"Egypt" Loses Its Power Over Israel on the 15th of Nissan

"...and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile.” (Tanhuma, Bo 9)

07 February 2011

"Better Late Than Never"


HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva
PARSHAT TRUMAH (view on Youtube)30 Shvat-1 Adar I 5771/4-5 February 2011

"And you shall build Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell within."
Nobody will argue that the main thrust of our weekly parsha is the building of the tabernacle and all its vessels. The Rabbis bring down that this commandment was not just a one-time event for the generation of the desert, but rather a commandment for all generations.. As the Rambam writes: "It is a positive commandment to build a house for G-d, dedicated to offering sacrifices, where we celebrate three times a year."

And as in all commandments given to us by G-d, one is obligated to take all measures to ensure that the commandment gets done. Take, for instance, the mitzvah of sitting in a succa (booth): One must first build the succa according to Jewish law, and then dwell in the succa for the entire week. It would be totally absurd to wait around for a succa to appear out of nowhere, or to search the skies for one to fall out of heaven. If one acted in this manner, he would surly be sent to the nearest insane asylum right away, but this is exactly what we do when it comes to the commandment of building a House for G-d.

It just might be for this reason, that in our parsha the Torah, understanding the Jew only too well, commands us to build the Tabernacle and its vessels not once, not twice not even three times - "You shall build, you shall make, you shall do" - but over one hundred and forty times. This leaves us with no doubt that we have the obligation to make sure that the House of G-d gets done. Our Rabbis have taught us that in every generation that the Temple is not built, it is as if the Temple was destroyed in that generation.

We find that when the Jews returned from their 70-year exile from Babylonia, their first act was to rebuild the Temple and reinstate the sacrificial service. Sure, they could have said: We don’t know how it's done, we don’t understand the prophesies of Ezekiel who prophesied on how the Temple must be built. They also did not say: Hey, heads up y'all, the Temple is falling out of the sky, or we have to wait for Mashiach to build it, or one of the many other excuses that we hear today, for the gates of excuses are never closed. Rather, upon arrival in the Land of Israel, they got right down to work - understanding that a commandment is something that must be done by man.

For the past two weeks, the "Green Bay Packers" have spent countless hours going over strategies, poring over films in their preparation for the big game to bring the Lombardi trophy home in the "Super Bowl", knowing what is at stake, and that over 100 million people will be watching the big game. Can we as Jews do any less for the House of the living G-d? Can we prepare any less than the Packers and Stealers do for their game, when it comes to G-d's commandments? I think not!

The prophet Haggai rebuked us for our lack of effort to build G-d's House, saying: "How can you dwell in your well-built houses, when the House of G-d lies in ruins?" Upheavals throughout the world that we see today, extreme weather, etc. is all part of His plan, all coming from Him, to awaken us to return to out Land and rebuild His House! This is what the parsha is talking about: DO, BUILD, MAKE. Not once or twice - but 140 times!


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