web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Columbus Discovered America; Hashem Invented It

The-Shmuz

And they brought the Mishkan to Moshe, the tent and all of the vessels” – Shemos 39:33

 

When all its parts had been fashioned, they were brought to Moshe, who actually stood the walls up and erected the Mishkan. Rashi explains that because of the massive weight of the materials, none of the people involved in forming the Mishkan was able to erect it, so they brought the materials to Moshe. Moshe was also unable to lift up the heavy walls, so Hashem said to him, “Go through the motions as if you are lifting them, and they will be lifted on their own.”

The difficulty with this Rashi is that one pasuk later (40:18) it says, “And Moshe erected the Mishkan.” Moshe is credited with actually putting up the Mishkan. Yet the Midrash tells us that not only didn’t he put it up, he wasn’t even physically capable of doing it. In what sense can the Torah consider that Moshe raised the Mishkan when it clearly wasn’t his action?

The answer can be found by understanding any creative act of man.

When a couple makes the conscious decision to have a baby, they use a system Hashem put into place to bring forth a child. They don’t claim to be knowledgeable enough in anatomy to synthesize the proteins needed for growth. They don’t allege to have sufficient understanding in physiology to weave the neuron pathways in the brain. And they certainly don’t contend they are learned enough in pathology to create the immune system that develops within their fetus.

When we say they made the baby, we mean they used a pre-existing system that was set up with great wisdom and forethought. They pushed the button, and the gears and flywheels went into motion. Nine months later, out came a perfectly-formed, complex marvel called a human.They had the baby, but they didn’t create the baby.

This is true of any creative act a human engages in, whether it’s a couple having a child, a farmer growing corn, or an entrepreneur creating an industry. We take pre-existing elements, use pre-formed systems, turn a switch, and take the credit for the result. We think it is our effort that brought forth the product, but in reality we did little but use the machinery already in place.

Frank the Cookie Baker

Every day when Frank leaves work, he takes home two packages of freshly baked cookies for his kids. His children love to brag about the delicious cookies their father makes. Frank’s kids are the envy of the entire first grade. Naturally, when the class is planning on having a bake sale, whom do they ask for help with the recipes? Frank!

Unfortunately, Frank doesn’t know that much about baking cookies. You see, Frank works in a factory. Every morning at exactly 4:20, Frank pushes the switch that starts the operation rolling, and exactly 35 minutes later, out comes the first batch of chocolate chip treats.

Frank didn’t create the process; he doesn’t even know which ingredients go into the mixture. He wouldn’t be able to tell you the different preservatives and flavoring that are used. He wouldn’t be able to explain to you the difference between radiant and convection heat and their effect on the crispness of the cookie. He certainly isn’t capable of creating the intricate system of conveyer belts, mixers, and feeder chain ovens needed to produce that cookie. His job is to flip the switch. The machine does the rest.

When man harnesses a force of nature, we look at him with awe and reverence. What a brilliant thinker! He invented something that wasn’t! Inadvertently, we attribute the wisdom of the system to the one who harnessed it.

This is a fallacy. It’s much like Columbus finding America – he discovered it but he didn’t create it. When man taps into a powerful force in Hashem’s world, he has created nothing – he has merely uncovered some of the intricacies of the systems and machines Hashem uses to run this world. Using systems, laws, principles, and entire machines already in place, man comes along and changes a gear. The effect may be significant, but he created nothing.

The Difference Between Moshe and Us

The answer to the question on Rashi seems to be that Moshe Rabbeinu understood that any action he engaged in was but flipping the switch. It is Hashem’s machine, and Hashem’s rules run that machine.

If Hashem says that in this situation going through the motions is what will bring about the results – that’s just a different way of flipping the switch. When Moshe went through the motions of lifting the Mishkan, the action was still attributable to him because Hashem said that in regard to that situation this was the system He set up. You wave your hands, and this will be the result. In that sense, Moshe used the system Hashem put into place. It was no different from a farmer planting wheat or a couple having a child. It’s all miraculous, and man’s role is always just going through the motions. As such, this was how Moshe erected the Mishkan. He used Hashem’s machine to bring about the result.

This understanding is pivotal in our understanding of Hashem’s involvement in nature and the running of this world, and it focuses our perspective concerning our own involvement in this world.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Columbus Discovered America; Hashem Invented It”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many of the Bibicotters
Want to Tell the BibiCotters What You Think? Here’s How You Can.
Latest Judaism Stories
Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Esther Denouncing Haman

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

The-Shmuz

While it may appear that man is in charge, Hashem orchestrates every activity on the planet

Hashem placed this world at man’s disposal. In a real sense, man is the steward of Creation.

He is fully aware that who he will be for eternity is in his hands.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

It is exactly like that of an animal, with all of the passions and desires necessary to drive man though his daily existence.

How did their hatred toward the Jews make their own lives disgusting? It’s the Jews they hated, not themselves.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/columbus-discovered-america-hashem-invented-it/2014/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: