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Devar Torah - Pekudei

Thursday, 27 February, 2014 - 9:00 am

Whether you play the Violin, the Cello, or the Drums, you're a part of the Orchestra

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This week is parshas Pikudei, the final parsha in Sefer Shemos (Shabbos Chazak) as well as parshas Shekalim. As mentioned in last weeks article, the Rebbe explained that Vayakel and Pikudei represent two different types of service of Hashem. Parshas Vayakel symbolizes the general, all encompassing purpose of the Mishkon, while parshas Pikudei highlights the importance of each individual component and enumerates them separately. Moshe Rabbenu made a detailed accounting of the money contributed, the structure, the vessels, and the vestments.

In our spiritual service, parshas Vayakel speaks to us as one community, while parshas Pekudei emphasizes the significance of the individual and how we are accountable for every thought, word and action.

In order to have a Mishkon, one place set aside as Hashem’s home, we need to build each and every vessel according to its unique specifications. So too, in order to complete the entire Jewish people, that we should be one and unified, we need everyone to have their part which is unique and special. Only then are we all complete. This is the message of parshas Pekudei.

We saw this so clearly by the Rebbe. The Rebbe is representative of all of Klal Yisroel; “HaNasi hu hakol- The Leader is the entire Jewish People”. He spoke to all of us as one, and at the same time he viewed each and every one of us, whether man, woman or child as special.  The Rebbe gave his time and effort to help each person according to his or her circumstances. We saw this in the way the Rebbe spoke to individuals by dollars, the personal messages found in Igros Kodesh as well as from the innumerable stories that we have heard.

At home with our families focusing on each family member in their special way is of utmost importance. Every child needs special time and has special needs and talents that should be addressed. In our yeshivos, high schools and seminaries we need to insure that no student gets lost in the crowd or missed in the shuffle. Each student should have a personal relationship with his or her mashpia and teacher. He or she should feel assured that they know him or her, care about his or her challenges and know that he or she has something special to offer. I was amazed while visiting our Cheder to see how the Principal said good morning to each child, by name. So too in our yeshivos, high schools and seminaries where there are hundreds of students the mashpia needs to know each one by name and have a personal relationship. It’s an absolute necessity to see to it that no student ever feels like an unknown.

When we have this approach, we build a strong foundation that allows us to successfully mandate higher standards. Then our children will grow up with what they need, to be able to best fulfill their special purpose, like each part of the Mishkon enumerated in parshas Pekudei.

Some say; whom do we think we are to think that we can do what the Rebbe wants to bring Moshiach. The yetzer hara is a shrewd lawyer with a crafty memory. When we think of fulfilling the Rebbe’s instructions, the yetzer hara chimes in with yesterday’s mistakes, or if necessary from things long forgotten, even decades ago just to undo and cool off our enthusiasm.

There is a story of someone who came to the Baal Shem Tov for help (Sefer HaSichos 5701-1941). The Baal Shem Tov was not able to help him, for whatever reason. Instead he went to the sefarim shelf and took sefer at random. It was a Gemara Bava Basra, and he just opened it, and it opened to daf 11. It says there that anyone Iyov would give money to would be blessed. The Baal Shem Tov thought that since everything is by hashgacha protis, what is the significance of us turning to this gemara? He then thought of a Jew named Shabsi Meir from Brode who has been distributing a lot of tzedaka. As his wealth grew so too did his tzedaka.  Shabsi Meir was asking Hashem to grant that there should be a real bracha for those whom he gave tzedaka. The Baal Shem Tov knew that his request had been accepted by Beis Din shel Maalah, and whomever he gave tzedaka would be helped. The Baal Shem Tov told this Jew to go to Shabsi Meir for Shabbos and on Sunday to ask for him for tzedaka and a bracha,when he would customarily distribute tzedaka to all the guests, and in this way he would be helped. He went and enjoyed a beautiful Shabbos with 20 other people at Shabsi Meir’s Shabbos table. After Shabbos he went for tzedaka and he was helped.  

Although the Baal Shem Tov would usually help everyone himself, this time he needed to send this person to Shabsi Meir for whatever reason. We see that here, he needed Reb Shabsi. So too the Rebbe needs each of to do what we can, to utilize our special abilities to continue and fulfill the Rebbe’s directives to bring Moshiach.

The Rebbe’s table was full with people’s troubles to such an extent that we cannot even imagine. We recently saw in a JEM video how someone thanked the Rebbe for a bracha he had given him, and that, Baruch Hashem, it was fulfilled. The Rebbe thanked him and said that not everyone will get back to him and tell him about the happy ending. Once the Rebbe got a letter from a child who wrote that from now on he was going to read birkas hashachar from a siddur. The Rebbe responded that this news was; “k’mayim karim al nefesh ayeifa- like cool waters on a tired soul”. With this note this is what the young child gave to the Rebbe. So too with all of us, the Rebbe, the Moshe Rebbenu of our generation needs each and every one of us to do what we can for Hashem, we are all important.

Together we will build the Mishkon for Hashem and then we will have the revelation of the Shechina in this physical world and achieve the objective of bringing Moshiach Now.

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