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Tehillim on the Parsha: Vayakhel: The Quality of Our Work



“The wise hearted among those doing the work made the tabernacle.” (Exodus 36:8) What was the work that they were doing? See what is written in the verse, “And this is the elevation gift that you shall take from them.” (25:3) The elevation gift refers to the congregation of Israel, as the verse (Jeremiah 2:3) says, “Israel is holy to God, the first of His crops.”

They worked with, “Gold and silver.” This refers to the Congregation of Israel as the verse (Psalms 68:14) says, “The wings of the Dove (Israel) are covered with silver.”

They worked with, “Copper.” This refers to the Land of Israel, as the verse says, “and from her mountains you will carve out copper (Deuteronomy 8:9).”

“Blue,” this too refers to the Congregation of Israel, as the verse says, “nd they shall put on the fringes of the corner a blue thread (Numbers 15:38).”

They worked with, “purple, and scarlet wool.” This to refers to the congregation of Israel as the verse in Isaiah (41:14) teaches “Fear not, O worm of Jacob.” – Worm referring to the scarlet wool. So too another verse (Song of Songs 4:3) says, “like the Scarlet thread are your lips.”

Another interpretation: the gold with which the wise hearted worked refers to Abraham who was purified in the furnace of fire like gold. This silver they worked with refers to Isaac who was refined as silver on top of the altar. The copper they worked with refers to Jacob for as  Laban said I cast my spell (Nichashti, as in Nechoshet, or copper) and I determined that God blessed me in your merit (Genesis 30:27).”

The Midrash is teaching us that each of the materials and metals that were used in the construction of the Tabernacle represented the glory of Israel either in the past, representing the patriarchs, or of the beauty with which they were held in the eyes of God.

The wise hearted were able to properly use these materials because they appreciated the beauty of Israel as they worked with these materials to build a house for God.

We to can use the same approach when performing one of God’s mitzvot: we can work with each item of a mitzvah to appreciated as reflecting the beauty of Israel in the eyes of God.

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