Pearls of Rashi – Vayakhel II

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel, the Torah tells us the various items which the Jews were commanded to donate for the building the Mishkan and the vestments for the Kohanim[1]. The Torah then tells us in detail what was made from these donations[2].

Among the items listed were the pegs; “the pegs of the Mishkan, and the pegs of the courtyard and their ropes[3].” Why was there a need for pegs? Rashi cites the words “the pegs,” and explains as follows. “(They were) driven (into the ground). The ends of the curtains were tied with them into the ground, so that they would not move with the wind.”

It seems quite straightforward; the pegs were used in order to make sure that the curtains would not blow in the wind. Rashi is clearly explaining the simple meaning of the verse. As we have discussed many times, Rashi’s goal is to explain the Torah’s meaning (even) to a beginning student. However, it contains allusions to the Torah’s greatest secrets. The Alter Rebbe once said that[4] “Rashi’s commentary on Chumash is the ‘wine of Torah.’ It opens the heart and uncovers the essential love and fear (of Hashem).” So too, Rashi’s short comments contain a tremendous, deep lesson for us in the service of Hashem.

Suppose that one has a student. He wishes to establish within him resolve in his dedication to Torah and Mitzvos. It is necessary to assure that he can stand firmly against all of the impure “winds” that are “blowing” outside. There are many “spirits,” ideas, which seem to repeat themselves during each era. When they repeat themselves, they are called by different names, but the reality is that they are just the same old philosophies with a slight “makeover.” Even those that are truly different, have certain factors in common. They are against the purity and holiness of Torah, are all popular among the academic community, and due to their popularity, it is difficult for the masses to stand up to them.

The teacher must be certain that the student’s dedication is ‘driven into the ground.’ Even the ends of the curtains, the seemingly ‘less important’ areas of Torah and Mitzvos, were tied with them, the students, into the ground. This is in order that they not move with the wind.” The student’s Torah must be complete in each and every detail, to assure that their Torah does not “blow away” with every “new” wind. As a result of remaining strong in our faith, we will certainly merit Moshiach now!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 6, Beginning with Page 185

Mr. Sholom Moshe ben Reb Shlomo Meir
Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach,
13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 35:5-9.

[2]. Our Parshah, Shemos 35:11-19.

[3]. Our Parshah, Shemos 35:18.

[4]. See Hayom Yom, entry for Shevat 29.

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