Veyakhel-Pekudai

  1. They bring gold, but not just any gold. Gold that was used as body ornaments (35:22). Why mention this? Perhaps because we see a specific elevation of this gold from body ornaments to ornaments of G-d.
  2. 36:6-7 They don’t have too much stuff, they have done too much work. How is this possible. You have stuff made and when it’s done it’s done. But it isn’t. How can you have too much work? Well, think about upcoming Pesach cleaning. You can always keep going. But at some point, it’s enough work – perhaps too much. The spiritual reality of Kedushah is being pushed off by the continual physical creation. In reality, you need to stop physically creating in order to create the Kedushah.
  3. Why are we repeating the description of the Mishkan? Plato and Aristotle have two concepts of the world. It is either a pale version of the perfect version of things (Plato) or we create our own categories to assemble common attributes that define sets of things (Aristotle). Kedusha is Platonic. There is an ideal form, described by G-d. But our reality of Kedusha is often a poor imitation. The reason we repeat here is to show that the Mishkan wasn’t a poor copy. Both worlds, the physical world and the Kedusha world, were perfectly matched.
  4. Oholiab doesn’t work with stones or metal. He works with wood etc… Only Betzalel could work with those. Why? Because it is one thing to bring Kedusha to things that had life (wool, wood etc…). But it is an entirely different level to create the spiritual out of the lifeless. Only Betzalel is great enough to do that.
  5. We see here the gold from the body ornament being used as a body ornament. Sure, the Kohen is being ornamented. But who cares? How is this an elevation? Is it enough that G-d commands the robe? I think not. Instead, we have to recognize that the robe is a uniform. It is a dressing up not of a man, but of a position. It isn’t creating vanity in the person, but downplaying the person in favor of their G-dly condition. This is a tremendous rise in the spiritual level of the gold.
  6. In 39:42-43 we see that Moshe sees the work and blesses the people. What’s the big deal? Think about your kids. It is one thing to command them every step of the way to make something. It is something very different to give them instruction at the beginning and have them go from beginning to end without being led or pushed. If your kids make a birthday card with you helping every step of the way that is one thing. If they run the process themselves, it is a totally different level. That is, in the Jewish people, a whole new level of creation especially in contrast to the sin of the Egel.
  7. Why mention twice that the honor or weight of Hashem fills the Mishkan. How does cloud stop Moshe from entering. If we look back at the pillars of cloud and fire we can see them as tornados and fire tornados. They have tremendous power and violence. They are the result of a vortex up high being creating from contrasting winds. They don’t settle. But in settling we can see tremendous power originating from within the storm itself. It is the glory of Hashem, filling the mishkan and with the resulting store physically stop Moshe from entering. We mention it twice – first to mention the cloud settling and then to mention that its source of power, ultimately, is what prevents Moshe’s entry.

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