Vol 26.34 - Pekudei 2           Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5744) The reason according to Halacha for Moshe's counting the parts of the Mishkan (and why they did not give an accounting of the gold of the kohen's vestments)  


1. In the reason why we find in the Torah, regarding the work of the Mishkan and the construction of the Mishkan, that Moshe Rabbeinu gave an accounting of what was made from the silver and copper, that was donated for the Mishkan, but not what was made from the gold-

The Kli Yakar states that,

As soon as they completed all of the works of the Mishkan (in general and in detail) and everything that had to be made of the silver and copper was completed, Moshe

(Even before they made the priestly garments which were made of gold)

wanted to give an accounting of the silver and copper in order to, “remove himself from suspicion“. He did not want to wait to give an accounting (until the completion of the making of the priestly garments, and only then give and accounting of the gold together with the silver and copper).

The reason that he did not make any accounting of the gold immediately after the completion of the making of the priestly garments, is explained according to the words of the Midrash:

The Midrash states:

“When Moshe came to give an accounting for each thing, 1775 Shekalim were missing from the count, and he forgot and did not know what he did with them. A Heavenly voice came forth and said, “and from the thousand and the seven hundred and seventy-five (Shekalim) hooks for the columns were made, to fulfill what is stated in the verse, ‘This is not true of My servant Moshe, who is trusted in all My house”.

This means that although the Heavenly voice that said, “and from the thousand etc.” was regarding the silver (not the gold), nevertheless since the Yidden saw that Heaven testified about Moshe’s trustworthiness, they realized that they did not need a further accounting from the gold.

However, this explanation is not straightforward, for:

  1. The words, “the 1,775 (Shekalim)” (upon which the Heavenly voice testified about him) regarding the accounting of the silver (that were for the hooks) is written in Scripture, before the accounting given for the copper. Just as Moshe, after the priestly garments did not have to give an accounting of the gold, so too he should had to give an accounting for the copper!
  2. In any event, if there had to be a Heavenly voice to inform us that Moshe is “trustworthy” – why was this in a manner (-time) that he should be prevented (פארשפארן) from giving an account only from the gold? Why wasn’t it at such a time that would forestall him from giving any accounting – not even of the silver and copper? For in Heaven it was already known that they would suspect him.

2. One could say that “numbers of the Mishkan . . which were counted at Moshe’s command” is (not just giving an account, but rather) related to the essence of the aspect of the Mishkan.

To preface:

Seemingly why does the Torah repeat, in the beginning of the Parsha (immediately after the first verse)

“And Betzalel, son of Uri, son of Chur, of the tribe of Judah, had made all that the L-rd had commanded Moshe. With him was Oholiov, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, a craftsman and master weaver etc.”

We already know from beforehand that they were the ones that did the work?

According to the Midrash of the Sages, and also according to Rashi, the Torah is coming here to let us know that Betzalel “made all that the L-rd had commanded Moshe”- (as Rashi states):

“That Moshe had commanded him is not written here, but all that the L-rd had commanded Moshe,” meaning that even things that his master Moshe had not said to him, his Betzalel’s view coincided with what was said to Moshe on Sinai.”

This however, seemingly requires an additional explanation:

Why is this verse states between the verses,

  • “These are the numbers of the Mishkan .. which were counted at Moshe’ command” and the accounting,
  • “All the gold .. The silver of the community numbers”.

It should have been stated either before (the conclusion of Parshat Vayakhel) or after the verses where the accounting for the gold, silver and copper was given.

3. One could say that the explanation of this is:

The Mishkan had to be connected (שייך) to all Klal Yisroel. It is called in the beginning of our Parsha “the Mishkan of the Testimony” – “The Mishkan was testimony for Yisroel that the Holy One, blessed is He, forgave them for the incident of the calf, for He caused His Shechinah to rest among them”.

