YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org
Te achash and rue Simcha
Rabbi Meir Goldwich
In a deeper sense, however, he Sancuary is no a replacemen or he golden cal a all bu a rue anidoe or is roo causes. Trough he creaion o he golden cal, he Israelies atemp o esablish disance beween hemselves and heir Creaor. Frighened by he perceived loss o Moshe and ﬁrmly convinced o heir inabiliy o relae o he divine direcly wihou a go-beween, he naion erecs he golden cal o ac as an inermediary beween hemselves and God. In conras, he Mishkan represens man’s abiliy o draw close o God. Properly undersood, each and every deail o he Sancuary and is associaed riuals and uensils carries he message o God’s accessibiliy o man. In a brillian sroke, God no only responds o he che ha’egel bu prominenly weaves he correcive o ha ailing ino he very abric o Jewish radiion.
In spie o he atraciveness o he Midrashic approach as a raionale or he creaion o he Sancuary, numerous oher scholars, such as he Ramban, demur.Unwilling o accep he noion ha he cenral concep o he Bei Hamikdash could possibly have emerged afer he ac, as a concession o he weakness o he Israelies, hese auhoriies mainain ha God inended all along o creae a cenral locaion or his worship.In he words o Nehama Leibowiz, hese scholars “rejec he idea ha he Sancuary was in any way an aferhough, a cure or heir [he Israelies’] sickness, aonemen or sin, or compromise beween he idea o spiriualiy and he realiy o man’s maerial concepions, demanding a orm o worship limied o a deﬁnie space-ime dimension. On he conrary, he insiuion o he Sancuary was here rom he beginning, a deliberae ac o divine grace and houghulness designed o srenghen he immanence o His presence [my ialics].”Te Ramban and his colleagues mainain ha he Mishkan and, hereore, he enire concep o a Bei Hamikdash are much oo signiﬁcan no o have been par o God’s iniial plan or His people. Far rom being he source o he Mishkan, he sin o he golden cal acually hreaens is creaion. Only God’s orgiveness or ha sin reinsaes His ull relaionship wih he Israelies and enables he Sancuary o be buil.
Tose scholars who view he Mishkan as par o God’s original blueprin or His chosen people also mainain ha he Sancuary is in no way mean o be perceived as an inermediary beween he Israelies and heir God. Man’s abiliy o relae o his Creaor direcly is, afer all, a hallmark o Jewish aih. Te Mishkan, is symbols and is riuals are, insead, ools, careully devised o assis he Israelies in he enerprise o seeking he divine.
his Shabba we read Parasha erumah, which begins he second hal o seer Shemo and is discussion o he Mishkan, is vessels, and he bigdei kehunah. Our parasha begins by describing he maerials donaed by B’nei Yisrael or he Mishkan – gold, silver, ec. Among hese maerials is he skin o an animal called he “achash.” Tis skin was used, he orah ells us, or he ouermos covering o he Mishkan: “oro echashim milmalah.”Tese echashim exised only “l’ﬁ sha’ah,” as he gemara ells us in Shabba 28b. Te gemara goes on o describe he achash halachically as a saek chayah saek b’heimah, and physically as having one horn proruding rom is orehead as well as having beauiul, muli-colored skin, o which i was very proud. Tis somewha lenghy descripion o he achash by Chazal leads us o our ﬁrs quesion: Why do Chazal se aside so much space o explain exacly wha kind o animal he achash was? Afer all, his is no longer relevan, since Hashem creaed i only emporarily. Why is i so imporan or us o know oday exacly how he achash looked?Te midrash (Bereishi Rabbah) eaches ha when Hashem eviced Adam and Chava rom Gan Eden, He ashioned clohing or hem. Te midrash explains ha hese clohes also came rom he skin o he achash. Our second quesion: Wha is he connecion beween he covering Hashem ashioned or Adam and Chava and he covering we are commanded o ashion or he Mishkan? A hird, ﬁnal quesion: we ﬁnd ourselves a he beginning o Adar. Chazal each us ha when Adar comes in, we increase our joy. Cerainly hey don’ inend ha we pump up he volume or ha we dance longer. Cerainly