This Parsha discusses the construction of the Mishkan and the commandment for the mitzvah of Shabbat. However, prior to this Parsha, in Terumah and Tetzaveh, we already learned the details of the Mishkan and its construction.
Why not just say that Bnei Yisrael built what they were commanded to build without repeating the details of how to construct the Mishkan?
Additionally, the name of the Parsha, VaYakhel, means to gather - what does the construction of the Mishkan have anything to do with gathering a nation, and how does it all connect to the commandment of Shabbat?
There is a saying that goes, "The devil is in the details." In Judaism we say, "Hashem is in the details." Judaism gets into the smallest, most minute details of the measurements. When we get into the small details, it aids us in recognizing Hashem. When the Torah goes into the details of the Mishkan, it is making us aware that being detail oriented is essential in service of Hashem. When we take the time to not only care about the "big picture," but to recognize the intricate details of life, we enhance our relationship with Hashem.
Recognizing that this Parsha is teaching us to recognize small details, the question of why this Parsha is called VaYakhel still remains… Why is the Parsha defined, in its name, by the gathering of all of Am Yisrael together - what does this have to do with details?
The Mishkan is the center of our spiritual life and we cannot accomplish its true essence if the details are not correct. If one measurement is off, if one of the vessels is missing, the whole Mishkan is incomplete. This can be equated to the construct of a nation -- in order to exist as a nation, there cannot be some people with more rights or importance than the others. Just like how the Menorah and the Aron are not more important than any other vessel in the Mishkan, so too every part of Am Yisrael is equally important in Hashem's eyes.
Finally, we must understand how Shabbat ties in to all of this by understanding the purpose of Shabbat. The only way we can truly realize the greatness of Hashem - the wonder of His nation and the spirituality that lies within His world – is to stop and appreciate all that we have. This is the essence of Shabbat. As we work towards enhancing our spirituality and building our beautiful nation, we must take a step back and appreciate all that Hashem has given us.
By appreciating all the wonderful people, places, and things throughout our land, and recognizing Hashem's presence throughout, we will see our nation in a different light. If we were able to jump back in time to see the beginning of the State of Israel and jump back to modern day Israel, we would all be a lot more appreciative. We would be able to see the holiness within ourselves, the land, and all the people around us.
May we truly take the time to thank Hashem for all that we have around us, and may we merit to recognize that we are in the times of redemption and see with our eyes the building of the Beit HaMikdash, speedily in our days.
Dvar Torah this week by Dani Eisenstock, former Shaliach in Kansas City (2002-03), currently a Ram at Yeshivat Torah Vavodah. comments: [email protected]
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