By Being Connected
Each One Can Make their Essential Contribution
Needed for the Geula
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik
The topic covered in the series of parshios we are reading these weeks is the Mishkon. How to build the Mishkon is explained in parsha’s Terumah and the garments of the Kohen are explained in parsha’s Teztaveh. Later on in parshios Vayakel and Pekudei we learn how Bnei Yisroel carried out the gathering of the materials and the building of the Mishkon. After all the details are said and done one may ask; What does all of this have to do with my life and the state of this world in the year 5775-2015?
Beginning with parsha’s Terumah the first thing one would expect to be told is the general idea of making a Mishkon, as the Torah says later; "Make for me a Mikdash and I will dwell within it". Instead the parsha begins with donations as it says; "Take for Me a Terumah" before even describing what it will be used for! Also, why does the Chumash explain the building of the Mishkon, which was a temporary dwelling instead of the Beis HaMikdash, which is permanent? Later on, this week’s parsha begins with a commandment to Moshe Rabbenu to bring olive oil for the lighting of the menorah. This command seems out of order. Either place it by the description of the menorah in parsha’s Terumah or later in parshas Pekudei where it describes the set up and function of the Mishkon. It appears to be unrelated and out of place over here at the beginning of parshas Teztaveh.
In a sicha, the Rebbe quotes two opinions about the pasuk "Basi L'Gani, I came to My garden". It isn’t clear what the garden is or when this occurred. One opinion says that it refers to the first time the Mishkon was constructed. The second opinion says that it refers to the moment of Matan Torah. The Rebbe explains that the two opinions are not contradictory. Hashem began to "Come into his garden" by the giving of the Torah. The world stood still at the great revelation; the birds did not chirp and the oxen did not gore. Still the actual location of Har Sinai did not retain the kedusha of the great revelation of Matan Torah. The world was shocked by the awesome revelation yet the world did not change. It may have only affected the world temporarily but Matan Torah started the process of permanent change and gave us the power to build a permanent dwelling place for Hashem through the Torah and mitzvos.
The job of every Jew is to make Hashem's presence known within the world. By doing this he or she completes their shlichus, their purpose for having come into this world. By learning Torah and doing mitzvos we turn this world into a permanent Mishkon and Mikdosh for Hashem. We start by bringing a terumah, a donation for the construction of this Mishkon. Our donation is to separate, bit by bit our energy, our focus and our possessions in the service of Hashem. It's not just one thing at one time. It's many things, in all areas of life throughout our lifetimes, a bit at a time. It's not shock and awe, but when we donate bit by bit we accomplish what is necessary and bring the 'Shechanti b'socham' the dwelling of Hashem's presence into this world. This has an everlasting effect. Our primary focus is to attend to what we are contributing. Then we are able to say that we have made our lives into a Mishkon for Hashem.
At times we may wonder where we are going to find something to donate. This is an important answer to questions that arises when we look at the world and see obstacles and challenges in every direction. As Chassidim we need to take an honest look at ourselves. When we do we are forced to acknowledge our real and present shortcomings. When we look at our environment it’s even worse! We see that it isn’t holy; it’s a transitory desert. It’s Holly-follywood, a place full of shtus and vanity. We see a world filled with strife, pressures anxiety and uneasiness. It looks at times like a desert with scorpions and snakes, an uninhabitable place. How and what do we expect to accomplish here?
In parsha’s Terumah we are being told that because we have a neshama we have the power and the resources to provide all the material necessary for the building of our individual Mishkon. Still some may say that this is good for the untainted souls of yesteryear, the great Chassidim of the past. But me, here, today, how is that possible? Parsha’s Teztaveh begins with the words; “V’Atah Teztaveh, and you will connect”, we have a Rebbe, we are not alone. We do not do it all by ourselves, we do it by being together and connected with the essence (V’Atah) of Moshe Rabbenu, the Rebbe, and through that connection we accomplish our shlichus. This message is especially important, more than ever today in 5775-2015. We all have that spark. Once we connect and reveal the spark of Moshe that lies within the heart of each one of us, anything and everything is possible. This year Shabbos falls out on Tes Adar the day that the Previous arrived to the shores of America and said that America is not any different than Europe. People came to the Previous Rebbe and said that hair will grow from their hands before Jewish men will grow beards in America. The Previous Rebbe said otherwise and went about proving it by taking action.
Preparing for Moshiach means that we don't sit and wait for anything because we can see more clearly than ever before what the opposite brings. Also, with all the advances in technology and global trouble making is it obvious what the power of one good deed has, and that one good deed can tip the entire situation to the good and bring the return of the Shechina to this world with the coming of Moshiach Now!
A good Shabbos