Vayakhel – Pekudei 5777


ויביאו את המשכן אל משה את האהל ואת כל כליו קרסיו קרשיו בריחו (שמות לט:לג)

They brought the Mishkan to Moshe, the tent and all its utensils; its hooks, its planks,
its bars, etc. (Shemos 39:33)

Rashi explains that Bnei Yisrael brought the pieces of the Mishkan to Moshe Rabbeinu, since they were not able to assemble it themselves. Rav Moshe Feinstein, in his sefer Darash Moshe, asks why Hashem specifically wanted Moshe to be the one to assemble the Mishkan, thereby making its assembly too difficult for everyone else. He points out that later on, the Levi’im had no problem assembling and disassembling the Mishkan. What was different at this point?
Rav Moshe explains that Moshe Rabbeinu had not yet donated towards the Mishkan, nor had he participated in its actual construction. This was because Hashem wished that those who donate be נדיבי לב, generous-hearted people. One of the qualifications of a נדיבי לב is that the donor must feel when giving that he is doing so simply because the object belongs to Hashem, and not that it will be used for a specific purpose. This explains why the collection preceded the command to build the Mishkan. In that way, all donations were on the level of נדיבי לב.
Moshe Rabbeinu, however, was the ultimate נדיבי לב, not just monetarily, but physically, emotionally and spiritually as well. Therefore, Hashem did not tell him to give; rather, He instructed Moshe to tell Bnei Yisrael to give. Moshe correctly understood from this directive that he himself should refrain from donating, as that was what Hashem wanted. Nevertheless, Moshe perceived that Hashem wanted to show him that it was not that his donation was not wanted. On the contrary, Moshe did not need to improve himself in this area. For this reason, Hashem arranged that the Mishkan be assembled only by Moshe.
This leads to the next question. The Midrash Tanchuma (Pekudei 10) says ילמדנו רבינו, כמה דברים מתקנים מפני דרכי שלום. כך שנו רבותינו, אלו דברים אמרו מפני דרכי שלום, כהן קורא ראשון ואחריו לוי ואחריו ישראל, מפני דרכי שלום., “Our Rabbi taught us that many things were instituted for the sake of maintaining peace. So taught our Rabbis: these [following] rules were applied for the sake of peace: A Kohen reads first (from the Torah portion), afterward a Levi, and then a Yisrael, for the sake of peace.”
The obvious question is, what do these ordinances have to do with this Pasuk? The Maharil Diskin explains that the Midrash was bothered with several questions. This was not yet the time or place for erecting the Mishkan, so why was it necessary for Moshe to put it together at this time? Also, Moshe was a tremendous עניו, a humble person. Why did he deem it proper for Bnei Yisrael to carry everything to him? Why didn’t he go look over their work at the location where it was completed?
The Midrash answers that many things were enacted for the sake of peace. This means that here, too, Moshe viewed their work this way for the sake of peace. Had he gone to their location to take their vessels, it might have caused strife. Those who fashioned vessels to which he had not given precedence would think to themselves, “Why is Moshe giving him precedence over us?” However, now that everyone had to bring his own work to Moshe, he was able to just check it over on a “first come-first serve” basis, thereby eliminating any hard feelings. For this reason, Moshe had them bring their work to him.


The Golden Mizbeach is referred to as the Mizbeach HaKetores, presumably because the main Avodah of the Golden Mizbeach is the offering of the Ketores twice each day. The Pras BeShachris and Pras Bein HaArbaim, respectively, are brought in the morning and in the afternoon. Interestingly, the Torah juxtaposes the bringing of the Ketores with the Hadlakos HaNeros.
What is the connection is between the Ketores and the Hadlakos HaNeros? A simple connection is that both Avodos are done in the Heichal, the Kodesh. A deeper connection is that Ketores is an offering that gives off a fragrance and oil gives off light, whereas the Korbanos in the Mizbeach HaChitzon, the outer Mizbeach, are offerings of animals and birds, which are more physical offerings.
The Mizbeach HaNechoshes, the Copper Mizbeach, is referred to as the Mizbeach HaOlah, the Mizbeach of the Olah offering. Why is the Olah offering singled out more than all the other Korbanos? The Mizbeach HaNechoshes is also the home for the Chatas, Shelamim, Asham, Bird Offering and Animal Offerings. Perhaps the Olah offering is unique in that it is referred to as the Korban Tamid, the “constant” offering which is brought twice each day – the Tamid Shel Shachar and the Tamid Shel Bein HaArbayim. It makes sense to name the Mizbeach HaNechoshes after the most common Avodah. In doing so, the Torah is teaching the importance of consistency in Avodas Hashem,
Rashi (Shemos 29:42) notes that Tamid, continuous, means that there is an offering of the Korban Tamid from one day to the next, with no pause of a day in between. Although the Korban Tamid consists of two separate Korbanos, it seems that the requirement of Tamid is fulfilled even if only one Korban Tamid is brought that day.
A question would arise if for some reason it would only be possible to bring only two Korban Tamids over a time period of two days. Would it would be better to bring the Korbanos at the earliest possible time, which would be on the first day both in the morning and the afternoon, and then go a full day without the Korban Tamid, or would it be better to bring one of the Korbanos each day, either in the morning or the afternoon? A reason to bring the Korbanos at the first possible time is that there is a concept of Zerizin Makdimin L’Mitzvos, when a Mitzvah appears one should not delay. As an example, the Gemara (Yevomos 40a) states that even though the Torah prefers Yibum to be performed by the oldest brother, if a younger brother is readily available and the older brother is momentarily unavailable, the younger brother has preference for the Mitzvah. So, too, with the Korban Tamid. Even though by offering the Korban Tamid at its first two opportunities, the Mitzvah of Tamid, to bring the offering day after day, is neglected, it may nonetheless be preferable to fulfill the Mitzvah at its first possible time.
There is a similar discussion with regards to Kiddush Levana. Is it better to perform the Mitzvah at the first possible time, even if by doing so it would not be done on a Motzei Shabbos, or to wait for Motzei Shabbos in order to perform Kiddush Levana at its most preferred time? Here again, the Poskim disagree.