Pearls of Rashi – Pekudei II

With this week’s Parshah, Pekudei, we conclude the second book of the Torah, Shemos. The past five portions dealt with all of the details associated with the Mishkan. The last chapter of our Torah portion, tells us that[1] “On the day of the first month, on the first of the month, you shall set up the Mishkan of the Tent of Meeting.” This means to say that the Tabernacle was finally complete, and was ready to use.

After telling us all of these details, the Torah says that[2] “… the cloud rested upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan.” Throughout the years of travelling in the wilderness, this cloud served to let the Jews know when to travel. “When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the Jews set out in all their journeys. But if the cloud did not rise up, they did not set out until the day that it rose[3].”

The concluding words of this chapter, and the entire book of Shemos, is[4] “For the cloud of Hashem was upon the Mishkan by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.” Rashi explains that “each journey that they were traveling, the cloud would rest in that place where they camped. The place of their encampment is also called a journey … Since from the place of their encampment they resumed their journeys, they are all called ‘journeys.’”

Rashi here is teaching us a very deep lesson. The book of Shemos begins by telling us of a tragic descent; the exile of the Jews in Egypt. It later tells us of an equally great ascent; drawing G-dliness into the world as a result of the exodus from Egypt, the giving of the Torah, and building the Mishkan.

Here the Torah is telling us, that this great ascent actually began with exile. We see this from Rashi’s comments. “Since from the place of their encampment they resumed their journeys, they are all called ‘journeys.’” The entire purpose of each encampment was the journey, i.e. the ascent, which would follow it. In other words, the purpose of exile is the redemption which follows it.

Once and for all, may we finally see with our own physical eyes the ultimate redemption now!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 6, Page 238

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 40:2.

[2]. Our Parshah, Shemos 40:35.

[3]. Our Parshah, Shemos 40:36-37.

[4]. Our Parshah, Shemos 40:38.

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