Divine Protection by Ari Tepler


For the most part, Parashat Tetzaveh details the plans for construction of the Mishkan’s sanctuary. However, towards the end of the Parashah, Hashem reiterates, “VeYadeu Ki Ani Hashem Elokeihem Asheir Hotzeiti Otam MeiEretz Mitzrayim LeShachni VeTocham Ani Hashem Elokeihem” “They shall know that I am Hashem, their God, who took them out of the land of Egypt to rest my presence among them. I am Hashem, their God”(Shemot 29:46). While this Pasuk, which appears many times throughout the Torah, seems redundant, it actually reveals a deeper message. Ramban explains that a first glance at this Pasuk reveals that the Shechinah in Israel is for Bnei Yisrael’s benefit, to guard and protect them. However, on a deeper level, the Shechinah seems to serve a purpose for Hashem as well. By ensuring Bnei Yisrael’s safety, Hashem ensures that Bnei Yisrael will be able to worship and serve Him, fulfilling His divine plan. However, this comment is puzzling. How exactly do Bnei Yisrael fulfill Hashem’s divine plan by persisting and worshipping him? Moreover, why was it necessary to repeat this idea in this seemingly superfluous Pasuk?

Multiple sources seem to answer these questions. The Yerushalmi in Masechet Ta’anit writes that Hashem embedded his name in the name Yisrael. This idea can be compared to a King who has a small key to his castle. He ties the key to a chain and attaches it to his neck so that he will never lose this key. Similarly, Hashem incorporates His divine name into the name of Bnei Yisrael. Bnei Yisrael is the precious “key” to His kingdom, and as such, Hashem protects them, lest they be destroyed by the nations of the world. The Maharal explains that if Bnei Yisrael are lost, there will be no one to worship and spread the glory of Hashem. God’s kingdom will be locked in this world, without a key.

Initially, in the Garden of Eden, God’s presence was among us in the world. However, after man’s first sin, God’s presence ascended into the upper worlds. Thereby, it became imperative to create a connection to God in this world. With the exodus of Bnei Yisrael from Egypt, the Shechinah took the first step towards this divine goal. As the Pasuk states, Hashem takes Bnei Yisrael out of Mitzrayim to rest his presence upon them. Yetziat Mitzrayim, unlocking God’s kingly palace, serves to enable the presence of the Shechinah.

Nowadays, there is a major struggle in the world and many threats loom over the nation of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. Despite these threats, we must have faith that the Shechinah will continue to fulfill its protective purpose. We must continue to bridge the gap between our realm and that of the divine, bringing God’s presence closer to earth. We pray every morning that Hashem should grasp onto that key and always remain with Am Yisrael because otherwise we will be lost to those opposing forces in the world that strive to suppress us.

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