Unity is Our Greatest Strength!
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik
In this week’s parsha of Vayakel Moshe Rabbenu gathered together the entire congregation of Israel and guided them in the building of the Mishkon. Why did he need to gather everyone and not just those who were most likely to participate? Also why was this gathering only done for this mitzvah, the building of the Mishkon and not for other mitzvos? Lastly why did he specifically choose the day after Yom Kippur to prepare for the building the Mishkon? What made this day especially auspicious and not any other day?
The Rebbe explains in a Sicha (Vayakel 5730-1970; Toras Menachem v.59) that the building of the Mishkon represents the fulfillment of creation’s purpose, to make a dwelling place for Hashem in this world. As explained in the Maamar Basi l’Gani, through the construction and service of the Mishkon Hashem’s presence returns to its original place in this world where it was in the beginning. It all began with one person, Adam HaRishon whose job it was to cultivate Gan Eden to elevate it to a higher level, into an abode, a Mishkon, for Hashem.
In order to accomplish this task after the sin of the golden calf, Moshe Rabbenu gathered the Jewish people on the day after Yom Kippur. Once we did teshuva and were forgiven, Moshe Rabbenu gathered us together and transformed us into one unified entity. Together as one, we have the power and ability that none of us has on our own. Through our power of unity we have power to unite all aspects of creation, so many things, into a dwelling place, a Mishkon for Hashem’s divine presence. The only one that has this power to unite everyone is Moshe Rabbenu.
This weeks’ parsha teaches all of us a vital lesson and an approach in our personal lives, how to serve Hashem and use our environment and all of our possessions to make a dwelling place for His presence in this world. We have all been provided with an awesome opportunity, but where do we begin? With ourselves. We begin each day with davening. During davening we connect ourselves, and the world with Hashem. It begins with pesukei zimra. The entire world appears to be a separate entity operating according to the laws of nature. By first meditating on the greatness of Hashem and His unity in all worlds and then praising Hashem, as the one who fills and surrounds all worlds and is master over all aspects of creation we reveal Hashem’s presence. This continues through and includes the Shema. During Shomne Esrei, as we stand before Hashem we reach the highest level, the realization that the physical world itself that we are living in is completely one with Hashem and belongs to Him alone.
From davening we go into the world. By participating in the world according to the Torah we make a physical Mishkon for Hashem with all that we accomplish.
In order to be successful and complete our mission our first step is to focus the mind and the heart. This begins with the preparatory statement: “Behold I take upon myself positive commandment of; “V’ahavta l’reiecha kamocha, to love my fellow Jew as myself”. First, even before we daven we accept and we connect with every Jew, great and small, as equals and as one and the same. We are all part of one being. How is it possible to feel the same when we are so different? The reason is because every Jew has a spark of Moshe Rabbenu within. Just as Moshe Rabbenu is able to gather together each and every Jew no matter who, so to do we have a similar ability when we reveal our spark of Moshe.
Once we have accepted this mitzvah, we are able to reach highest level of oneness with Hashem during davening. Through this unity we are able to then fulfill our mission of building Hashem’s Mishkon in this world. The last fabrengen that we merited to hear from the Rebbe was on parshas Vayakel 5752-1992, 2 days before the 27th of Adar. The focus of the printed Sicha that we have from that fabrengen is this point of unity, Vayakel. Through this unity we will be able to complete our mission and together as one we will go greet Moshiach; Now!
A Good Shabbos, A Good Chodesh