03 February 2022

"The Meaning of the Mishkan"

3 Adar Aleph 5782 
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Terumah

“You shall make the planks of the mishkan / Tabernacle of acacia wood, standing erect.” (26:15)

The midrash comments: Take from those acacia trees which were already standing for this purpose. Avraham had planted these trees in Be’er Sheva. When Yaakov went to Egypt, he transplanted the trees there. Then, before he died, he told his sons that Hashem would one day command that they build a mishkan, and they should use these trees.

Were there no suitable trees in Egypt? Why did the Patriarchs go to such trouble?

R’ Yaakov Kaminetsky z”l (died 1986) explains that the Patriarchs acted thus in order to raise the spirits of their descendants who would be enslaved in Egypt. It was not enough to promise the Jews that they would be redeemed; the groves of acacia trees that Yaakov planted in Egypt were a tangible reminder to the enslaved Jews that their eventual salvation was a reality.

Similarly, R’ Kamenetsky writes, this is one reason that the authors of the siddur included the order of the korbanot / sacrifices in the daily prayers. The more we are familiar with what took place in the Bet Hamikdash, the more real the eventual rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash will seem to us.

(Emet Le’Yaakov) [Source]