web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

V’asu Li Mikdash

PTI-022114

Reading this week’s parsha, we may have a question worthy of Moshe Rabbeinu himself: How can we, flesh and blood human beings, create a physical location which is a worthy residence for Hashem’s Divine Presence?  Can a mere mortal build a place in this corporeal world for the Almighty, the Infinite? Yet, out of love for our Creator, each of us dreams of the day when the Beis HaMikdash will be rebuilt and the presence of Hashem will once again rest amongst us.

While this is not easy, Chazal explain that Betzalel was taught how to apply the secrets of Creation and the mystical permutations of Hashem’s holy Names in order to fashion the Mishkan and its vessels.  Surprisingly, we can do the same! We can bring Hashem’s Divine Presence into this world – and we can do it individually; it does not require all of Klal Yisrael to make it happen, though we hope everyone will do the same.

The Gemara in Maseches Sotah 17a points out that the difference between the Hebrew spelling of “man” and “woman” (ish and isha) is just two letters: the yud of the ish and the heh of the isha. These two letters make up one of Hashem’s names.  Rabi Akiva taught: “When there is peace and harmony between a man and his wife, then the presence of Hashem rests between them. However, if one removes Hashem’s name from ish and isha, what remains is alef, shin: aish, which is fire.

This Gemara clearly shows us that our home is literally the resting place of Hashem, our house is a Mishkan! The word Mishkan comes from the root shachen (shin, chet, nun), meaning to rest upon or dwell. The Shechina is the Presence of Hashem that can be sensed in this world. And it is brought to us through shalom, through peace.

The Gemara tells of a couple that argued every erev Shabbos.  A Tanna who lived near them attempted to help.  One erev Shabbos during an argument they heard a knock at the door.  The husband answered and was shocked to see the saintly rav.

“Come in, please, what can I do for the Rav?” the husband calmly said.  The Rav came in and sat down. The wife pleasantly brought out a drink and a piece of cake.  The Rav engaged the husband in a conversation about Shabbos; the wife quietly went about her preparations so as not to disturb them. The conversation continued even as the hour grew late. A few minutes before Shabbos the Rav got up, thanked his hosts and left.  The husband and wife looked at each other in shock; the house was ready and not a critical word had been uttered – it was the calmest Friday ever in their house!

The next week, though, the pressure of erev Shabbos began to build. Once again there was a knock on the door: the Rav had come to visit.  And the third week the episode repeated itself. This time, though, there was more. As the Tanna was leaving they heard a pitiful screech: “Woe to me! He chased me away three times!” They immediately understood that their domestic acrimony and fighting had brought the yetzer hara itself into their house each week. The Satan waits for opportunities to undo kedusha, particularly on erev Shabbos, when the potential to bring the Shechina into the world is great.

People are very careful about who and what they bring into their home. We are meticulous about our guests, our kids’ guests, our food and magazines and games…and we should be! So how much on guard must we be with the worst possible influence: the yetzer hara, who is the Satan! Strife in the home makes it a welcome place for him. However, harmony in the home opens up the house for Hashem’s Shechina. The choice is pretty obvious.

About the Author: Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is Associate Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute, Passaic, NJ.


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 “V’asu Li Mikdash”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar (L) and Gilad Erdan (R) walking together in the Knesset.
Gilad Erdan May Replace Gidon Saar
Latest Judaism Stories
Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

More Articles from Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim
PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Life is what you make of it. And if our lives are defined by Torah, then these weeks of Sefira are all about making the most of it.

Eretz Yisroel’s resting during the shmittah year proclaims Hashem as the Creator of the world just as Shabbos does, for the init of time – seven – is solely connected to the creation of the world.

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

The battle on Purim was our war with Amalek; we know that Haman was a descendent of Amalek and we are commanded to annihilate that entire nation.

The Satan waits for opportunities to undo kedusha, particularly on erev Shabbos, when the potential to bring the Shechina into the world is great.

Once a person receives it, he becomes personally attached to the one who gave it to him – so attached that now he will view that person’s position as his own… and a person does not see his own faults!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/vasu-li-mikdash/2014/02/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: