ישיבת מאיר הראל מודיעין - גרעין קהילתי וקריית חינוך ע"ש מאיר והראל ע"ר 580444826

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גרעין קהילתי וקריית חינוך ע"ש מאיר והראל הינה עמותה שמפעילה תוכניות ופרויקטים בתחומי ישיבה, קהילה, זהות יהודית חברה, צבא ורפואה

Dramatic turning point

The Parasha in our everyday life- Pekudei 5782

Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald - Rosh Yeshivat Hesder 'Meir Harel' Modi'in

There are dramatic events that become major milestones in life. The change they cause creates a significant turnaround. Over the years, when you look back, history gets divided between the before and after a certain event. The same is true in public life and the history of the nation, and even more so with the history of the world.

The war that broke out between Russia and Ukraine is one of the events that may change world history. A few days before it broke out, leaders, politicians and security experts from all over the Western world (also Israel) said there was no chance it would break out even though everyone saw the large concentrations of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border, and despite the fact that US intelligence agencies warned of war. They were convinced that there was no chance of war in Europe of 2022 and it was only a threat, a Russian attempt to create improved conditions for ending the conflict through diplomatic negotiations. They were surprised! Big time!

But what made them close their eyes, and not come to terms with reality?! Until it hit them on the face.

For several decades, both Europe and parts of the United States have adopted a liberal progressive approach. We are in a 'new and enlightened world', an 'end to wars' era. From now on, conflicts between countries will be settled around the table "in a peaceful way". If not, they will no longer be decided by 'military force' and 'primitive' war, but in the spirit of the new age - by 'soft' means: economic sanctions, political pressure levers and international legal involvement. These times don't have 'nations' that differentiate between people, they are all human beings, and they are all equal. The whole world is a cosmopolitan global village maintained by 'human rights' (and minimum debts), and driven by the economy (the 'golden calf') and personal self-realization. Therefore, there is no longer a need for large armies and hands must be joined in a joint global effort that will be directed to the environment.

Accordingly, in recent decades, European countries have dramatically reduced their armies. Out of environmental considerations, they reduced their own energy sources, and became dependent on energy supplies from Russia (about 30%). Without worrying that there is a risk of them becoming hostages.

The convoys of tanks and armored personnel carriers that broke into Ukraine, the planes that bombed its bases, and the paratroopers that landed in the suburbs, were a 'wake-up call'. As a 'Yom Kippur' of madness of Western progressiveness, which arose from the dream to a new morning, and was surprised to find that, meanwhile, world Islam, Russia and China had galloped all the way to world hegemony, by the "primitive" means of military force.

Only time will tell how the war will end, and whether it will actually become a turning point in their worldview, or whether 'politically correct' will be stronger.

Our Parasha seals the Book of Shmot and the process of establishing the Mishkan with the Shechinah within it. This is a historic turning point in the history of the nation, after the fall and mistake of the madness of worshiping the 'golden calf':

״וְדִי זָהָב״...כָּךְ אָמַר מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, בִּשְׁבִיל כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב שֶׁהִשְׁפַּעְתָּ לָהֶם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, עַד שֶׁאָמְרוּ ״דַּי״ — הוּא גָּרַם שֶׁעָשׂוּ אֶת הָעֵגֶל. טאָמְרִי דְּבֵי רַבִּי יַנַּאי: אֵין אֲרִי נוֹהֵם מִתּוֹךְ קוּפָּה שֶׁל תֶּבֶן אֶלָּא מִתּוֹךְ קוּפָּה שֶׁל בָּשָׂר.

