Vayakhel-Pekudei: Hashem Is In Our Hands!




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    Vayakhel-Pekudei: Hashem Is In Our Hands!

    This week’s double reading has a strong connection to Moshiach. First of all, it deals totally with the building of the Tabernacle, preparing us for the third Temple that Moshiach will build. Second; it is a repetition of the description of the Tabernacle we learned a few weeks ago, hinting that the Third Temple will be a repetition of the first and second… Read the full dvar torah by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton • Full Article 

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    This week’s double reading has a strong connection to Moshiach.

    First of all, it deals totally with the building of the Tabernacle, preparing us for the third Temple that Moshiach will build (as Mimonedies explains in Laws of Kings 11:1).

    Second; it is a repetition of the description of the Tabernacle we learned a few weeks ago, hinting that the Third Temple will be a repetition of the first and second.

    Also, this Shabbat we ‘bless’ the coming month of Nissan – the month when we were redeemed from Egypt and WILL be redeemed from the present exile (Talmud R”H 11a).

    And finally, at mincha of this Shabbat we begin the book of Leviticus; i.e. beginning to offer sacrifices; Again hinting at the Temple service that Moshiach will renew (ibid)

    But at closer examination all these hints have little to do with us.

    Leaving Egypt is history and the arrival of Moshiach, the future redemption and the Third Temple are up to G-d.. (See Ex. 15:17 and Micah 7:15). So why should all this concern us? Isn’t it all G-d’s business?

    To understand this, here is a Baal Shem Tov story that occurred in the Ukraine some 300 years ago.

    In a few hours it would be Passover (Pesach). Jews throughout the world were joyously preparing for the ‘Holiday of Freedom’ but the Baal Shem Tov (Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem, called the Besh’t for short) was miserable. And that meant he sensed impending disaster for the Jews.

    The Baal Shem Tov was the Moses of his generation. So if he was worried, it was not a good sign.

    [Since the beginning of the Jewish people some three thousand years earlier when Moses took them from Egypt, it was obvious they could not exist without a “Moses”. As the mystical Jewish book, The Zohar says; there must be a Moses in every generation to teach them, save them from their enemies and lead them out of their spiritual “Egypts” (See Num. 27:15-17 and Tanya Chapt. 47).]

    The night before Pesach he ordered his Chassidim to say Psalms non-stop while he closed himself in his room weeping and praying. At midnight his personal attendant entered to find him lying motionless on the floor of his room, pale as a sheet, eyes wide open staring at something beyond the ceiling as though his soul was totally in another place.

    The Chassidim realized that something awful was impending and their cries broke the still night and could be heard in the streets.

    At sunrise the Besh’t ordered his pupils to assist him to the Mikva as he was too weak to walk himself and to also prepare themselves for the baking of Matzot.

    But instead of his usual joy and elated holiness during the Matza baking, the Besh’t was serious; deep in thought as though he was about to burst out weeping. He even ordered his Chassidim to contemplate the somber prayers and spiritual unities of Rosh HaShanna and Yom Kippur… the days of Judgment!

    After finishing baking the Matzot, just hours before the holiday began, the Besh’t gathered his pupils and gave them a lecture on ‘Bi’ta’chon’; complete trust and reliance on G-d. He stressed that even when it seems that all is lost, Bitachon itself can transform the situation to joy and salvation.

    But then he became withdrawn again.

    That evening he lead the Seder Night but remained very serious, once in a while he even winced as though receiving terrible news but then what seemed to be a slight smile crossed his lips.

    Then, suddenly his eyes widened in pleasure and he burst out in laughter!
    He stood, raised his arms and eyes thankfully to heaven and declared,

    “Mazal Tov!! Mazal Tov! Thank G-d! Blessed is the G-d of Israel who chose Moses and Israel so that even the simplest Jew in Israel can do things that this ‘Israel’ (i.e. Israel Baal Shem) can’t do!!!”

    None of the Chassidim had any idea what was going on but they all stood and began singing, clapping joyously then dancing wildly until they were out of breath and had to sit down to rest.

    When all was calm again the Besh’t explained what happened.

    “Yesterday I saw in the spiritual worlds that it had been decreed that a community of some four hundred Jewish families not far from here, was to be attacked by gentiles and totally wiped out on the first night of Passover.

    “I tried to pray, to request mercy. But nothing worked. I reminded G-d of how He forgave the Jews for the sin of the Golden Calf, how they are His people, how they have suffered so much… but nothing worked. So I told you to say Psalms while I prayed in my room, I even offered to give my soul for theirs.. but to no avail.

    That is when I gave you the lecture about trusting in G-d when all else fails, because I saw that the decree was out of my hands.

    But I didn’t give up. When we began the Seder night my soul began searching for some merit, some saving grace to rescue that town.

    Suddenly I hears something. An old Jew called Lipa and his wife as they were celebrating the Passover Seder after the first cup of wine, got into an argument. And, to my amazement; it had huge repercussions in the heavens!  What they said were tipping the heavenly scales.

    “Lipa began the part in the Hagadda about how Pharaoh ordered his soldiers to drown all the Jewish male babies in the Nile river.

    “‘Feh!’ said his wife. Enough!! I don’t want to hear any more. I mean, G-d is the father of the Jews, right? So why didn’t He step in? How could a father let that happen to his children!!!!

    “‘Her husband, Lipa, sat silently for a few minutes and finally answered. ‘Listen, I think we shouldn’t mix into G-d’s business. I mean, whatever He does is fine with me.

    “But his wife replied, ‘G-d can do what He wants but I don’t understand the suffering. What’s the point? And why do WE have to suffer now. Why doesn’t He just take us out of exile like He did back then? That’s fine with you??? Sounds cruel to me!!’

    “To which Lipa replied, ‘G-d knows what He’s doing. He has His time and I’m sure He’ll keep all His promises. Please, let’s just finish the Seder and then we’ll talk about it”

    “So they did” Said the Besh’t “They finished all the Matzot and four cups.

    Then, after the last cup of wine, when they were a bit drunk, Lipa stood up and declared, ‘My dear wife, I thought about it and …, you are RIGHT!!  Enough suffering!! I agree! Enough! It is time for G-d to keep His promise and save the Jews!!’ at which point Lipa and his wife stood up and danced.

    “So,” Concluded the Besh’t, “It was that dance that saved the Jews. I tried and tried to change the evil decree with no success. And those two simple Jews did something that even I couldn’t do!!”

    This answers our questions about Moshiach and building the Third Temple

    True, the arrival of Moshiach is in the hands of G-d. But, (so-to-speak) G-d is in our hands. Like the old couple in our story.

    This is the point of Moshiach; to activate all the Jewish people to have only one priority… to build the Temple where we can please G-d and ‘change His mind’. (see Lev.1:9 and Gen. 8:21).

    G-d’s desire is to be concealed. That is why He created the world. (The word for ‘world’ “OLM” is the same root as that for ‘concealment’)

    Our job is to ‘change this desire “His mind’ so He should be revealed and the world should be good.

    That is also the unique nature of the month of Nisan; spring season when everything blossoms. It is the month that the Jews were ‘born’ to be G-d’s people … and make the world ‘Blossom’ with G-dliness. (See the end of Rambam, Laws of Kings12:5).

    So it all depends on us… to do all we can to change G-d’s mind and not much is missing! It could be that just one more good deed, word or even thought is enough to tip the scales and reveal….


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    Vayakhel-Pekudei: Hashem Is In Our Hands!