מציון תצא תורה

מציון תצא תורה

Read a Debar Torah from Israel Scholarship Recipient 

Sarina Cohen

Parashat Pekude

As Sefer Shemot comes to a close this Shabbat, we see the month of Adar beginning. Having read Parashat Shekalim last Shabbat, and next week reading Parashat Zakhor, this week seems to be lacking any special additions. However, there is a strong connection between this week’s Parasha, Parashat Pekude, and the month of Adar.

As we know, the month of Adar is introduced each year with the famous saying “מי שנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה” when the month of Adar begins, one increases rejoicing– but what does that really mean? How can we achieve true simcha? 

A possible answer to this difficult question is shown throughout the building of the Mishkan in this week’s Parasha. In the process, there is a statement repeated multiple times: “כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְקוָ֖ק אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה׃”

This phrase is written 16 times throughout the Parasha and it comes each time with the completion of a certain aspect of the mishkan. The Lekah Tob questions why each time the Pasuk said “את משה” and not just “אותו”. We know that all of these commandments were given to Benei Yisrael through Moshe so why is there a need to repeat this statement with each addition? The Lekah Tob gives an insightful answer, that when Moshe gave forth the commandments he did so with humility and didn’t boost his status by referring to himself as “אותו,” assuming that Bnei Yisrael would know that he was the one given the original commandment. This lends greatly to the idea that we should be doing רצון ה׳ happily and without the expectation of being placed in a higher position or higher standard. This pure midah of giving can bring us true simha in our lives, which we strive for especially in the month of Adar. 

Sefat Emet expands on this idea in his commentary on Masekhet Taanit, bringing an even greater proof for this road to proper simha. He explains that in the month of Adar it was announced to Bnei Yisrael that they needed to bring Shekalim to the Bet Hamikdash that would be used to beautify and repair it. The nation was filled with such excitement to serve Hashem and give their money to building up the place that gave them a direct connection to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. 

This simha stemmed from the opportunity to serve Hashem and to represent Him as His nation in this world. Although the examples of this simha are brought from the Mishkan and the Bet Hamikdash, that we unfortunately no longer have, we still have the opportunity to serve God in this way today. We have the opportunity to speak directly to Hashem through our prayers and to serve him with the misvot he provided for us. Thus encouraging us to feel the same excitement just as the nation did, thousands of years before us. 

Additionally, we feel this simha during Adar, especially through the misvot that we are commanded to do on Purim. We read the Megillah and connect back to a time when our nation was in galut, but with the knowledge that ultimately they were able to build a new Bet Hamikdash within a few years. This inspires us to anticipate the Bet Hamikdash. We give Matanot L’evyonim, providing to our people and allowing them to live comfortable lives. We create an abundance of excitement by giving Mishloach Manot and making a Seudah in order to welcome the month of Adar and Purim in happiness.

Adar is a time of anticipation and excitement that we are told to act upon: משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה! With Rosh Hodesh Adar falling out on Parashat Pekude, we learn about Adar’s connection to the Mishkan, and to the Bet Hamikdash. It leaves us with the message to continue to be filled with simha, anticipating Purim, and ultimately, the building of the Bet Hamikdash. 

Sarina Cohen graduated from Barkai Yeshivah Elementary School and moved on to graduate from Magen David Yeshivah High School as part of the Scholars Program through all four years. She constantly gives back; Sarina spent her high school career on the committee of the Philanthropy Club and the Blood Drive and served as president of the Seniut Club. Out of school, Sarina is an active member of the Beth Torah High School Minyan committee and enjoys learning weekly in the Allegra Franco Bet Midrash Program. Sarina gained a firm foundation of Torah and missvot formed by strong family values, and under the guidance of community rabbis that foundation flourished into a love for learning and a thirst for knowledge. She is eager to form a deeper connection to Hashem and the land of Israel attending Shaalvim for Women this coming year.