Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Vayakhel Pikudei

The following is a brief summary of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand. 

There is a Medrash in Shir Hashirim which states that the central beam of the Mishkan was 32 amos. Where was the beam found? It was kept by the Jews from the time of Yaakov. 

his is a famous ma'amar chazal that Avraham planted trees Atzei Sheetim in Beer Sheva which were cut down by Yaakov and brought to Egypt. These trees were then brought out of Egypt when the Jews left. 

R' Frand quoted R' Mordechai Druk's sefer Darash Mordechai which relates a question which R' Druk's son asked him. Chazal praise Moshe for taking the bones of Yosef with him when the Jews left Egypt. The gemara states how great Moshe was since all of the Jews were collecting the bounty of Egypt and Moshe went and took the remains of Yosef.

R' Frand quoted the question of R' Druk's son - why is it that we only praise Moshe and not the men who shlepped the Atzei Sheetim which were used in the building of the mishkan? R' Mordechai Druk answers that the difference is what was going on at the time. The people were fulfilling a mitzva (to take the biza of Egypt) and getting rich at the same time. Moshe ignored the wealth and just worked on a pure mitzva of taking the remains of Yosef out of Egypt. It is for this reason that Moshe is praised for ignoring the easy, financial rewarding mitzva and doing the unattractive action of looking after Yosef's corpse.

R' Druk's son explained this by looking at the difference between doing mitzvos which are between man and man vs. between those between man and G-d. The shlepping of the atzei sheetim was an attractive mitzva which was viewed by others as being noble and worthwhile. In contrast, Moshe's work in retrieving the body of Yosef was a mitzva between man and man which was not viewed as all that attractive. Considering that Yosef had grandchildren and great grandchildren who could have been involved with this act, the retrieval of Yosef's corpse was not seen by the average person as special.

Because Moshe chose a mitzva between man and man which did not have the glory and attraction of carrying the wealth of Egypt, Moshe is praised.

R' Frand then quoted a story which is told in a sefer by R' Yitzchak Zilberstein about the mitzva of Bircas Ha'ilanos - the blessing on the trees in the month of Nissan. This mitzva can be accomplished by making the bracha on one fruit tree, but al pi Kabala, it is fulfilled on a great level by making the bracha on two trees.

The story is told about R' Shlomo Zalman Oyerbach was once about to make a bracha on a tree when he was approached by another person who said - Stop! There is another house down the street where there are two fruit trees and you can fulfil the mitzva on a greater level there.

R' Shlomo responded to the man - do you see this tree? It is owned by a widow who is watching me and hoping that I will make the bracha on her tree. It is better for me to give her the enjoyment of seeing me fulfill the mitzva by making the bracha on her tree and forego the possiblity of making the brocha on two trees.

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