KeIsh Echad BeMikdash Echad By Natan Lehman


Parashat Terumah discusses all the intricate and complex details of the structures in the Mishkan. The construction of which, required donations and support from all of Klal Yisrael. Hashem told Moshe that he should recommend only what each man was motivated to give; not more, not less. Furthermore, the donations were not merely restricted to money or other commodities, rather people were encouraged to assist in the construction and planning as well. These vast opportunities and limited restrictions provided Bnei Yisrael with another opportunity to unite as one Ish (man) and one Lev (heart) for the sake of the Ribono Shel Olam. Fortunately, such opportunities appear in Parashat Tetzaveh as well.

            Parashat Tetzaveh begins with Hashem commanding Moshe to make Begadim (garments) for Aharon and his sons.  However, the fabrication of such clothing was not restricted to Moshe alone; rather, all of Klal Yisrael were encouraged to assist in the process. The Midrash Aggadah (Shemot 28:3 s.v. VeAta TeDaber El Kol Chachmei Lev) points out that many of the artisans Moshe worked with to complete the process were women. Ramban (Shemot 28:3 s.v. VeAta TeDaber El Kol Chachmei Lev) and Ibn Ezra (Shemot 28:5 s.v. VeHeim) claim that Moshe held such high regard for the artisans that he didn’t weigh the resources given to them or even supervise them when they were working! The artisans were free to utilize any resource from the funds for the Mishkan. This unity and trust that Moshe and Bnei Yisrael had for one another created an environment in which everyone was working together in all different forms to glorify and honor Hashem.

The artisans were assigned to make many different sacred garments using items such as gold, turquoise wool, purple wool, scarlet wool and linen in order to accomplish this glorification and honoring. Many wonder why such spiritual glorification was to be fulfilled through such physical means. Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvot, Positive Commandment 33) along with many others even point out that if there is a single blemish or stain on the Bigdei Kehunah, the Kohen is forbidden to do work in the Mishkan. The great 19th century Russian Rabbi, Rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, also known as Netziv, believes that the physical beauty of the Beged was meant to spiritually distinguish the Kavod (honor) of the Kohanim from the rest of Klal Yisroel and to signify the importance of the service in the Kodesh HaKodashim. The fact, that the artisans were tasked with fashioning such important garments further signifies the unity that each and every member of Klal Yisrael had.

            Another portrayal of Klal Yisrael’s unity is in the Haftarah (Yechezkel 43:10-27). The Haftarah is about the aftermath of the departure of Hashem’s Shechinah from the First Beit HaMikdash. Despite this tragedy, Hashem shows the great Navi Yechezkel the intricate details of the third Beit HaMikdash in a prophetic vision. It is known that the only way Bnei Yisrael can experience the Ge’ulah and rebuilding of the third and final Beit HaMikdash is if there is Ahavat Chinam (baseless love for one another) and Achdut (unity). Achdut is imperative because in order for Bnei Yisrael to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash and fashion new clothing for the Kohanim they must be Ke’Ish Echad, BeLev Echad. May we all be Zocheh to unite and build the third Beit HaMikdash!

Hashem’s Gan Eden by Rabbi Jake Berman

The Perfect Balance by Ezra Seplowitz ('20)