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Parashat Pekudei – Why All the Details? Rav Dan Cohen

Parashat Pekudei – Why All the Details? Rav Dan Cohen


This week’s Parasha concludes the description of the building of the Mishkan. An obvious question that arises by even a simple reading of these Parshiyot, is why? Why all the detail? The exact measurements, the types of materials, the method of how it was manufactured…all seemingly insignificant details. Surely the Torah could have summarized “Make for me a Mikdsah and Moshe and the people did so”… Even if there is a reason for all the exact measurements, our Sages teach us that only prophecy that is needed for all generations was written down.

A possible answer to this can be found in the Sages comparison between the Ark of Noach and the Mishkan. The Midrash[1] states: Rav Yudin said- this and this will be learnt from your measurements”. According to the Midrash, Hashem tells Noach that the measurements he is giving him to build the ark will one day serve as the measurements for the Mishkan. Yet this too doesn’t leave us with many answers as to why so much detail.

It seems that the common denominator between the Ark and the Mishkan, was that both these places were designated for the Hashem’s presence to be felt. In the time of the flood, almost all life ceased outside of the Ark. Hashem’s dwelling place became limited to the precinct of the Ark. Similarly, the Mishkan was built to be the dwelling place of the Shechinah. Yet even if we understand the reason behind the ark and the Mishkan, how does that answer the question of all the details?

The Prophet[2] states “”הַשָּׁמַיִם וּשְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם לֹא יְכַלְכְּלוּךָ – אַף כִּי הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה.

“Even the Heavens and beyond cannot contain You, can this house”? We are humbled in what the finite can create for the Infinite, and yet “we desire to see our King[3]”. How do we connect with the Infinite? How does mankind create something befitting for G-d? the answer is in the details of these Parashot.

The only way that humanity can connect with the Creator of the World, is by Hashem himself telling us how to do so. The details of the construction have a clear message. “Nullify your will before His[4]”. Only through listening and heading the word of Hashem, fulfilling his commandments as He instructs us and not as we desire, can allow us to connect to the infinite and create something worthy enough that G-d can proclaim “Veshachanti Btocham– And I dwell amongst them”. We are living in confusing times a where morals and ethics change according to the whims of society, where evil is not fought, and righteousness is not lauded. We need to reaffirm our commitment to Torah and how Hashem wants us to live our lives, and through that we will merit G-ds Shechinah and Righteousness prevail, not only for the Jewish people, but the entire world as the prophet Yeshayahu[5] states:

וַהֲבִיאוֹתִים אֶל הַר קָדְשִׁי וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי עוֹלֹתֵיהֶם וְזִבְחֵיהֶם לְרָצוֹן עַל מִזְבְּחִי כִּי בֵיתִי בֵּית תְּפִלָּה יִקָּרֵא לְכָל הָעַמִּים.

I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My altar; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.”

Shabbat Shalom U’mevorach.

Rav Dan Cohen On behalf of The Selwyn and Ros Smith & Family


2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony