Friday, March 04, 2022

moshe makes a mishkan

The She'eiris Menachem writes that the cheit ha'eigel stemmed from Bnei Yisrael failing to appreciate the uniqueness of Moshe.   כִּי־זֶ֣ה׀ מֹשֶׁ֣ה הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱלָ֙נוּ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְנוּ מֶה־הָ֥יָה לֽוֹ׃ Note the language of the pasuk: not Moshe Rabeinu, but Moshe **ha'ish**, a man like any other man.  Moshe is flesh and blood, not necessarily reliable and certainly not irreplaceable.

After the cheit ha'eigel, Moshe covered his face with a veil, except for when he was teaching Torah.  Among the other sources R' Eliezer Eisenberg quoted on this topic last week is the Netziv, who writes that Moshe uncovered his face when teaching because a talmid needs to see his rebbe in order to learn.  There has to be a hiskashrus.  I would suggest that the point of the veil was not the act of covering in order to show displeasure with Bn"Y, but davka the uncovering, the demonstration of that need for hiskashrus, because this was the point that Bn"Y missed when they made the eigel.  Moshe is Moshe *Rabeinu*, and an eigel cannot replace that.

The mishkan is the tikun for cheit ha'eigel because, as we read again and again in our parsha, the construction was done "...kaasher tzivah Hashem **es Moshe**."  Bnei Yisrael appreciated that without Moshe serving as the conduit to transmit the dvar Hashem, there would be no mishkan, there would be nothing.  

The Midrash writes: “Rabos banos asu chayil v’at alis al kulana”-- there were many chachamim (banos = binah, wisdom) who tried to put together the mishkan, but they were unable to get it to stand, so they brought the boards and beams to Moshe, and he was finally able to assemble it.  

The gemara has a rule that bracha only comes to that which is hidden from sight, unknown.  L'havdil, poker players consider it unlucky to count their money at the poker table.  Meforshim ask: so why is our parsha devoted to counting exactly how everything was spent to make the mishkan, and at the end, Moshe gives everything a bracha?  You don't have bracha if you count?  

The Zohar asks this question, and says a beautiful pshat in the pasuk to answer it.  I am going to put two pieces of Zohar together (based on Sefas Emes):  אֵ֣לֶּה פְקוּדֵ֤י הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙ מִשְׁכַּ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר פֻּקַּ֖ד עַל־פִּ֣י מֹשֶׁ֑ה.  Why the double word mishkan in the pasuk?  Rashi of course already tackles the question.  The Zohar answers that the pasuk is alluding to the fact that there are 2 mishkans: תְּרֵי זִמְנֵי כְּתִיב הָכָא מִשְׁכָּן, חַד לְעֵילָּא, וְחַד לְתַתָּא.  There is the mishkan upstairs and the mishkan downstairs.  (Similar to Chazal's teaching that there is a Yerushalayim shel maalah that corresponds to the Yerushalayim shel matah.)  

A little further on the Zohar continues as follows:תָּא חֲזֵי, מַשְׁכְּנָא דָּא קַיְּימָא בְּחוּשְׁבָּנָא, וּבְגִין כַּךְ אִצְטְרִיךְ לִצְלוֹתָא דְּמֹשֶׁה, דְּיִשְׁרֵי עָלֵיהּ בִּרְכָאן, דִּכְתִּיב וַיְבָרֶךְ אוֹתָם מֹשֶׁה, וּמַה בְּרָכָה בָּרִיךְ לוֹן, יְהֵא רַעֲוָא דְּתִשְׁרֵי בְּרָכָה עַל עוֹבָדֵי יְדֵיכוֹן. וּבִרְכָּאן לָא שָׁרָאן עַל הַאי חוּשְׁבָּנָא עַד דְּאִקְשָׁר לֵיהּ מֹשֶׁה בְּמַשְׁכְּנָא דִּלְעֵילָּא, דִּכְתִּיב אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדוּת אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל פִּי מֹשֶׁה. דְּאִי לָאו דְּאִתְעֲבָד חוּשְׁבָּנָא עַל יְדָא דְּמֹשֶׁה, לָא יַכְלִין אִינּוּן לְמֶעְבַּד חוּשְׁבָּנָא, דִּכְתִּיב אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל פִּי מֹשֶׁה

In other words, אֵ֣לֶּה פְקוּדֵ֤י הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙, all the artisans, all the people, all the "rabos banos asu chayil" that the Midrash refers to, came to make there accounting and take stock of what they had created.  But there was no bracha in what they did.  There is no bracha when you count up the "mishkan tata" that you see in this world alone.

מִשְׁכַּ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר פֻּקַּ֖ד עַל־פִּ֣י מֹשֶׁ֑ה  But then Moshe came and took stock and offered his tefilah, and then there was bracha. Moshe connected to the second mishkan, the "mishkan l'eilah," and when you connect upstairs, there is always bracha.

You can have אֵ֣לֶּה פְקוּדֵ֤י הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙ , all the necessary ingredients to make a physical mishkan, you can account for every detail, but your mishkan will be an empty shell of a building.  מִשְׁכַּ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר פֻּקַּ֖ד עַל־פִּ֣י מֹשֶׁ֑ה, a mishkan that can testify that the Shechina is present is a mishkan counted davka by Moshe.  

You have a wonderful parallel: Moshe creates the hiskashrus between the mishkan l'eilah and the mishkan tata; the mishkan creates a hiskashrus between Klal Yisrael and Moshe our rebbe, a connection that we lost sight of during cheit ha'eigel.


  1. Last week I saw the question of counting preventing bracha in brought by the Satmarer (Divrei Yoel) from the Zohar and more directly in the sefer Oheiv Yisrael.
    I did not understand the question. The Bracha of סמוי מן העין is for having more than you put into the pile. Here, the bracha is not on how much gold there is, the bracha is what the Mishkan effectuates. What does that have to do with אין הברכה שורה לא בדבר המנוי...? From the Zohar it looks like my assumption is incorrect. מנין apparently interferes with brachos even afterwards. The machine you build with counted money won't produce extra widgets.
    Something else I found interesting there - his idea that the counting by a man of perfect emunah supercedes the ein habracha shoreh thing. He mentions (next page) that the word אמונה is related to the word המשכה - he says הנה ידוע שאמונה הוא מלשון המשכה ורבוי כמו ויהי אומן את הדסה. I really like the idea of emuna being a source of bracha, of more intimate hashgacha pratis. He relates this to the passuk in Mishlei (28:20) איש אמונות רב ברכות ואץ להעשיר לא ינקה
    I would even suggest that the expression in the Zohar that Moshe was מקשר the משכן של מטה with the מקדש של מעלה means exactly that.

  2. >>>I did not understand the question. The Bracha of סמוי מן העין is for having more than you put into the pile. Here, the bracha is not on how much gold there is, the bracha is what the Mishkan effectuates

    The bracha is having a mishkan as opposed to churban, isn't it? Like Maharal explains:

    אלה פקודי המשכן משכן שנתמשכן שני פעמים כו׳. ואם תאמר, ומאי ענינו לכאן לכתוב זה כאן, ולמה לא כתב זה בכל הפרשה שקדמה, אמנם דבר זה הוא מופלא בחכמה, וזה ידוע ממה שנשתברו הלוחות מפני שניתנו בפומבי ושלט בהם עין הרע (תנחומא תשא, לא), ומפני שכאן כתיב ״אלה פקודי המשכן״ שנמנו כל המשכן, ומפני כך שלט בהם עין הרע, שכל דבר שבמנין עין הרע שולט בו (רש״י לעיל ל, יב), ומפני שהיה מנין לכל דבר שבמשכן, שלט עין הרע בזה.

  3. Ok, I should have realized that. I thought that Reb Yitzchak in Taanis and Bava Metzia
    דוא"ר יצחק אין הברכה מצוייה אלא בדבר הסמוי מן העין שנאמר (דברים כח, ח) יצו ה' אתך את הברכה באסמיך תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל אין הברכה מצויה אלא בדבר שאין העין שולטת בו שנאמר יצו ה' אתך את הברכה באסמיך
    was that counting makes miracles unlikely by making the shinui hateva obvious, but it has nothing to do with causing harm through ayin hara. So I understood Rashi in Ki Sisa
    שֶׁהַמִּנְיָן שׁוֹלֵט בּוֹ עַיִן הָרָע, וְהַדֶּבֶר בָּא עֲלֵיהֶם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמָּצִינוּ בִימֵי דָּוִד
    to be something entirely different. From the Maharal I see that he learned that Gemara in BM and Taanis to be based on ayin hara, which explains the problem here. Got it.