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Adar 24, 5783
March 17, 2023     
Candlelighting Time 6:50 PM

            Rashi cites the Talmud that the sin of the Golden Calf will plague us for all generations. The gravity of their iniquity was such that a deeply engrained flaw had penetrated into their construal. Although we had so passionately stated that we were primed and ready to accept the Torah without even knowing the details, shortly afterwards we seemingly dissented and displayed a lack of trust in Hashem. Even though we were under duress, having apparently lost our cherished leader, nonetheless, we failed to live up to our expectations. And that was forgiven but not forgotten!

            Moshe finally returned and witnessed the devastation that had occurred and threw down the Tablets that contained Hashem’s Word in protest of our incredibly ruinous sin. Even Hashem in His great mercy ‘sought’ to destroy us and yet Moshe beseeched and implored that we should be forgiven and miraculously we were saved. It would appear that we would never absolutely return to our most favored nation status after that debacle. 

            However, that changed with the mitzvah to construct the Mishkan and prepare for Hashem to reside with us during our sojourn in the desert. We realized that this was the chance of a lifetime to reinstate that which we had abandoned when we so foolishly built the Golden Calf. And the nation was enthralled to donate their valuables of gold, silver, copper and a variety of valuable assets in order to erect a repository for Hashem and merit His presence within our camp.

            Finally the time arrived that every detail of the Mishkan had been carried out meticulously and yet they were unable to set it up. They brought the entire finished product to Moshe and lo and behold, with extraordinary strength and the help of Hashem he erected the Mishkan. Immediately Hashem’s Presence was extant as they witnessed the Cloud that embodied Hashem’s Manifestation hovering over the Mishkan and His Reverence pervaded its interior.

             And as the Torah points out, the intensity of presence was so dominant and overwhelming that not even Moshe was able to enter the Mishkan presently. Although after the incidence of the Golden Calf when Moshe had distanced himself from the people Hashem’s ‘Cloud’ had followed him as he walked to his new residence outside the camp, now he was unable to enter. Eventually after this display of the enormity of Hashem’s presence he was allowed to enter but not immediately. Furthermore, the Torah emphasizes that we only traveled and camped based upon the Cloud resting upon the camp and when it uplifted we would prepare for departure to our next destination. Surely this sight was indelibly imbedded in the minds of each and every individual that beheld this once in a lifetime spectacle.

            This was a display of the love Hashem has for us. Even though we had mutinied and created the need for a new set of Tablets that required Moshe to first daven for forty days for our clemency and then another forty days till we received full amnesty with a totality of joy and happiness from Hashem, it all happened. We are never lost although we may on occasion temporarily falter, we leap back with renewed energy and determination to avoid our errors in the future. This is our true signature and it has made us great and eventually it will lead to the complete and final stage of our journey in this world.   


The sockets that supported the walls of the Mishkan were made from the collective silver donations of the people. The Mishkan was truly buoyed and upheld with the joint stanchion of all. CHOFETZ CHAIM