The donation of all the thirteen (or fifteen)

(Note The Torah lists fifteen commodities. “Gold, silver and copper; blue, purple and red-dyed wool, linen, and goat hair; red-dyed rams’ skins, tachash skins, and acacia wood; oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil and the incense; shoham stones and gemstones for setting in the ephod and in the breastplate. The Ro'm answers that, since the first three items all comprise different colored wools, they are considered one. The Chizkuni on the other hand, explains that the spices are not considered an independent gift, since they were mixed into the anointing oil, at which stage they were no longer visible; whereas others state that the precious stones were brought specifically by the princes, and were not counted as from all segments of the community)

items (for the making of the Mishkan) had to given in a manner that they completely belonged to the community (ציבור), and not remain related to an individual. This was accomplished by bringing them to Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the leader of all Yisroel. Through this, the entire Terumah offering that the Yidden brought became the articles of the community (נכסי ציבור).

After Moshe gave the donations for the Mishkan to Betzalel and Oholiov (and to each wise-hearted person) to make with these donations all the works of the Mishkan,

(and especially if one were to say that they did not take any wage for their labor)

though their work, they acquired a semblance of ownership (בעלות) on the works of the Mishkan since, “a worker’s name is on the vessel” (שם האומנין על המלאכה ) (Note: a craftsman acquires ownership rights through the enhancement of vessels) (even though it did not completely leave the ownership of the community).

Therefore, there had to be “numbers of the Mishkan . . which were counted at Moshe’s command”:

After Betzalel et al. completed the work of the Mishkan, there had to be an action (the account and counting through Moshe Rabbeinu) in all the works of the Mishkan, in order that they be completely, the articles of the Mishkan, which are a testimony for Yisroel – Klal Yisroel. Through this, they were taken out of the relationship that was created through the work of Betzalel and Oholiov and all the wise-hearted persons – to completely become the articles of the community.

(Another aspect: Not only was their sanctification as snctified articles, in general, required to be through Moshe Rabbeinu. But even the unique aspect for which each part was made for, had to be through Moshe Rabbeinu. This was accomplished through Moshe’s counting, after the work of Betzalel etc.)

Therefore, the Torah pauses and states immediately after the verse, “These are the numbers of the Mishkan. . which were counted at Moshe’ command”, the two verses,

“And Betzalel . . With him was Oholiov etc.”

before it speaks regarding the accounting of all the gold etc. and the accounting of the silver and copper etc.

With this, the essence and the necessity of the counting through Moshe, is understood:

4. All this relates to the work of the Mishkan. However, with regard to the priestly garments, one finds that immediately at the time of the command to Moshe concerning the priestly garments, it states,

“And you bring near to yourself (your brother Aaron etc.”),

upon which Rashi states,

“After you complete the work of the Mishkan.”

This means that the priestly garments and their making

(which through the priestly garments the aspect of “to sanctify him, so that he serve Me” regarding Aaron and his sons)

was not in the middle (of the work), or at all from the work of the Mishkan. Their making had to specifically be, “after you complete the work of the Mishkan”.

One could say that the reason for this preciseness is:

The initiation of the sanctity of “serving Me” (in the Mishkan) can only be when there is an existence of a place where there can be “and I will dwell”. Consequently there can be, the possibility of the existence of “serving Me” - the priesthood meaning– to serve. Only then, can there be,

“To sanctify him: to bring him into the priesthood by means of the garments” (Rashi).

However, if there is still no existence of a place to serve, there is no aspect of the category of ‘Kohen’ and the sanctity of the Kohen in the Mishkan (nor the wearing of the garments which are a part and which complete their priesthood).

Similarly, this pertains to the making of the garments:

The phase (מציאות) of making the priestly garments is after there exists the completion of the work (the existence) of the Mishkan.

Accordingly, it is understood why it was not necessary for there to be an accounting (פוקד) (also) with regard to the (portion of) gold from which the priestly garments were made:

The essence and accomplishing of the “the numbers of the Mishkan” is, like the continuation of the verse, because it is the “Mishkan of the Testimony”, as aforementioned,

“Testimony for Yisroel that the Holy One, blessed is He, forgave them for the incident of the Calf, for He caused His Shechinah to rest among them”.

