This page presents insights by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the weekly Torah portion.
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Parshat Pekudei (5760)
This parsha begins with a summery (Pikude) of the donations for the Tabernacle (Mishkan) in the desert, and it hints clearly at the two Holy Temples that were to be taken away temporarily (Mashkon, Pikadon) until the arrival of Moshiach.
The word Pikad has two opposite meanings. One means to visit, to be present, and the other means to be missing, to be absent.
These two opposites contain the essence of Torah, and the inner meaning of reality. Just as in nature; before growth, a seed must decay (and the moment of birth decay begins anew), before wisdom there must be an admission of ignorance (and with wisdom comes the awareness of even greater ignorance), before true happiness and fulfillment must be an empty or a broken heart (and happiness induces a greater emptiness and striving for a higher goal). So to, the very Torah itself is simultaneously finite and infinite. The Torah is a seemingly finite and unholy book, with ink letters on paper filled with very precise laws and prohibitions, but nevertheless it is really the Infinite Will and revelation of G-d Himself.
Therefore, the Torah is the secret and the only real path to growth, wisdom, and true happiness for it is finite and infinite at once.
The Talmud informs us that the Torah in the Holy of Holies together with its container, although they were made from normal materials and to exact measurements, took up no space.
Similarly, the Torah teaches and enables us to be, AND not to be at the same time. This is the secret of Judaism and the secret of life. Each of us must try to be the best, and utilize all our potential and simultaneously feel, that we are nothing. We must fight battles, exert tremendous efforts and after the victory, feel that everything belongs to G-d.
This attitude is especially essential in the Mitzva of loving others as one’s self. On one hand, we must completely negate all our feelings and overlook all the faults of the other, but at the same time, we must arouse our feelings, and love the other as THE OTHER would want to be loved.
That is what all the Jews felt three times a year when they went on each of the Holidays to the Bait HaMikdosh (Holy Temple); they felt happiness “V’SmachTaw B’Chagechaw”, because they felt these two opposites, namely that the world is really not real, (for G-d creates it anew constantly), and simultaneously that each creation, especially each Jew is very important.
This is the point of this weeks parsha. If one wants to make himself into a Holy Temple there is only one way; Pekude…namely to be completely surrendered to The Creator, and simultaneously use all one’s abilities to serve Him.
Then G-d will show us that the Temples were really not destroyed and that the Jews are a G-dly nation. In reality, the Temples were only taken as collateral by HaShem, and will be returned, together with true Jewish identity, with the revelation of the Moshiach.
This process we see is beginning now, as the Rebbe of Lubavitch said several years ago, we only have to open our eyes and see, and open our hearts and desire the immediate arrival of Moshiach.
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