Staying in Focus by Chaim Strassman


In Parshat Tetzaveh, we see the continuation of Hashem’s command to build things for the Mishkan, particularly the Kohein’s garments.  However, in relating to Moshe how the garments should be made, Hashem calls Bezalel and his workers “Chachmei Leiv,” “wise hearted” (28:3).  In last week’s Parsha, Hashem did not refer to the workers as wise-hearted.  He only said “you do this” or “they should build that.”  Why now, in relation to the Kohein’s garments, does Hashem refer to the workers as wise-hearted?

To understand the answer, we must first understand what the Kohein’s garments were.  On the head-plate (the Tzitz), the words “holy to Hashem” were inscribed.  On the breastplate, the 72-letter Name of Hashem was printed.  When the Kohein Gadol wore the Urim VeTumim, he had special Ruach HaKodesh, and the Shechinah rested upon him.  These characteristics made the holiness of the Kohein Gadol’s garments equal to, if not greater than, the holiness of the Mishkan.

That being said, Hashem did not mean that the workers were wise-hearted (though he was not implying that they were not either).  Hashem was sending out a warning.  Although many important things had already been built (e.g.  the Menorah, the Shulchan, the Aron), the workers were cautioned not to lose the proper mindset.  Some of the holiest items for the Mishkan were about to be made, so Hashem was reminding the workers not to lose their focus.

We can see this today as well.  Although it may be enjoyable to be on the basketball team or to watch a favorite TV show, we have to keep our focus where it belongs.  Hashem did not put us on this earth to waste away our time.  We should make time for learning, keep our focus, and help rebuild the Beit HaMikdash.


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