Vol 6.24 - Vayakhel 2                        Spanish French Audio  Video

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This is the word that the L-rd has commanded: me to say to you”.

The reason that "Moshe did no work whatsoever in the Mishkan" (Rashi Pekudei 39:33) and the lesson for those whose occupation is Torah (Yoshvei Ohel) to study with others.


1. On the verse (Ex. 35:4): "This is the word that the L-rd has commanded to say”, Rashi writes:

This is the word that the L-rd has commanded: me to say to you”.

The commentators explain that Rashi’s issue here is that, from the simple understanding of the verse, it appears that the word "This is the word that the L-rd has commanded” refers (באציט) to the (following word) “to say” (״לאמר״).

In other words, that G-d commanded Moshe that he should say to the Yidden (the words) “Take from yourselves an offering for the L-rd etc.”

This, however, is problematic:

G-d‘s command was “take My Terumah-offering” (“lashon nistar” - third person wording) and not 'Take from yourselves an offering” (“lashon nochach”- second person wording). Therefore, how can the verse then say that: “This is the word that the L-rd has commanded” - that these exactly are the words of G-d?

Therefore Rashi states:

“This is the word that the L-rd has commanded me to say to you” -that “this is the word that the L-rd has commanded” is “to me” (and does not refer to the word “to say” (״לאמר״).

And this is what the command “take My Terumah-offering” (third person wording) means. And the word “to say” (״לאמר״) is a new aspect that means “say to you” (״לאמר לכם״).

In other words, that which I (Moshe) need to “say to you” is (indeed the same matter, but in a different wording -) “Take from yourselves an offering” etc.

This explanation, however, is not straightforward:

1. Even if one were to learn that “the word that the L-rd has commanded” actually refers to the “to say”, it still would not be proof that G-d commanded that he use the wording “Take from yourselves an offering”, because the simple understanding of “the word that the L-rd has commanded” etc. is (not necessarily that this is G-d‘s speech and wording, but rather) that this is the thing (the aspect) which G-d commanded.

2. Rashi wrote his commentary in a simple manner, so that even a “five-year old (studying Chumash), could understand his intent. And since the aforementioned explanation is not implied in the simple meaning of Rashi’s words – Rashi should have, accordingly, added and written:

“to say to you the command for the donation to the Mishkan” (in other words, the aspect of the donation for the Mishkan), or some other (clear) wording, etc.

2. The explanation of this is:

The beginning of the aspect of “Moshe assembled (Vayakhel) the whole community of the children of Israel”, was (plainly) in order to give over (איבערצוגעבן) to the Yidden, G-d‘s command for the making of the Mishkan. But for this, He prefaced - as a side issue – the warning (אזהרת) of Shabbat in order to make known that the construction of the Mishkan does not override Shabbat (docheh Shabbat).

Therefore it is reasonable to say that in the continuation

"These are the things that the L-rd commanded to make”,

Moshe meant

(not just the “admonition regarding Shabbat”, but)

also the command for the making of the Mishkan.

(And on the contrary, this seemingly refers mainly to the making of the Mishkan, for this was the purpose of the “assembly” (Vayakhel)).

However, if this is so, it is problematic:

Why did Moshe need to repeat (נאכאמאל) “the word that the L-rd has commanded”, when he already previously said: “these are the things that the L-rd commanded”?

Even if one were to learn (with difficulty) that “these are the things” only refers to the “warning of Shabbat”, it is not understood:

Since even previously he told the Yidden: “these are the things that the L-rd commanded”, it does not fitting to say (referring to the making of the Mishkan) “this is the word that G-d commanded”, from which it implies that only “this” (the making of the Mishkan) is “the word that G-d commanded” when even the previous speech was “the things that G-d commanded”?

It is also not understood:

Why does it specifically state the word “to say” in our verse and not in the verse “these are the things that G-d commanded” – for even the “warning of Shabbat” was told by G-d to Moshe, to repeat to the Yidden?

3. On this Rashi explains:

The reason that Moshe separated the words “this is the word” (which refers only to making of the Mishkan) from “these are the things that the L-rd commanded” (in which the warning of Shabbat is also included) is because by the phrase “this is the word”, the command was “to say”.

In other words, the explanation is “(commanded) me to say to you”.

The command on Shabbat was also to Moshe himself. However the command for the making of the Mishkan was just “(commanded) me to say to you”- that Moshe should say to the Yidden, that they should make the Mishkan. However, Moshe himself was not commanded on this.

Accordingly it is understood why Rashi states further on that “Moshe did not do any work in the making of the Mishkan”.

This is seemingly puzzling:

How is it possible that Moshe would not fulfill G-d‘s command of 'Take from yourselves an offering”?

Yet according to the aforementioned, it is understood. For since the command was “to say to you” (that the Yidden should make the Mishkan), Moshe was not allowed to do so.

4. Yet this itself requires explanation:

Why indeed was the command for the making of the Mishkan just “to say to you”, which is not like all the other Mitzvot, on which Moshe was also commanded?

One must also understand:

Why did Moshe not experience any distress (תלישות הדעת) for not “doing any work for the making of the Mishkan”, like we find by Aharon - that he was distressed (״חלשה דע­תו״) for not participating in the dedication of the leaders/nesi’im?

The explanation of this (in the Pnimiyut of the matter) is:

The aspect of Moshe is Torah. Therefore he was not allowed to occupy himself with the making of the Mishkan, similar (and as a kal v’chomer from) the law that “one may not suspend the studies of school children even for the building of the Temple” (״אין מבטלין תשב״ר לבנין ביהמ״ק״).

And since Moshe was not allowed to participate in the making of the Mishkan because he was higher than the Mishkan, therefore it automatically follows that it was not applicable for him to experience distress over this.

5. On the other hand, even though Moshe was not allowed to engage in the making of the Mishkan, nevertheless, he still received the command to “say to you” –  to convey to the Yidden the sections of the Torah that speak about the making of the Mishkan. Moreover, the entire purpose (צוועק) of “that the L-rd has commanded me” – Namely G-d‘s saying the sections (the part of the Torah) to Moshe, was in order that Moshe “say to you” and if this was not so, those sections would also not have been spoken to Moshe.

The lesson from this is:

There are Yidden that, because of their level, can (and therefore, must) conduct themselves in a manner of “Torah is their occupation” (״תורתו אומנתו״).

Yet they must realize that even though their aspect is Torah,

because of which they are not involved (פארנעמען) with Avodat HaBirurim (refining the sparks) – to make from physical things (gold, silver and copper etc..) a sanctuary for G-d, because Torah is higher – nevertheless,

they may think that they are exempt from Spreading Torah (הפצת התורה).

On this comes the lesson that in the “say to you” – in saying to Yidden the parshiot of Torah - that they are also obligated. And on the contrary, specifically through the Avodah of “say to you”, dedicating time to study Torah with other Yidden, they will have the Help of Heaven (סייעתא דשמיא) also in their own studies. They will attain (in quantity) even more parts of Torah and they will attain (in quality) in the areas of Torah that they already possess – they will be able to focus on the subjects truthfully, so much so that they will also understand the subjects the way they are in their source.

And this is similar to Moshe. For because of the “say to you”, he achieved (not just the “G-d commanded me”, but also) the “As shown to you on the mountain” – that he was shown the aspects, the way they are Above.

mSichas Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel , Shabbat Parshat Pekudei 5730

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