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INSIGHT: Order in the Torah?!

Unconfusing Confusion


Main Topic



Building the Mishkan

Icon – Instructions


Clothes of Kohanim in Mishkan

Icon – Instructions

Ki Sisa

Golden Calf

Icon – Golden Calf


Building the Mishkan

Icon – Building


Making Clothes of the Kohanim

Icon – Making Clothes


Unconfusing Confusion                                                                                                     

The first Parshiyos of the book of Shemos told us absolutely amazing stories about the Jewish people, from slavery to redemption. The first four Parshiyos, Shmos, VaEira, Bo, and Beshalach, were filled with action, suspense, and breathtaking miracles. Then came the dramatic giving of the Torah in Parshas Yisro and plenty of detailed laws in Parshas Mishpatim.

We now encounter the final 5 Parshiyos of the book of Shemos, and surprisingly, every single Parsha talks about the Mishkan! With all the Mishkan’s many intricate details it could become very confusing. So to “unconfuse” things, here is a general overview of the upcoming Parshiyos.

Parshas Terumah – HaShem gives Moshe all the details about the construction of the Mishkan and all its “furniture.”

Parshas Tetzaveh – HaShem tells Moshe how his special workers, the Kohanim, should be dressed when they work in the Mishkan.

Parshas Ki Sisa – This Parsha continues with more details about the Mishkan, but then dedicates much of the Parsha to the tragic story of the Golden Calf. Surprisingly, this story happened before Parshas Terumah and Parshas Tetzaveh.

Parshas VaYakhel – Think of this Parsha as sort of a repeat of Parshas Terumah. Moshe repeated to Bnei Yisrael HaShem’s instructions on how to build the Mishkan, and the Torah describes in great detail how they carried out their mission.

Parshas Pekudei – Now, think of this Parsha as a repeat of Parshas Tetzaveh. Moshe described to Bnei Yisrael the special clothes of the Kohanim, and the Torah tells us exactly how they made the clothes, down to the very last thread.

What’s fascinating about all this is that the Torah could have condensed Parshas VaYakhel and Pekudei into just one Pasuk! That Pasuk could have looked something like this: “And Moshe instructed Bnei Yisrael all that HaShem commanded him, and they did it.”

It’s a great question but the answer is even better. This only goes to show how great HaShem’s love of Bnei Yisrael is. When you love something you never get tired of talking about it. We will discuss this more in the beginning of Parshas Vayakhel, under the title, “Sooooo Loooong?”.

Shazak insight

Order in the Torah?!

The Torah is not a history book that follows a chronological order, meaning the correct time of events. It wouldn’t make sense for a history book to first teach about the first astronauts landing on the moon in 1969 and then about Columbus discovering America in 1492. But the Torah is not a history book. Actually, the word Torah means “teaching” or “lessons” – making it a guidebook for us rather than a book of historical tales.

Indeed, our great Rabbis teach us that by placing things out of order, HaShem teaches us a great lesson – first the instructions of how to build the Mishkan and then the episode of the Golden Calf. The lesson is clear – never give up hope in any situation, even in an awful one. HaShem always creates the cure before the “disease,” as the saying goes in Hebrew, HaKadosh Baruch Hu Makdim Refuah LaMakah. So too, here: HaShem created the cure, the Mishkan, even before Bnei Yisrael sinned with the Golden Calf!

This is why Parshas Terumah and Tetsaveh (the cure) comes before Ki Sisa (the sin of the Golden Calf), even though first came the episode of the Golden Calf.

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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