Midreshet Amit


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The Balance of Ideals and Goals

By: Dina Turk

In this week’s Parsha we read about the culmination of the construction of the mishkan. Over the last few parshiot in Sefer Shemot we have read about the various parts of the mishkan being built, and in our parsha, the Mishkan is finally completed. Throughout the parsha, the phrase “As God had commanded to Moshe” is repeated at the completion of every stage of the mishkan. After all of the work was completed, we read in 39:32 “Vayasu Bnei Yisrael kechol asher tziva Hashem et Moshe ken asu” “The children of Israel had done [it]; according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so they had done.”

Why is the phrase “they had done” repeated in this pasuk?

The Netziv suggests that the reason for the repetition in 39:32 was to stress how Bnei Yisrael precisely followed Hashem’s instructions. Although they were filled with enthusiasm and excitement that the Shechina would dwell near them, they did not change or add anything to Hashem’s command. Sometimes when people are very passionate and enthusiastic, they might be inclined to add something personal or extra in order to convey their devotion to the task. The repetition in this phrase conveys the message that regardless of their enthusiasm, Bnei Yisrael did exactly as they were told. They followed Hashem’s detailed instructions throughout the process of the construction of the Mishkan.

In 39:43 “As God had commanded” was repeated once again before Moshe blessed Bnei Yisrael. Rav Hirsch highlights how Bnei Yisrael’s enthusiasm was entirely directed towards fulfilling Hashem’s command. They were not interested in including their own ideas. He writes, “This joy of duty eagerly fulfilled, this freedom in obedience and obedience in freedom, is experienced precisely when one subordinates himself entirely to God’s Will, which brings a sense of self- fulfillment and unsurpassed joy…This is what characterizes a human being as an eved Hashem.”Bnei Yisrael succeeded by following exact instructions throughout the entire process.

We can learn a valuable lesson from this parsha about the significance of the process involved when striving to attain our goals. There are times when we get so excited about our lofty goals that we forget about the process. Repetition, precision, and implementing details will enable us to go through a process of change and growth. Performance of daily mitzvoth and adherence to halacha, combined with the awareness that we are striving to get closer to Hashem will ultimately strengthen our relationship with Him. We should all be zoche to find the proper balance, ensuring that our ideals and goals are always present, and developing the proper path and direction to achieve our goals.

Shabbat Shalom