It’s Never Enough

Adar (1) 24, 5782
February 25, 2022
Candlelighting Time 5:29 PM

            The nation was extremely excited to build the Mishkan and when they were asked to donate the gold, silver and copper necessary for its construction, they happily consented. In fact, they were so enthused, that the donations exceeded the need. Therefore, Moshe announced that the people should refrain from contributing more. The Torah states that it was too much and just enough. Certainly, that language appears to be contradictory. Was it just enough or too much? Chasam Sofer comments from the Midrash that it was through the blessing of Moshe that miraculously the amount of gold, silver and copper increased although it was not actually given.

            Ohr HaChaim explains that even though the amount donated was beyond the need, however, Hashem recognized the passion of the nation to be involved in the Mishkan and miraculously the extra quantity was factored into the Mishkan’s construction and the vessels as though it was the exact quantity needed.

            Kedushas Levi has a fascinating interpretation of this statement. The Midrash explains that the Mishkan was modeled after the heavens and earth and was a miniature embodiment of them. At the time of creation, the heavens were expanding due to the tremendous energy that was applied to them by Hashem at that time. The intensification was a result of Hashem’s colossal reservoir of strength and power. Hashem’s other characteristic which is to suppress was brought to bear and the cosmos ceased to enlarge and rather stabilized at the size that it presently is. The Mishkan, as a miniature ‘replica’ of the universe was also endowed with Hashem’s incredible force and energy and likewise, it would have been of infinite dynamism if not for the diminishment applied to it. Hence, the Mishkan was built and formed based upon the measurements that were specified and its enlargement was controlled on the same scale as that of the creation of the heavens and the earth.    

            The extraordinary people that were directly involved in the construction of the Mishkan possessed tremendous wisdom and intellect. Of course, Hashem endowed them with those unique capabilities, but they also maintained the appropriate essence of mind that allowed them to perform at a superior level of accomplishment. This extremely impressive workforce was at the core of the Mishkan’s success with the Divine assistance of Hashem powering this inimitable venture.

            Throughout the ages, our Sages have studied the miraculous nature of the Mishkan and its vessels which were endowed with transcendent abilities to impact the world and its reception of Hashem’s magnanimity. This then is the meaning that the Mishkan’s donations were adequate and superfluous. The Mishkan was contained within its parameters, yet its radiance of Divine aptitude extended beyond its limited measure to influence generations of the wise well beyond its walls for thousands of years to come. And all those who wish to drink of its wellsprings of wisdom and acumen have the opportunity to immerse themselves in its depth of sagacity and insight.


The parsha begins with Moshe amassing the people because the Mishkan was truly the amalgamation of the entire nation and its involvement in the Mishkan.                                                        S’FAS EMES