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Chumash Shmot

(5749) (Ex. 35:18): "The stakes". The reason that Rashi does not rely on his explanation that is "in the place of its command" in the end of Parshat Terumah (Ex. 27:19): "To insert them and to tie into them the ends of the drapes into the ground, so that they will not sway in the wind".
The lesson that we must complete our Avodah in the area of Chinuch and in bringing the Geulah.


With regard to the construction of the Mishkan as described in Vayakhel , Rashi notes:1 “I have already explained the gifts that were given for the construction of the Mishkan and the actual manner of its construction in the place i.e., the Torah portions of Terumah, Tetzaveh and the beginning of Sisa that they were first commanded.”

Nevertheless, we find that Rashi explains many details here as well.2 Understandably, this is because these details could not be discerned from “the place that they were first commanded.”

Accordingly, we must understand Rashi ’s commentary on the verse3 “The stakes for the tent, the stakes for the enclosure, the tying ropes.” Rashi notes that the purpose of the stakes and ropes was “to imbed and tie down the tapestries in the ground, that they not be swayed by the wind.”

Why does Rashi offer this commentary here when he already explained it earlier?4

Previously5 Rashi stated that the “illuminating oil” as well required the labor of those who were “wise of heart,” since this oil was different from other oils. It is thus apparent that all the things described here had to be done by those who were “wise of heart.”

This raises an obvious question. Why was it necessary for the stakes and ropes to be made specifically by those who were “wise of heart”?

Rashi answers by explaining that the stakes were an integral part of the tapestries, since without them the tapestries would “sway in the wind.” Since it was expressly the “wise of heart” who were capable of making the tapestries, it followed that they wanted to make a complete thing. Thus they made not only the tapestries but also all the fasteners, including the stakes and ropes.

There is a lesson here for all those who are “wise of heart,” and who occupy themselves in the field of education. Not only should they seek to have many disciples,6 but they must know that their obligation is not complete if they simply impart wisdom.

Rather, they must take pains to help their disciples be complete individuals in all aspects. They should see to it that even those things that seem insignificant — like the stakes and ropes, which one would think didn’t require those who are “wise of heart” — be found within their students.

It is only when they complete their task of seeing to all the needs of their disciples that they can be assured that their teaching will have a lasting impact, and that their students will not be “swayed by the wind.” This means that even when there are ill winds in the world, their students will remain true to the teachings of their instructors — they will not be fazed by external pressures and evil influences that could destroy all that their mentors sought to inculcate within them.

When this is accomplished, it is the best sign that the teachings of the master have permeated the essence of the disciple — every part has been infused with the master’s instruction.

This concept is also alluded to when the Sages declare7 that “A mitzvah is only called after the individual who concludes it.” Even when the most important part has already been completed, the mitzvah has yet to be fulfilled if there remains a small detail that still requires doing. He who completes the mitzvah, even though he adds only the final touch, has the entire mitzvah called after his name.

The reason for this is as explained above. Until a matter is concluded in its entirety, it is considered to be lacking in its totality. For until something is done thoroughly and permeates the individual in his entirety, we are not sure that the person will be able to withstand the evil winds. It is essential for the good to permeate an individual’s entire being.

Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. XXXI, pp. 200-202.
1.    .Shmos 35:2.

2.    See verse 11 et al.

3.    Verse 18.

4.    .Ibid., 27:19.

5.    .Ibid., 35:14.

6.    See Avos 1:1; Rambam, Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:2; Hilchos Talmud Torah LeAdmur HaZakein 1:8.

7.    .Tanchuma, Eikev 6; see also Sotah 13b.


1. In the beginning of the “Command to construct the Mishkan” in our Parsha, Rashi writes (Ex. 35:5):

“I already explained the offering for the Mishkan and its work in the place of their command” (In Parshat Terumah and Tetzaveh and the beginning of Parshat Tisa).

Nevertheless, we find many details in the making of the Mishkan that Rashi decided to explain in our Parsha

(like in the verse (35:11): “The Mishkan, its tent and its cover” where Rashi explains what the “Mishkan”, the “Tent” and “its cover” are, and other details).

The reason is understood, for these things are impossible to understand in the “place where they were commanded”. Therefore Rashi needed to explain them here. And the commentators on Rashi explain that this applies to many of Rashi explanations here (namely the reason that Rashi does not rely on the explanation in the “place where they were commanded”).

