Friday, April 13, 2007

Shemini 5631 First Ma'amar

Note: This is the first half of the Ma'amar.

The purpose of the Mishkan was so that God’s presence would be felt amongst the nation. Following the seven days of Milu’im/initiation of the Mishkan God’s presence was still not felt. Moshe Rabbeinu tells the nation of Israel, “זה הדבר אשר צוה ה' תעשו וירא אליכם כבוד ה'/This is the thing that God commanded you to do, then God’s glory will appear to you.” According to Chazal, Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the nation to rid themselves of their inclination towards idol worship and to worship only God. Just like God is One, so too, our service should be dedicated only to Him.

The Chiddushei HaRim explains that Chazal are also teaching us that everything that we do can be dedicated to serving God. “אשר צוה ה' תעשו/Do that which God commanded you” means that everything you do should be included in that which God commanded you. Then “וירא אליכם כבוד ה'/The glory of God will appear to you.” The reason is because the glory of God is hidden within everything in the world as Yishaya HaNavi tells us, “מלֹא כל הארץ כבודו/The whole world is filled with His glory.” Our mission is to try to find the will of God in everything we do. This is what Moshe Rabbeinu was hinting to.

Moshe Rabbeinu refers to achieving God’s will through a person’s actions as, “זה הדבר/This is the thing.” The Torah tells us that there is a fundamental difference between Moshe Rabbeinu’s prophecy and the prophecy of all other prophets. Chazal teach us that the Moshe Rabbeinu alluded to this difference since he was the only prophet to preface his prophecies with, “זה הדבר/This is the thing.” This wording implies more clarity and exactness. Therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu uses these same words to indicate an individual’s high level of clarity regarding his own actions.

The highest level of clarity one can have is when he knows that he has accomplished God’s will. He has drawn out the spiritual essence of his action; a high level indeed. The purpose of the Mishkan and the Beis HaMikdash is to make this easier by bringing the perception of God’s presence into our life experience. May we merit it speedily!

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