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Shabbat Parashat Vayakhel Pekudei 5780

Parashat Hashavua: More on the Revelation of Divine Presence

Harav Yosef Carmel

We have discussed over the last several weeks the appearance of an angel. This is a clear sign of the presence of the shechina (Divine Presence). In our parshiyot, we see other signs of the shechina.

One of the signs is a special cloud. We learn about the fulfillment of the commandment to build the Mishkan and its vessels. At the end of the laining, it says: “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of Hashem was filling the Mishkan. Moshe could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud was hovering over it, and the glory of Hashem was filling the Mishkan” (Shemot 40:34-35). These p’sukim are also parallel to those dealing with the story of David and the altar on the Temple Mount, which we discussed at length, as David was also unable to enter the place, albeit because of the angel’s sword (Divrei Hayamim I, 21:30).

Chazal (Bereishit Rabba 56:1) connected between the p’sukim in our parasha and those of akeidat Yitzchak. They posit that Hashem indicated to Avraham what the proper mountain was by attaching a cloud to its top. (It is noteworthy that when Chazal wanted to express the idea that the building of a Jewish home is equivalent to building a mini-Temple, they adopted the metaphor of a cloud over the couple’s tent.)

Such a cloud also descended on the Beit Hamikdash at the time of its inauguration by Shlomo Hamelech: “It was when the kohanim left the Sanctum and the cloud was filling the House of Hashem. And the kohanim were not able to stand and serve because of the cloud” (Melachim I, 8:10-11). Again, we find an intensity of shechina preventing entrance into a holy place at a formative time.

The other sign of shechina is fire. In Parashat Shemini, the pasuk relates: “Fire came out from before Hashem and consumed on the altar the burnt offering …” (Vayikra 9:24). The descent of fire appears also in the context of David and his altar on Mt. Moriah. The fire consuming David’s offerings (Divrei Hayamim I, 21:26) was a sign that David had achieved atonement with his actions. A similar divine sign was found in regard to the offerings of Shlomo at the inauguration of the Beit Hamikdash (Divrei Hayamim II, 7:1). Of course, there was also fire at the revelation of the Divine Presence at the giving of the Torah on Sinai. Likewise, a special fire and special clouds accompanied Bnei Yisrael in their sojourns in the desert.

(Let us point out that in describing the Divine Presence’s involvement in the Jewish family, the metaphor used is the cloud, which is the softer symbol of the shechina. We talk of fire in the context of the couple only when there is conflict. In the Mikdash, there is both a cloud and fire, corresponding to the joint elements of the divine attribute of chesed and fear.)

Let us pray that we will merit seeing many families with a “cloud over their tents” and seeing the Temple, upon which there was and will be divine clouds and fire.

 

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Reizel Anya bat Devora

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9  5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

 R' Gershon (George)

ben

Chayim HaCohen Kaplan

z"l

Adar II 6

 

 Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

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