According to this, one must examine the verse: (Ex. 35:18): "the stakes of the Mishkan and the stakes of the courtyard, and their ropes (״מיתריהם״)” where Rashi explains:

The stakes: (used) to drive (into the ground) and to tie the ends of the curtains with them into the ground, so that they (the curtains) would not move with the wind.”

For this aspect was already explained by Rashi in the “place of their command” at the end of Parshat Terumah on the verse (Ex. 27:19): “All the vessels of the Mishkan . . . all of its stakes and all the stakes of the enclosure, shall be made of copper”:

“A sort of copper nail (נגרי נחשת) made for the Yeriot of the tent and for the curtains of the courtyard which were tied to (these stakes) with ropes wound all the way around their (i.e., the curtains') bottom edges so that the wind should not lift them”.

Why does Rashi need to repeat and explain here again, the aspects of the “stakes of the Mishkan”?

(And also, regarding “their ropes” (״מיתריהם״)” mentioned previously, where it is not explained in the verse, in the “place of their command”, Rashi did not need to explain it here, since he already explained there that the stakes were “tied with ropes wound all the way around their bottom edges”)

2. One must also examine the precise wording of Rashi that the “stakes” were “to drive (לתקוע) and to tie the ends of the curtains etc.”

Previously, at the end of Parshat Terumah, Rashi writes regarding the Yeriot:

“I do not know whether they were put in the ground (תחובין) or whether they were only tied and hung (ותלויין), and their heaviness weighted down the lower edges of the Yeriot so that they did not move around in the wind” (but afterwards he concludes) “I say, however, that their name proves that they were put in the ground (תקועים בארץ), and for this reason they are called stakes. And the following verse supports my view: "A tent that shall not be taken down, whose stakes will never be pulled up."

According to this, one must say (and it is indeed written in the commentators) that when Rashi writes here “to put” (״לתקוע״), it is in accordance with his previous conclusion that they were “put in the ground (תקועים בארץ)”.

However, one must examine this according to the version of the previous Rashi, that states that the conclusion of the explanation there: “I say” is not from Rashi himself, but rather from his student. If so, why does Rashi write concisely there, yet here concludes that they were put in the ground (תקועים בארץ)?

And even according to the widely disseminated version of the previous Rashi, that states that the conclusion of the explanation is from Rashi himself, one must explain this according to what is written in another place - that since Rashi begins his explanation with an expression of doubtI do not know whether they were put in the ground” (תחובין)

(and he does not immediately write according to the conclusion that they were put in the ground),

 this proves that the proofs that Rashi cites that they were “put in the ground”

(Namely the proofs that: from that which “their name proves” and also the verse . . (that) “supports my view”)

are not complete proofs –

One must therefore understand, what forced Rashi here, in our Parsha to decide that it means “to put” (״לתקוע״) and not to take an expression that does not have a decision in the aforementioned doubt, like:

 (similar to the beginning of Rashi’s wording in his commentary to Parshat Terumah there)

“made for the curtains of the courtyard which were tied with ropes wound all the way around their bottom edges so that the wind should not lift them”, or something similar.

3. One could say the explanation of this is - simply:

On the verse (ibid, 14): “and the oil for lighting”, Rashi explains:

“That too required wise-hearted people because it was different from other oils”

From this it is understood that, that all the things delimited there, required wise hearted people, specifically, to make them.

(With this, one can explain a change in the language of the verse. For previously in Parshat Terumah, it writes there: “All the vessels of the Mishkan in all its service, all of its stakes etc.” and also in Parsha Pekudei, when Bnei Yisroel brought the Mishkan and all its vessels to Moshe, it states at the conclusion of the episode:

and all the vessels of the service of the Mishkan

Whereas here, in our Parsha, it does not mention “all the vessels of the Mishkan”.

Yet according to the aforementioned, it is understood simply:

The “vessels of the Mishkan”, mentioned at the end of Parshat Terumah are (as Rashi writes there) the vessels that “which were needed for setting it up and for taking it down, e.g., hammers (מקבות) for driving stakes and posts.”. And for this, wise hearted people were not required, for they are common instruments that are found even among those who are not wise hearted people).

Accordingly it is puzzling:

Why were “wise-hearted people” needed for making the “stakes” and the “ropes”?

