength enabled it to withstand destruction. While the Beis Hamikdash symbolized the Jewish body, which can be destroyed, the Mishkan symbolized the Jewish neshamah, which can never be eradicated. Just as the neshamah is concealed from sight, so, too, the Mishkan was concealed.

So it happens, when Yitzi’s birthday rolls around, his siblings pull out all the stops. He gets balloons, a fancy cake, and many more trappings. And when Shloime whines that it’s not fair, I lay out the facts. Yitzi gives a lot more than he gets. And when you give out of love, the love comes back to shower you… like confetti.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 885)

Oops! We could not locate your form.