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Pekudei 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
Pekudei 5774
his week’s parsha begins wih an accoun o he maerials ha were donaed or he building o he mishkan and is componen pars, as we read: “Tese are he accounings o he mishkan o he esimony  which were couned by Moshe “ (Shemos 36:21). Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman HaLevi Epsein, in his commenary Maor VaShemesh, noes he use o he word ‘eileh,’ - hese - raher han ‘ve-eileh’ - and hese. Te rabbis ell us ha whenever i says eileh in he orah, wihou he connecing vav, ha which immediaely precedes his word is being rejeced. Wha, hen, is being rejeced here? Rabbi Epsein suggess ha here is an allusion here o he ac ha even afer he desrucion o he mishkan, and laer he emple, we are laer able o draw spiriual susenance hrough sudying he secions o he orah ha discuss is consrucion. Tese secions carry wihin hem his abiliy, o inuse us wih he spiriualiy inheren in he mishkan and he mikdash. However, in order o benefi rom hem in his way, we mus inves a grea amoun o effor in our sudy, and, each ime we approach hese secions, we mus sudy hem as i we have never sudied hem beore. Tereore, whenever we approach hese secions o he orah, we need o leave behind our previous effors a learning hem, and read hem compleely anew. Ta is  why he word eileh which implies a rejecion o ha which proceeds, is employed here by he orah. While his explanaion is inspiraional, i does no seem o be he real implicaion o he word eileh in his conex, since i does no relae o anyhing in he acual ex o he orah ha acually precedes his secion, bu o he effors one makes o sudy his secion. I would, hereore, like o sugges a differen approach. Te Midrash Shemos Rabbah a he end o parshas Pekudei (52:5), menions ha here was a ‘kipas ha-cheshbonos,’ or ‘ Arch o Accouns,’ ouside o  Yerusholayim, where people would go o make heir moneary calculaions, or, in modern parlance, o balance heir books. Te reason or his, says he midrash, is ha someimes he person’s finances may urn ou o be in arrears, which will cause him disress, and Yerusholayim is a place o happiness and rejoicing, as King David wroe o he ciy, “Beauiul in siuaion, he joy o he whole earh” (ehillim 48:3). One may hen ask, i his is so in regard o Yerusholayim, i mus cerainly be so in regard o he sie o he mishkan, especially according o he Rambam,  who says ha Yerusholayim is an exension o he emple. Cerainly he mishkan is no place o disress. Why, hen,  was an accouning made beore is consrucion? Perhaps his is he reason or he orah wriing ‘eileh’ in connecion  wih he accouning being made. Te midrash (Shemos Rabbah, 51:8) ells us ha he word eileh used here is in conras o he word ‘eileh’ used in connecion wih he inciden o he golden cal, or eigel, when he people said ‘hese are your gods, Yisroel’ (Shemos, 32:4). Te maerials donaed or he mishkan, in ac, came o aone or he donaions made or he eigel. Tus, he word ‘eileh,aside rom he ac ha i is he same word ha was used in connecion wih he eigel, also has he connoaion o rejecing ha which precedes i, namely, he accouning made a he sin o he eigel. Te accouning or he mishkan, hen, ar rom being a cause or disress, was a cause or celebraion, because i signified he aonemen he people achieved or he sin o he eigel, and he joy hey had in conribuing owards he building o he mishkan. Rabbi Epsein, in ac, does menion he possibiliy ha he word ‘eileh,’ as implying a rejecion o wha preceded, is a reerence o he eigel, bu rejecs ha explanaion,  because ha inciden is recorded in parshas Ki Sisa, no
Balancing the Books
Rabbi Josh Hoffman
Pekudei 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
in Vayakheil, which immediaely precedes our parsha. However, perhaps we can mainain his explanaion,  because he raumaic effec o he inciden o he eigel had ar-ranging repercussions, whose residual effec was sill el a he ime o he accouning made by Moshe. Rabbi Mordechai Rogov, z”l, who served or many years as a Rosh Yeshiva in he Hebrew Teological College in Chicago, menions, in his Aeres Mordechai, he midrash concerning he kipas ha-cheshbonos ha was locaed ouside o Yerusholayim, and explains i as reerring, on a broader plane, o moral reckonings o evens in Jewish hisory. People who do no recognize God’s providence in hisory become disressed over evens ha occur in heir lives as well as in he lives o he Jewish people, in general. Someone who undersands ha hese evens are brough abou hrough divine providence will no be disressed.  Yerusholayim, and he holy emple, are places where God’s providence is more eviden han elsewhere, and any doubs a person may have come only as a resul o his looking a he evens rom he poin o view o he naural order o hings. In Yerusholayim, where divine providence is more eviden, and a person realizes ha he orunes o he  Jewish naion are beyond he naural order o hings, he  will no be led o disress when viewing he sae hey are in. Rav Yoe Dov Soloveichik, z”l, also undersood his midrash in a broader way. In 1967, afer he grea vicory o he Six Day War, he received a leter rom a eacher o high school girls in Israel, asking why he, who had spoken and writen so eloquenly o he grea imporance o he Sae o Israel or he Jewish people, had no moved here. Rav Soloveichik answered ha, in ac, he and his  wie had decided o divide heir ime beween Boson and Israel, spending six monhs a year in he Holy Land. However, he said, his wie had died a ew monhs previous o his receiving he leter, and he was sill in a remendous sae o depression over her passing. He hen reerred o he midrash abou he kipas ha-cheshbonos ouside  Yerusholayim, and argued ha i even he disress caused  by an adverse moneary siuaion was enough o keep a person rom enering Yerusholayim, due o is naure as a place o joy, how much more so should his sae o depression over he loss o his wie preven him rom enering (see MiPninei HoRav, by Rav zvi Shacher, pages 