VOLUME 99 NUMBER 7
Adar (1) 3, 5782
February 4, 2022
Candlelighting Time 5:05 PM
The Aron is immediately introduced as the first of the vessels of the Mishkan. What was so significant about the Aron? Nachmonides explains that the sacred prominence of the nation obliged that we should have a structure which would house the presence of Hashem. Therefore, we merited to have the Mishkan in our midst which would subsequently be the place where we could encounter Hashem. The main force behind that theme was the Aron which contained the two stones upon which were written the Ten Commandments. What created such distinction for the Aron that it was upon it that Hashem ‘spoke’ to Moshe?
The Midrash explains that from the very beginning of creation Hashem ‘desired’ to descend into the world and enjoin us. Although Hashem of course doesn’t require for His raison d’etre to reside amongst us, rather it is for our benefit that Hashem lodges within our midst. The closer Hashem is to us, then our level of connection to Him is upgraded and we reach an apex of cognizance and hence, service which dictates our lives and enhances our existence. Therefore, from the very origination of mankind this was already in the planning.
Adam actually merited to have an extremely close relationship with Hashem and would have completed the world’s plan of existence. However, he sinned and was banished from the Garden of Eden. That exile actually signified the expulsion of mankind from its ability to relate to Hashem intimately.
The challenge throughout all the generations was to reestablish that proximity to our Creator that we unfortunately lost. The Midrash details the slow but ongoing ascension of Hashem’s presence from this world as we continuously rebelled against Hashem. Eventually, the extent of the world’s depravity was so tremendous, that His Presence was totally divorced from the realm of this world. However, the righteous people of our nation throughout the ages slowly but surely, due to their intense service to Hashem, strengthened us and overturned the previous mistake of Adam. This process which took many years was completed when Moshe was commanded to build the Mishkan and officially ‘invite’ Hashem to reside within our camp.
The ultimate objective of the Mishkan and our deserving of Hashem to dwell with us is, of course, the study of Torah. The purpose of the exodus from Egypt was to receive the Torah and then subsequently to reinforce our connection with Torah through the building of the Mishkan. The ultimate heights of Torah can only be realized when we attain a closeness to Hashem. Then the gates of wisdom of the Torah are accessible to us and we can fully immerse ourselves in the Torah and entirely gain from its profundity of insight and perception.
And this theme is captured from the Aron that was placed in the most sacred area of the Mishkan, containing within it the two Tablets which encompassed the immense treasure of knowledge and understanding that only Torah can endow us with. And we, the Jewish people, are the only nation in the entire history of the world that have had this incredible source of prudence and sagacity due to our special place of prominence amongst the nations of the world!
BYTE FOR SHABBOS
Moshe had difficulty understanding how to make the Menorah. Hashem showed him and then it says that the Menorah was made without Moshe. So why did Hashem show it to him? Moshe truly wanted to form the Menorah, but its difficulty surpassed his ability to do so. However, since he was passionate about making it, that indeed led to its eventual construction. S’FAS EMES