REBO D’var Torah Parshat Pekudei by Daniella Engel

Posted on March 24, 2017

Parshas Pekudei begins with an accounting of the materials donated to the building of the Mishkan. In the first verse, there is a repetition of the word “Mishkan”:

“These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony…” (Shemos 38:21)

Rashi explains that the repetition alludes to the idea that the Beis Hamikdash will be taken from us by Hashem as collateral for our sins. Rabbi Ozer Alport asks an extremely interesting question: earlier in Shemos, the law clearly states that if someone takes collateral, they must return the object by nighttime. However, many “nighttimes” have already passed since G-d took the Beis Hamikdash from us, so why hasn’t He followed this law Himself?

Rabbi Alport brings up a very powerful answer given by Rav Zalmeleh Volozhiner. The whole reason why this idea of returning collateral before night exists, is because if the borrower was left without it, they would be suffering loss or hopelessness. For instance, if the collateral was one’s license, there is only so long and far they can go without it; eventually they need it back to continue with daily necessities. Therefore, G-d institutes this requirement of returning collateral at sunset out of compassion, so that we won’t be in pain.

If this is the case, it must be that we are holding the loss of items, such as our license, at a much higher severity than the loss of the Temple.

Rabbi Ozer Alport explains Rav Volozhiner’s thought so beautifully, “We don’t feel lost and hopeless without [the Temple], [since we have] found other acceptable substitutes throughout the generations. Because we don’t truly cry out for the return of our collateral, Hashem has yet to return it to us.”

However, if one does mourn and actively strives towards the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash then they will be rewarded with the blessings one would get if the Beis Hamikdash was actually around today.

Shabbat Shalom!