Divrei Torah

PARSHIOS VAYAKHEIL-PIKUDEI 5778

When reading the portions of Vayakheil and Pikudei, they seem to be quite familiar. Didn’t we hear this not too long ago?

They ring a bell because their content is similar to the parshios of Teruma and Tetzave which we read three and two weeks ago respectively. In Teruma and Tetzave G-d commanded Moshe regarding the construction of the Mishkan – Tabernacle. In this week’s parshios Moshe relays those commands to the Jewish people and the Jewish people follow through on the instructions to build the Mishkan. 

Why was it necessary for G-d to write these two additional portions in the Torah? He could have just written, “and the Jewish people built the Mishkan as G-d commanded Moshe.” Although, throughout today’s parshios, we do find the words, “and the Jewish people did as G-d commanded Moshe”, the words only had to be written once as a summary. 

We do find an additional piece of information in today’s Parsha. The Torah teaches us today that the water laver was made from the mirrors of the women. This fact is not mentioned in the instructions that G-d gave to Moshe. But, the Torah still could have written this one point along with the line “and the Jewish people did just as G-d commanded Moshe.” Why did the Torah find it necessary to review the entire matter?

Rashi teaches us that Moshe did not want to accept the mirrors from the women because the women used the mirrors to beautify themselves. The mirrors were used for haughty reasons and were not holy. This was not an appropriate donation to the Mishkan. But, G-d told Moshe to accept the mirrors because they were the most precious donation for Him.

When the Jews were slaves in Egypt, the men worked out in the fields and were exhausted. Their wives would bring them food and drink and feed them. They would then take out the mirrors and each woman would view herself in the mirror with her husband. This raised the spirits of their husbands and through it produced more families for the Jewish people.

So, G-d was saying to Moshe, “you think that they were used for profane matters. I am telling you that they were used for holiness.” 

There are items in this world that can serve a dual purpose. They can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes. A cellphone can be used for gossip or it can be used to give directions to somebody who is lost. A computer or pen can be used to write words of Torah and encouragement or to write words of slander and hate. An automobile can be used to drive to shul, to study or to perform a chesed. It can also be used to drive to inappropriate places. One can eat to live or live to eat. 

G-d gives us options in life. It is up to us to carefully select the appropriate options and travel on the proper path. G-d gives us all brachos-blessings. Are we using those Brachos properly or, G-d forbid, improperly. When we would look at ourselves in the mirror, are we satisfied with our choices? Like the mirror, it is an idea upon which we should reflect.