198-199, or more on his leter). Wih he remarks o Rav Rogov and Rav Soloveichik in mind, we can reurn o our original quesion. Te inciden o he golden cal, as we noed, had a raumaic effec on he Jewish people. We have had occasion, in he pas (Nevor o Vayakheil-Pekudei, 5759), o discuss he remarks o Ramban in his commenary o  Vayakheil, as expanded upon by Rav Aharon Lichensein, in which he says ha he gahering o he people described in he beginning o ha parsha implies a reconciliaion o he people wih God, wih Moshe, and wih each oher. Te deah o so many people as a resul o he ragic inciden, and heir disancing rom God, sill reverberaed among hem, and here was a need o overcome hese effecs in order or a proper mood o joy o be atained or he orhcoming inauguraion o he mishkan, which he midrash reers o as an acual wedding day beween God and his people. Te reckoning o he maerial donaed or he mishkan, hen, consiued a rejecion o he earlier conribuions made o he eigel, and, on a broader plane, served o negae all o he reckonings and calculaions he people had been making in he shadow o ha ragic even. In his way, hey were readying hemselves or he day o heir greaes joy, he inauguraion o he mishkan. Perhaps, in his ligh, we can give an addiional reason or he delay o ha inauguraion rom he compleion o he  work, which ook place on he weny-fifh o Kislev, unil he firs o Nissan in he ollowing year. In he pas (see Nevor o parshas Pekudei, 5763), we explained his delay on he basis o he remarks o Rabbi Yose Salan, in his Be’er Yose, who wroe ha since he sin o he eigel was a resul o he impaience o he people when Moshe did no reurn when hey expeced him oo, hey needed o inculcae he qualiy o paience wihin hemselves as par o heir aonemen or ha inciden. However, in ligh o our curren discussion, perhaps we can add ha anoher reason or he delay was o give he people addiional ime o rise above he disress caused by he inciden o he eigel, so ha hey would be in a sae o joy when he ime o he inauguraion finally arrived, as fiting or ha culminaing momen in he lie o he naion.
Pekudei 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
On Jewish Character
Rabbi Lord Jonahan Sacks
ekudei has someimes been called he accounan’s parsha, because ha is how i begins, wih he audied accouns o he money and maerials donaed o he Sancuary. I is he orah’s way o eaching us he need or financial ransparency.Bu beneah he someimes dry surace lie wo exraordinary sories, one old in las week’s parsha, he oher he week beore, eaching us somehing deep abou  Jewish naure ha is sill rue oday.Te firs has o do wih he sancuary isel. G-d old Moses o ask people o make conribuions. Some brough gold, some silver, some copper. Some gave wool or linen or animalskins. Ohers conribued acacia wood, oil, spices or incense. Some gave precious sones or he High Pries’s  breasplae.Wha was remarkable was he willingness wih  which hey gave:
Te people coninued o bring eewill offerings morning afer morning. So all he skilled workers who were doing all he work on he sancuary lef wha hey were doing and said o  Moses, “Te people are bringing more han enough or doing he work he Lord commanded o be done.” 
So Moses gave an order and hey sen his word hroughou he camp: “No man or woman is o make anyhing else as an offering or he sancuary.” And so he people were resrained rom bringing more, because wha hey already had was more han enough o do all he work. (Ex. 36: 3-7)Tey brough oo much. Moses had o ell hem o sop. Ta is no he Israelies as we have become accusomed o seeing hem, argumenaive, quarrelsome, ungraeul. Tis is a people ha longs o give.One parsha earlier we read a very differen sory. Te people were anxious. Moses had been up he mounain or a long ime. Was he sill alive? Had some acciden happened o him? I so, how would hey receive he Divine  word elling hem wha o do and where o go? Hence heir demand or a cal – essenially an oracle, an objec hrough  which Divine insrucion could be heard. Aaron, according o he mos avoured explanaion, realised ha he could no sop he people direcly by reusing heir reques, so he adoped a salling manoeuvre. He did somehing wih he inenion o slowing hem down, rusing ha i he work could be delayed, Moses  would reappear. Tis is wha he said:
 Aaron answered hem, “ake off he gold earrings ha your wives, your sons and your daughers are wearing, and bring hem o me.” (32: 2)
 According o he midrash he hough his would creae argumens wihin amilies and he projec would be delayed.Insead, immediaely hereafer, wihou a pause, we read:
So all he people ook off heir earrings and brough hem o  Aaron. (32: 3)
 Again he same generosiy.Now, hese wo projecs could no be less alike. One, he abernacle, was holy. Te oher, he cal, was close o being an idol. Building he abernacle was a supreme mizvah; making he cal was a errible sin. Ye heir response was he same in boh cases. Hence his commen o he sages:One canno undersand he naure o his people. I hey are appealed o or a cal, hey give. I appealed o or he abernacle, hey give.[Yerushalmi Shekalim 1, 45]Te common acor was generosiy. Jews may no always make he righ choices in wha hey give o, bu hey give.In he welfh cenury, Moses Maimonides wice inerrups his cusomary calm legal prose in his law code, he Mishneh orah, o make he same poin. Speaking abou zedakah, chariy, he says:
“We have never seen or heard abou a Jewish communiy which does no have a chariy und.” [Laws o Gifs o he poor, 9: 3]
Te idea ha a Jewish communiy could exis wihou a nework o chariable provisions was almos inconceivable. Laer in he same book, Maimonides says:
We are obligaed o be more scrupulous in ulfilling he commandmen o zedakah han any oher posiive commandmen because zedakah is he sign o he righeous  person, a descendan o Abraham our aher, as i is said, “For I know him, ha he will command his children . . . o do zedakah” . . . I someone is cruel and does no show mercy, here are

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