SALT - Sunday, 26 Adar I 5779 - March 3, 2019

  • Rav David Silverberg
            The Torah in Parashat Pekudei concludes its detailed account of the construction of the Mishkan by writing, “All the work for the Sanctuary…was completed; the Israelites did in accordance with everything the Lord had commanded Moshe…” (39:32).  The simple meaning of this verse is that it makes what is essentially just a single statement – that Benei Yisrael completed the project of the Mishkan’s construction in precise accordance with God’s commands.
            Rav Shlomo Kluger, however, in Imrei Shefer, creatively suggests a different interpretation, whereby the verse tells of two different things that happened sequentially.  First, Benei Yisrael built the Mishkan precisely the way they were commanded to, meticulously following God’s instructions.  And then, thereafter, they “did in accordance with everything the Lord commanded Moshe” – meaning, they followed all of God’s commands, including those that have nothing to do with the Mishkan.  In other words, even after building the Mishkan, the people continued faithfully obeying and fulfilling God’s commands just as they previously.  One might have suspected that after completing such a grand, lofty project, Benei Yisrael would have felt content and fallen into complacency, figuring they could now allow themselves a degree of laxity in their observance of God’s laws.  The Torah therefore emphasized that even after they completed the construction of the Mishkan, Benei Yisrael maintained their commitment, recognizing that achievement must lead to great achievement, and does not give them license to relax their standards.