March 12, 2021
ADAR 28, 5781
Candlelighting Time 5:44 PM

            The ignominious episode of the Golden Calf weighed heavily upon the hearts and souls of the nation. Would they ever regain their original closeness to Hashem?
The Mishkan was the answer to their prayers. It would serve as the vehicle through which they would merit forgiveness. However, how was this to be done?

         Rav Sholomo Kluger poses the question why does the parsha begin with Moshe assembling the entire nation? He answers that when the nation assailed Ahron and demanded that he replace the lost Moshe with the Golden Calf, they all assembled and coerced him to do their bidding. Ahron acquiesced in view of the mob that had converged upon him realizing the state of emergency which existed since they had already murdered Chur who had refused to obey their mandate. Therefore, as an atonement Moshe gathered the nation for a positive reason.

            Furthermore, Moshe garnered the gold of the people for construction of various items for the Mishkan. This also served as penitence for the gold that the people ‘donated’ for the building of the Golden Calf. The very resource that had led them astray now was the instrument that promoted their return to Hashem.

            Additionally, even the language that Moshe employed in discussing the finalization of the Mishkan’s erection was also patterned to negate the destructive verbiage that was used involving the Golden Calf. The instigators stated to the masses, these are your gods Israel. Referring to the understanding that the Golden Calf was instituted as an auxiliary power to Hashem. Others that were totally devoted to the Golden Calf audaciously called out that this is your god Israel, ignoring Hashem’s presence within our ranks. Moshe announced that these are the things Hashem has commanded us to do. Later he says that this is the matter that Hashem has commanded. Therefore, we observe that in many ways Moshe and the entire nation struggled to eliminate the blotch of sin that was indelibly left by the Golden Calf fiasco. In thought, through the donations, speech, as Moshe addressed the people and in action, the assemblage of the nation for the inauguration of the Mishkan, in all aspects, absolution was the objective and when Hashem appeared and accepted the sacrificial rites done in the Mishkan, we understood that finally Hashem had acknowledged our repentance and we had reestablished out lost connection.

            The sinners involved with the Golden Calf also participated in three ways, action, speech and thought. Indeed, Nachmonides writes that the majority of the nation was implicated in that tragedy through their mental association. Others actually sacrificed to it and still, as mentioned before, some distinctly conveyed the theme that this creation was godly and gave them a connection on a divine level. Therefore, it was relevant and significant that the Mishkan rectified these three levels of sin.

            Therefore, we, bereft of the Mishkan and the subsequent Beis Hamikdash, must realize that our present remnant, our shuls and study halls, must represent the presence of Hashem in this threefold manner, our thoughts, speech and actions must always epitomize the importance of Hashem in a full and wholesome manner.


The Mishkan is referred to as the testimonial Mishkan. Indeed, it attested to the determination of the people to reverse their sin with a commitment of their resources to establish a ‘house’ for Hashem.