Vertluch: Parshas Terumah


This week’s parsha discusses the building of the mishkan. The Ramban raises an interesting question. Sefer Bereishis is called sefer Hayetzira (the book of birth) because it contains the creation of the world, the history of the avos and the historic foundation of the universe. Sefer Shemos, however, is referred to as the sefer Hageulah (book of redemption). In reality the geulah was put on hold in parshas Beshalach. The rest of the sefer has nothing to do with the geulah; we have matan Torah, the mishkan, etc…. Why then, would we name the entire sefer after the geulah?

The Ramban answers that while klal Yisroel was in Mitzrayim and enslaved to the Egyptians, there were two distinct types of enslavements. One was a physical enslavement and the other was a spiritual enslavement. Until klal Yisroel actually built the Mishkan they were enslaved spiritually; up until that point, the bnei Yisroel were not on the lofty level that their forefathers had achieved. The avos had the ability to live with the Shechina on a daily basis; we were able to reach that level too, but only once there was a Mishkan. The presence of the Shechina was a permanent presence, and elevated us to the madrega of the avos. It was at that point that we were considered completely liberated from Mitzaryim.

When the Ribono Shel Olam appointed Moshe as the chosen one to lead the bnei Yisroel, he responded by saying why would they believe me? Hashem told him that klal Yisroel had a mesorah that the redeemer was going to use the words ‘pakod pakadity’. If he says those words klal Yisroel would know that he is the real redeemer sent from Hashem.

Asks the Ramban, if this was so well known, why wouldn’t an imposter get up and say those magic words and have the entire klal Yisroel thinking he is the redeemer?

Reb Shea’la Kutna Zt”l explains that it wasn’t the mere fact of saying these two magic words that would make them believe he was the redeemer. The redeemer would have to show signs and promises of redeeming them from both elements of slavery-hence the double loshon in the pasuk. Moshe came and told them that Hashem would take them out of Mitzarayim and then he give the mitzvos, the Torah, etc; he was addressing both aspects of the geulah. The real redeemer had to be willing to save them from both a spiritual and physical destruction.

The level of Shechina in the homes of the Avos was the same in the Mishkan. The Meshech Chochma says that after Eliezer realized that Rivka was the one for Yitzchok, the pasuk says that he bowed to Hashem. However, when he comes into Lavan’s house it says ‘va’yishtachavu artzah l’Hashem’. Why was there a change in loshon? The reason was that outside there were stones and it was assur to bow on the ground but once he entered Lavan’s house he was able to bow fully on the ground. He was teaching us a lesson: we don’t bow on the ground when there are items around us that may imply as if we are bowing to anyone other than Hashem.

Comments the Meshech Chochma that this lesson is taught to us by Eliezer and not by the avos themselves because the house of the avos was like the Bais Hamikdash and you were allowed to bow down on the floor! But once Eliezer left their house he couldn’t bow on the ground anymore! That’s why the lesson had to be taught davka now and davka through Eliezer; it couldn’t be taught in the house of the avos because it was permitted to bow there just as it was permitted to do so in the Bais Hamikdash! Such was the atmosphere in the house of the avos.

The lesson we must take from here is that we have to attempt to make our homes a haven where the Shechina is comfortable resting. We must strive, at all costs, to keep our homes a safe haven for Hashem to be comfortable resting in. We must be careful of what we say and read as we try to maintain a certain level of kedusha because we all want the Shechina to reside in our homes.