Therefore, it matters that the work of the Mishkan in which G-d “rests His Shechinah” should be a sanctification which is completely related to Klal Yisroel, without any relation to individuals (within Yisroel. Not even a relationship that is created through doing the work, as aforementioned).

Whereas, regarding the priestly garments, which are not a part of the work of the Mishkan, but rather related to the service of the Kohanim, although they also must be made from communal funds (ממון ציבור), nevertheless, the emphasis here, is not that they should not have any relation to those who do the work. For their being is not a part of the “Mishkan of the Testimony” – the work of the Mishkan.

According to this, that which we find a difference in the donation, is understood and fits:

Regarding the donations for the Mishkan, it states that they brought it all to Moshe. Then Betzalel, Oholiov, and all the wise-hearted men took them “from Moshe”.

Whereas the gold and the blue wool/Techailes etc. from which the priestly garments were made, even though it was “From the offering sanctified for My name”, nevertheless the verse states,

They shall take the gold”,

As Rashi states,

Those wise-hearted people, who are to make the garments, shall receive from the donors the gold and the blue wool from which to make the garments”.

5. According to the aforementioned, one can attain an additional explanation why the matter was specifically accomplished through Moshe.

Even though the aspect of transferring to the community wholeheartedly (מוסרו לציבור יפה יפה) in general is also accomplished when one gives the thing to a treasurer (גזבר) and so forth.

This is not just due to Moshe’s leadership, but rather (also) due to that which Moshe, of his own accord, did not require the atonement that was effected through the Mishkan.

Moreover, as has been discussed once, Moshe was the only one who had no connection to the Sin of the Calf, G-d forbid, not even in a manner of “one who has the ability to object” (״יש בידו למחות). Therefore, he did not need to rely on the aspect of the Mishkan of the Testimony -“Testimony for Yisroel that the Holy One, blessed is He, forgave them for the incident of the Calf”.

Therefore, all the other Yidden, due to that had to rely on the Mishkan for atonement - through their endeavor in the making of the Mishkan, created a connection from the things that were made from them- to the ones who did the work.

Because of this, there was a deficiency in the completeness of the sanctified objects as being totally belonging to communal articles. Therefore, in order to restore the articles to being completely belonging to the community (even after their making), it had to be accomplished specifically through Moshe. So much so, that even the erecting of the Mishkan was specifically though Moshe, as it states, “they brought the Mishkan to Moshe etc.” Everything was brought to Moshe and the Mishkan was erected specifically through him.

6. One can say an additional reason why this is specifically connected to Moshe:

The innovation of the Mishkan, over the other Mikdashot/Sanctuaries is in that which it is eternal, as the Talmud states,

“When the first Temple was built, the Tent of Meeting was sequestered, including its boards, its clasps, and its bars, and its pillars, and its sockets”

The reason for this is because the Mishkan is the work of Moshe. Therefore, it is not applicable that it should be nullified (בטל).

Therefore, each part and detail of the making had to have an accounting by Moshe after their making, in order that it should be an eternal aspect.

Whereas, regarding the priestly garments, its aspect is not that the garments should remain eternal for generations. For they are just a (necessary) part in the service of the Kohanim who serve in the Beit HaMikdash. Therefore, we do not find that they were hidden with the Tent of Meeting - the Ohel Mo’ed and the Kerashim/Planks etc.- the aspect of eternality.

7. One could say that this aforementioned explanation, in the innovation of, “the numbers of the Mishkan . . which were counted at Moshe’s command” –

namely that counting through Moshe accomplished the connection between the Mishkan and its vessels – to Moshe -

is also fitting with the inner explanation of, “These are the numbers of the Mishkan”, as the Alter Rebbe explains in the “Chassidisher Parsha” of the week – in Likkutei Torah:

The Alter Rebbe states there that the explanation of,

numbers of the Mishkan. . which were counted at Moshe’ command” …counted through Moshe” ״פקודי המשכן . . פוקד על פי משה״

is from the Talmudic statement:

“A man is obligated to visit/’Lifkod’ his wife (for the purpose of having relations when he is about to depart on a journey)” ( (חייב אדם לפקוד את אשתו (בשעה שהוא יוצא לדרך)

For “unification is called counting” (היחוד גק׳ פקידה)

(Namely that through “the numbers of the Mishkan. . which were counted at Moshe’s command”, the unification of the letters of G-d’s name Vav-Hei are accomplished representing the unification of Z’a and Malchut (Middot and kingship), and afterward the unification of the letters Yud-Hei (wisdom and understanding)).

