Vayakhel-Pekudai Shabbat Hachodesh 5773
In the four parshiot of Teruma, Tetzaveh, Vayakhel and Pekudai there is a repetition of the Mishkan’s details, so uncharacteristic of the Torah’s constrictive textual style. Why?
It is told that Shlomo Hamelech (King Solomon) sent his trusted minister, Benayahu ben Yehoyada on a very unusual mission to bring to the King a ring which would make happy people sad and sad people happy. Benayahu scoured the length and breadth of the land, although he had no inkling what he was looking for. In deep frustration, when making his way back to the King’s Palace in Yerushalayim, he passed a goldsmith’s shop and decided to make one more attempt. He asked the artisan if he could create a ring that would make happy people sad and sorrowful people happy. The goldsmith formed a ring from gold and engraved on it three Hebrew letters: gimel, zayin, yud. At Banayahu’s dismay, the artisan told him to take the ring to the wisest of all men - Shlomo HaMelech - who could explain what the three letters stand for.
Benayahu placed the ring before the King, who congratulated him on fulfilling a very difficult mission.
Benayahu asked the King to explain the meaning of the three letters gimel, zayin and yud. Melech Shlomo replied that the letters stand for three words - gam, zeh, ya’avor - this too shall pass. Meaning, that eventually the cause of a happy person’s euphoric feeling will pass and this would make him sad, so too the cause of a sad person’s sorrow will eventually and this would make him happy.
Everything in this material world will eventually pass into oblivion. And nothing could be more illustrative of this axiom than the temporal leaders of nations who quickly fade from history. The only exception is the eternal existence of Am Yisrael in this world and carried over into the next.
Israel is soon to host the President of the United States. It is rumored that the purpose of his visit here will be to demand that Israel present him with a timetable for our withdrawal from Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria). He will, in effect, be using his belief in the Koran to negate the words of our holy Torah that HaShem presented this Holy Land solely to the Jewish nation.
This is not a political visit - it is a challenge to our faith and a denial of the God of Israel.
I don’t know what the Prime Minister will decide, but if I had any influence, I would tell the PM that this is his opportunity to be placed on a pedestal together with the Biblical greats of our people.
President Obama and our Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet alone face-to-face in the confines of the King David Hotel. The President will say, "Bibi. I’m didn’t come ten thousand kilometers in order to go home empty handed. I want your timetable for withdrawal to the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem and the return of at least one million "Palestinian refugees" to their homes in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and from whereever their grandparents came".
The PM will haveto choose between two diametrically opposite paths.
He could take the low road and capitulate by uprooting hundreds of thousand of Jews from our Biblical homeland and reserve for himself a place in eternal Jewish history parallel to that of Yosef ben Matityahu - the traitorous Flavius Josephus who capitulated to the Romans, delivering to them his northern army without a fight.
But the PM could take the high road and be remembered as one of the greatest Jewish leaders. After listening politely to the final dictates of the American President, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu could remove from his pocket a Tanach and begin reading and translating.
וירא ה' אל אברם ויאמר לזרעך אתן את הארץ הזאת
The Lord appeared to Avram and said, "I will give this land to your offspring...
ואת הארץ אשר נתתי לאברהם וליצחק לך אתננה ולזרעך אחריך אתן את הארץ
The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you (Ya’akov), and I will give
this land to your descendants after you.
ויאמר אלי הנני מפרך והרביתך ונתתיך לקהל עמים ונתתי את הארץ הזאת לזרעך אחריך אחזת עולם:
And said to me, I am going to make you (Ya’akov) fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.
ראה נתן ה' א-להיך לפניך את הארץ עלה רש כאשר דבר ה' א-להי אבתיך לך אל תירא ואל תחת:
See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
There are so many more biblical sources that our PM could quote establishing the Jewish nation as the eternal proprietors and possessors of the Holy Land, but I have no doubt that, by that time the President’s patience will have been worn so thin as to make him impervious to any more words like Israel, land or God.
The PM need not fear the President’s anger or resolve for revenge for having to return empty handed to the White House, because like the story of Shlomo HaMelech, gan zeh ya’avor - this too shall pass. We lived through Carter, Bush the father, Clinton, Bush the son, and we will live to see the passing into history of President Obama. But Am Yisrael Chai - the Jewish nation will live on forever.
To return to the repetitious subjects in the four parshiot (A). Perhaps the message is that everything in the world does indeed pass away never to return, except the Jewish people and the Bet Hamikdash which will always return despite what might seem at the moment to be the final stage of our existence.
We have endured the 2000-year galut and returned home to Eretz Yisrael. We are again sovereign over Yerushalayim and great parts of the Holy Land. The land is filled with Torah study, batai knesset and a growing return to our holy Torah in many sectors of our population who were once so far away.
Indeed! Gam zeh ya’avor - this too shall pass, that is the despair, and suffering of our people over the last 2000 years is quickly passing, as we recover and discover the internal strength of our people as it is being brought forth upon the holy soil of our land.
Am Yisrael Chai.