In order to answer this, Rashi explains that the stakes were a non-removable part of the Yeriot themselves, since without them, they would “move with the wind” (נעות ברוח). Therefore it is understood that since “wise-hearted people” were needed to make the Yeriot, they did not suffice with just making the critical parts of the Yeriot, but they completed them in a manner that they would be a complete article in all its particulars. In other words, they did not just make the curtains themselves, but also all of the clasps, even to the stakes and the ropes that were necessary to tie them so that they would not move with the wind.

According to this one can explain the reason that Rashi is precise here in writing that the stakes were “to put them in the ground” (״לתקוע״). In other words that they were driven into the ground (and not just that “they were hung (ותלויין), and their heaviness weighted down the lower edges of the Yeriot”) – for in this manner, it is emphasized more, that they are part of the setting (construction) of the Yeriot (since through them, the Yeriot were connected to the ground). Whereas, according to the explanation that they were “tied and hung and their heaviness weighted down” on them, the stakes were an additional part of the Yeriot (that were hung with them (through their heaviness that weighed down”).

4. From this there is a lesson for the “wise-hearted person” in each generation regarding the Avodah of Chinuch – namely that the obligation rests upon them to establish many students (להעמיד תלמידים הרבה) as Rambam rules that it is a “Mitzvah incumbent on every wise person (כל חכם וחכם) of Yisroel to teach all the students, even though they are not his sons”. For the obligation of the wise person is not fulfilled by just teaching the student those things that are within his ability (by virtue of his great wisdom) to impart to him.

But rather, one must be truly a “wise-hearted person” - one who worries that the fruits that he has cultivated be complete in all parts, so much so that even the aspects that appear to be superfluous and external – like the stakes and the ropes, which, seemingly, do not require a “wise-hearted person” – nevertheless are, imbued within the student with the epitome of completeness.

And only when one has “completed” the Avodah of developing the student to such a degree that he has imparted to him even the most external parts, can there be the certainty and trust that it will be an everlasting thing that “will not move in the wind”.

For even when there are winds blowing in the world, nevertheless the student will stand steadfast in fulfilling the directives of his teacher. And this is a sign that the lessons of the teacher have permeated the essence of the student, so much so that there has not remained one particular from him that has not permeated him.

This is similar to the saying of the Alter Rebbe on the verse:

“Because (עֵקֶב from the word “heel”) Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My instructions” -

that Avraham Avinu “heard” (״שמע״) G-d’s command in every aspect of his entire being – his head, body and foot – so much so that even his heels “heard” (״שמעו״) G-d’s command.

This is also alluded to in the saying of the Sages that a Mitzvah is only called “upon the person who completes it” (אלא על שם הגומרה).

For even when the main aspect of the thing has already been completed, and there is just lacking a small detail to complete it entirely - nevertheless, since the entire Mitzvah has not been completed - it has not been fulfilled. Conversely, the person who actually completes the Mitzvah, even though he only completed a small part of it – nevertheless, in this case, the entire Mitzvah is called specifically on his name. This is like the aforementioned, that until there is the complete thing – it is not considered that it is (complete but that it is just) lacking a small part – but rather it is considered as if the thing is lacking in its entirety, since there is no certainty that the thing will endure against all the winds that blow against it. Therefore it is necessary that the thing be imbued in his complete being in entirety (בכל הציור קומה שלו).

And from this there is also a great encouragement (עידוד) for this generation, the generation that is the heel of Moshiach (דרא דעקבתא דמשיחא). For even though we are in the generation of the “heels” (״עקביים״) compared to the previous generations – (as it states) “This generation is worthy?” (אכשור דרא בתמי), nevertheless, specifically though our Avodah in completing the refining, of the heels –

and like the stakes that are in the ends of the Yeriot, that through them they were tied and set into the ground (בארץ) –

this will complete the Avodah that is necessary to bring the true and complete Geulah through our righteous Moshiach (even though this is only a part, (of a part) of the Avodah of the previous generations).

And a Mitzvah is only called upon the person who completes it - the generation that is the heel of Moshiach (דרא דעקבתא דמשיחא) – which is the completion of “our deeds and Avodah (of) the entire time of Galut” and this will actually bring the “epitome of completion . . of the days of Moshiach and the Resurrection of the Dead, speedily and in our time, mamosh.

mSichas Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel – Pekudei 5737




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