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YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Pekudei 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
YUTORAH
IN
 PRINT
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
 
2
YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
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.
 
3
YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Pekudei 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
On Jewish Character
Rabbi Lord Jonahan Sacks
P
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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