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Parshat Vayakhel


Many before me have pointed out the manifest textual parallels between the commandment of the Mishkan and the creation descriptions in Breishit 1-3. To illustrate these parallels, we will mention a number of examples:

First, the verb asah is repeated many times in both places. In the creation story: "Vaya'as Elohim et-harakia"; "vaya'as Elokim et sheni hama'orot"; "vaya'as Elokim et chayat ha'aretz”. Regarding the Mishkan: "vaya'asu li mikdash”; "vaya'asu aron”; "vaya'asu shulchan”.

God dressed Adam and Chava in Gan Eden: “Vaya'as Adonay Elohim le-Adam ule-ishto kotnot or vayalbishem.” Similarly, Moshe does this to Aharon and his sons in the Miluim: "Velivney Aharon ta'aseh chutanot… Vehilbashta otam et-Aharon achicha ve'et-banav."

In Breishit it says: "Vayechulu hashamayim veha'arets vechol-tseva'am, Vayechal Elohim bayom hashvi'i melachto asher asah vayishbot bayom hashvi'i mikol-melachto asher asah.“ Regarding the Mishkan it says: "vatachal avodat haMishkan le'Ohel Mo'ed", and "vayechal Moshe et hamelachah”.

In Breishit it says: “Vayar Elohim et-kol-asher asah vehineh-tov me'od. Regarding the Mishkan it says: “Vayar Moshe et-kol-hamelachah vehineh asu otah ka'asher tsivah Adonay”.

In Breishit it says: "Vayevarech Elohim et-yom hashvi'i”. Regarding the Mishkan it says: "Vayevarech otam Moshe."

And, of course, the Kruvim: Hashem posts the Kruvim to guard the entrance to Gan Eden, and Kruvim stand at the center of the Mishkan.

However, pointing out the parallels is insufficient. They must be explained, their meaning must be elucidated.

The similarity of the Kruvim demonstrates that both Gan Eden and the Mishkan are places of Shkhina, of the divine presence. At the time of creation, Hashem himself worked to create a place for him to dwell, a world that would reflect his will and glory. But then this task was passed on to man, created in Hashem’s image, to continue Hashem’s work. Man’s endeavors come to their fruition when Moshe indeed creates, at Hashem’s commandment, a place for Hashem to dwell, in the Mishkan, in the midst of Bnei Yisrael.

An additional point can be made about this issue. While Hashem’s creation takes up some 50 psukim, the Mishkan takes up more than 400! Perhaps this quantitative difference contains a qualitative message: It is not Hashem’s works that are the essence of Tora. The essence of Tora lies in man’s fulfillment of Hashem’s commandments.




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