Parshas Pekudei 2018: Mishkan and The HaMikdash
Opening with a detailed list of all the gold, silver, and copper donated to the Mishkan, Parshas Pekudei elaborates on Moshe’s efforts to count and supervise the donations himself. This would ensure that everyone's donations were accounted for and to show the utmost respect for this sacred project.
The Mishkan was quite remarkable. Serving as the place for the people to connect with their Creator in the wilderness. Hashem’s shechina (divine presence) descended from the Heavens and rested in the Mishkan. The Mishkan was only meant as a temporary “temple” while they sojourned.
Sforno points out the Mishkan and its parts were so lofty spiritually, they remained intact for years and years. Many of those years consisted of wars and uprisings. Yet the Mishkan remained standing, impervious to physical threats.
In fact, Shlomo HaMelech’s (King Solomon’s) Beis HaMikdash (the first holy temple) was built by non-Jewish workmen. Although the shechina rested there too, it became worn and needed occasional maintenance. Additionally, the second temple never contained the tablets or the shechina thereby lacking in its spirituality. Both temples ended up falling to our enemies and were destroyed.
The Mishkan’s holiness surpassed both temples. Hashem didn’t rest His Presence where there was wealth or power, but rather where there was holiness.
Ramban says, our exile from Egypt did not end until the erection of the Mishkan. The Jewish nation was still considered in exile even once liberated to the wilderness. Only once they received the Torah at Har Sinai and built the Mishkan were we able to reach to previous heights of our Forefathers and experience actual freedom.
It is said, the third and final Beis HaMikdash will be the most holy of the four. The G-d-given structure will contain both the luchos (tablets) and Hashem’s shechina. May we all merit to see the final Beis HaMikdash in all its glory!
Have a wonderful Shabbos and weekend!
Maverick V. Peters