One could say that this is also (and descended from them) that through, “counted at Moshe’s command”, there was effected a unification of the Mishkan with Moshe. It became one thing with Moshe Rabbeinu, as aforementioned, at length.

8. The aforementioned explanation in, “Pekudei”- from the expression, “A man is obligated to visit/’Lifkod’ his wife” – is not a separate explanation from the literal explanation (that it is from the word ‘counting’ and ‘account’). Rather they are interdependent.

How was this “visiting/Pekidah” and unification of the Mishkan with Moshe accomplished? It was through the aspect of counting (המנין).

One can understand this by prefacing, that seemingly, the two aforementioned explanations of “Pekudei” -“Counting” and “unification” - are contrary definitions:

  • “Counting” is the most outward and lowest level of the thing. Moreover, it emphasizes the boundary of the things which are counted, not more nor less.
  • Whereas the aspect of “visiting” and unification depicts the most inner unification. So much so that they become one flesh, an effluence which is above measure and boundary. So much so that through this, the power of Ein Sof (G-dliness) is drawn down below.

Since, however, these are two definitions of the same word, it is understood (as has been discussed many times) that

(In addition to that which they are opposite of one another- (and this is also the primary)

they are also connected and dependent upon each other.

The explanation of this is:

This represents the innovation of the Mishkan. For we take specifically limited things (מוגבלים), yet one imbues into the boundary/limitation, the (power of) infinite/Bli Gevul. So much so that it is in a manner of, “I will dwell in it”.

Simply speaking:

First the Mishkan was built, and afterward this caused the resting of the Shechinah from Above, as it states, “and the glory of the L-rd filled the Mishkan”. So much so that it was in a manner that “Moshe could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it etc.”

These two opposites are alluded to in the two explanations of “Pekudei”:

  • “Pekudei” from the word “counting” – in which Moshe Rabbeinu counted and made the accounting of the donations of the Mishkan. This depicts the boundary of the Mishkan.
  • “Pekudei” from the word visiting and unification – of the drawing down of the infinite/bli gevul (into boundary/gevul).

9. The inner explanation in the two aforementioned opposites of “Pekudei”, is not just that in the Mishkan, there were two opposites – gevul and bli gevul – but more than that:

Both became one thing:

  • The gevul itself (of the Mishkan) was not nullified of its boundary/limitation, and
  • Together with this, it became (one thing with) the bli gevul.

We see this visibly in the Ark, whose locations was the primary dwelling, the resting of the Shechinah. Yet “The place of the Ark is not included in the measurement” (מקום ארון אינו מן המדה).

(Note: Based on the measurement of the Holy of Holies being twenty square cubits, the Ark should not have fit inside. it was only through a miracle that it fit in the Holy of Holies).

The explanation of this is that not just in the place of the Ark, was there the revelation of the Shechinah (which is not part of the measurement).rather the place of the Ark itself was “not part of the measurement”.

Moreover, specifically when the Ark was in a measured state, with all its details (length, width, height),

as it states, “Two and one-half Amot long, one and one-half Amot wide, and one and one-half Amot high”

it was (at the same time) “not included in the measurement”.

This innovation of the Mishkan is that the gevul itself is (in reality) bli gevul.

This is the connection between the two explanations of the word “Pekudei”:

Moshe Rabbeinu made an exact accounting (גענויעס חשבון) of the donations to the Mishkan. This accounting itself

(which Moshe Rabbeinu accounted)

accomplished the visiting and unification, the drawing down of the Shechinah and holiness which is higher than the gevul in a manner of unification with the gevul – including that the gevul becomes eternal.

MSichas Shabbat Parshat Pekudei 5725, Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei 5743




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