"We must clarify: What is the meaning of and Di Zahav? The Sages of the school of Rabbi Yannai said that Moshe said the following before the Holy One, Blessed be He, to atone for Israel after the sin of the Golden Calf: Master of the Universe, because of the gold and silver that you lavished upon Israel during the exodus from Egypt until they said enough [dai]; it was this wealth that caused Israel to make the Golden Calf .Establishing a general moral principle, the Sages the school of Rabbi Yannai said: A lion does not roar standing over a basket of straw from which he derives no pleasure, but he roars standing over a basket of meat, as he only roars when satiated.” (Brachot 32a)

The last verses of the Parasha and the Sefer describe the end of the building of the Mishkan, and the beginning of a new era of Shechinah: "

וַיְכַ֥ל מֹשֶׁ֖ה אֶת־הַמְּלָאכָֽה וַיְכַ֥ס הֶעָנָ֖ן אֶת־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וּכְב֣וֹד ה' מָלֵ֖א אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן׃

“When Moshe had finished the work, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Presence of Hashem filled the Tabernacle” (Shmot 40:33-34)

Also, in the beginning of the Parasha, in the report on the people's contributions to the Tabernacle:

אֵ֣לֶּה פְקוּדֵ֤י הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙ מִשְׁכַּ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר פֻּקַּ֖ד עַל־פִּ֣י מֹשֶׁ֑ה עֲבֹדַת֙ הַלְוִיִּ֔ם בְּיַד֙ אִֽיתָמָ֔ר בֶּֽן־אַהֲרֹ֖ן הַכֹּהֵֽן׃

“These are the records of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of the Pact, which were drawn up at Moshe’s bidding—the work of the Levites under the direction of Itamar son of Aaron the priest”. (Shmot 38:21)

The Midrash asks:

מַהוּ הָעֵדֻת, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל עֵדוּת הוּא לְכָל בָּאֵי עוֹלָם שֶׁיֵּשׁ סְלִיחָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל.

“What are these records, (In the Tabernacle)? It is a testimony to all in the world that there is forgiveness for Israel (for the sin of the golden calf)”. (Shmot Rabbah 51:4)

כֵּיוָן שֶׁהָלַךְ משֶׁה לְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עֲלֵיהֶם מִיָּד סָלַח לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיֹּאמֶר ה' סָלַחְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶךָ. אָמַר משֶׁה רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָם הֲרֵינִי מְפֻיָּס שֶׁמָּחַלְתָּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶלָּא הוֹדִיעַ לְעֵינֵי כָל הָאֻמּוֹת שֶׁאֵין בְּלִבְּךָ עֲלֵיהֶם, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חַיֶּיךָ הֲרֵינִי מַשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָתִי בְּתוֹכָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כה, ח): וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ, וּמַכִּירִין שֶׁמָּחַלְתִּי לָהֶם, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת, שֶׁעֵדוּת הִיא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁמָּחַל לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

And explains there: "Since Moshe went to ask for mercy on them, G-d immediately forgave them as it is written (Bamidbar 14) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ה' סָלַ֖חְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ ‘And Hashem said I have pardoned [them] as you have asked’. Moshe said Master of the Universe I am aware that you have pardoned Israel, but how will all the nations know that You have forgiven them? Hashem answered: My Shechinah will be in the Tabernacle and that will serve proof that I have pardoned as it is written וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ ‘And let them make Me a sanctuary’ (Shmot 25:8), and as it says the Records of the Tabernacle are a testimony to all in the world that there is forgiveness for Israel (for the sin of the golden calf)”. (Shmot Rabbah ibid)”.  

And a new era begins.

The donations to the Mishkan, with the amounts included in our Parasha, are a correction to the madness of giving to the golden calf:

רִבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר פָּזִי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי. הֵן נִקְרָא וְלֹא נִבְהַת. לְטוֹבָה כֹּ֚ל נְדִ֣יב לֵב. לְרָעָה וַיִּֽתְפָּֽרְקוּ֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם אֶת־נִזְמֵ֥י הַזָּהָב֭ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּאָזְנֵיהֶ֑ם.

“Rebbi Jehudah bar Pazi in the name of Rebbi: May one read this and not be ashamed? In a good sense, every one of goodwill; in a bad sense, all the people took off the gold rings in their ears" (Jerusalem Talmud Shekalim 1:1)

Let us pray for the prompt ending of the war, with a minimum of casualties, sobriety and a turning point.

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