Parshas Vayakel:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Vayakel:


Moshe came down with the Luchos in his hands, he then gathers the Bnei Yisroel and tells them over what Hashem commands from them.

1) To keep the Shabbos

2) To build the Mishkan

We would think that after the sin of the Golden Calf, Hashem would request much more from the Bnei Yisroel, why specifically about keeping Shabbos and the Mishkan?

Comes Rav Shlesinger (Sefer Aylei Hadvarim), and explains that the Bnei Yisroel just over came the sin of the Eigel, and Moshe was now telling them the basics, on how to abstain from this error in the future.

Their sin was that they didn't take time to think things over and they automatically concluded that Moshes delay meant that he died.

Thus Moshe is telling them over, two methods of protection.

1) To keep oneself enclosed in a place of holiness, such as the Mishkan, a Shul, Beis Medrash, and thus be protected against the Satan.

2) By keeping the Shabbos. Shabbos means to take a break in the rush of our every day lives, and take a day off to see where we are heading, if we are doing the correct things, and if we realize that everything is from the hands of Hashem.

The Sefer "Aperion Al Hatorah" (Rebbi Shlomo Gansfried tz"l), brings down that a person that does not believe that his income comes from heaven, and he believes it is only from his hard work, would find it hard to keep Shabbos, for he feels that now he would be loosing one full days profit.

Yet one who believes that all ones Parnasah is destined on Rosh Hashanah, does not find it hard to keep Shabbos, for he is not loosing. Therefore the Torah writes first that "Six days you work", with the wording of "Tayaseh"= work will be done.

That the work is done by itself, that no matter how much one tries to gain more money, his amount of profit is already set above. And he shouldn't think that he himself, is the only way he gets his income, yet all is from heavens, than he would fully understand that the Seventh day he rests.

I would like to bring the idea of Shabbos a few steps further.

We see that since the Mishkan's construction ceased on Shabbos, we can see the greatness the Torah places on the observance of Shabbos.

The reason for Shabbos being of such great an importance is because it in itself is an abode for the Shechinah, thus it is fit to take precedence over the construction of the Mishkan, since it came into existence before the Mishkan.

What do we mean by saying that Shabbos is an abode for the Shechinah?

Comes the Sforno and explains that the commandment of building the Mishkan was only after the sin of the Golden Calf. For before the sin, one was able to feel the presence of Hashem, wherever he was. After the sin they lost this precious level of spirituality, and there came a need to build a holy structure, which the Shechinah could reveal itself.

Shabbos contains in it some of this special level of spirituality that was present in the Bnei Yisroel before their sin.

For the holiness of Shabbos is not confined to any special structure, yet any Jew, any where, can access its holiness. Shabbos has a Neshama Yeseirah, that allows each individual to attain a higher level than that he was on the whole week.

The Mashgiach of the Lomza Yeshivah would say, if a person wants to know what level of Olam Habah he has obtained, all he has to do is look at the extent he feels the holiness of Shabbos, for this is the level he has obtained.

Since, "Shabbos Mayein Olam Habah.".

(Adapted from Rav Shlezinger, and Rav Michel Barenbaum).


Thirty days before the Chag:

The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 429) brings down that one is required to start learning about the laws of Pesach, thirty days before Pesach. The Mishnah Berurah brings down that this Halacha applies to every Yom Tov.

One is also required to learn on Yom Tov itself, the Halachos of that day.

The Tsitz Eliezer ( part 17 siman 1) that one is also required to learn about Chanukah and Purim, for they are also called Yom Tov, however one is not required to "Ask & Learn" about that day, thirty days before.

The Shulchan Aruch Harav (3), writes that in our days, where everything is written down in Sefarim, everyone is required to learn the Halachos of the Chag, until he is familiar with all the Halachos.

There is also need to learn Agaddah for the Chag, as it is written in "Sidur Ha Yavetz", that one is also required to get rid of the Chametz found in himself before the Chag.

There are those that say one should learn the Mesechtah that applies to that Chag. (Gemarah, Mussar, Chassidus...). As The Kaf Hachaim writes, that we do this for what it says in the Gemarah in Sanhedrin (101:a), that "whoever reads a Pasuk in its right time, brings redemption to the world."

To finish off, I would like to bring A Halacha that applies to Pesach.

One is forbidden to eat Matzah, from "Amud Hashachar" on Erev Pesach. This is in order for one to enjoy the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach.

The Misnah Berurah (471:12) brings down that there are those that refrain from eating Matzah from Rosh Chodesh, there are those who agree with this opinion , and there are those who disagree with this opinion .

The Igros Moshe brings support for this Minhag and he also brings support for the Minhag of Chabad, who refrain from eating Matzah, thirty days before Pesach.

There are different opinions if the above also applies to Chametz (Matzah), and in a case where one only eats Hand - Made Matzah, if they are allowed to eat Chametz Machine Matzah before Pesach, for they have a different taste.

A Gut Shabbos!!