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“He called to Moshe.” (1:1)

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Parashas Vayikra follows directly after Parshiyos Vayakhel/Pekudei in which the Torah details the construction of the Mishkan and all its appurtenances. Chazal explain this juxtaposition with a parable. A king once ordered his faithful servant to build a palace for him. The servant did this in a unique manner. He wrote down the king’s name on everything he built. On every brick, every piece of wood, every piece of metal: wherever one would go, he would see the king’s name. When the palace was completed, the king entered and was amazed that everywhere he went, everywhere he gazed, he saw that his servant had engraved the king’s name. He said, “My servant has honored me so. How can I remain inside the palace, while my dear servant remains outside?” He immediately summoned his servant to enter and visit with him. Likewise, Hashem instructed Moshe to construct a Sanctuary for Him. Every component of the Mishkan, the Torah writes, was executed “as Hashem commanded Moshe.” Everything that Moshe did had Hashem’s “Name” on it. Such respect warrants a reward. Why should the servant, Moshe, remain, outside? So Hashem called to him, “Moshe, enter the Sanctuary that you built in My Name.”

What a beautiful Midrash. It relates an essential truth about the Jewish People. It points out a unique characteristic intrinsic to our relationship with Hashem. Horav Mordechai Rogov, z.l., notes that when we plow or plant, not only are we careful to ascertain that the produce we harvest is eaten b’kedushah u’be’taharah, with holiness and purity, fulfilling the demands placed upon us by the Torah; we even make sure that the actual plowing and planting is performed in accordance with Hashem’s dictate. Indeed, this applies to making sure that every area of endeavor is in compliance with the Torah, whether it is in the physical/material dimension or in the spiritual dimension.

When Moshe built the Mishkan, not just the sacrifices had to be holy. Every aspect of the Mishkan, the walls, the beams, the stones – everything – had to bear Hashem’s Name on it. Otherwise, its sanctity was incomplete. When Hashem saw that even the very foundation had been consecrated, He invited Moshe inside.

Rabbi Chiya taught Torah this way: Chazal tell us that Rabbi Chiya would sow flax seed, and twist nets out of the grown flax in order to trap deer. He slaughtered the deer, fed their meat to orphans, and prepared scrolls of parchment from their hides. He then wrote the Five Chumashim on this parchment. He would go to towns where there were no teachers, to teach Torah to the children. Horav Aharon Kotler, z.l., questioned the need to prepare the parchment himself. Could Rabbi Chiya not have simply walked into the “Jewish book store” and purchased a Chumash from which he could teach the children Torah? Why did he have to go through the entire process, from planting the flax to writing the Chumash?

Rav Aharon explains that the best guarantee of success is to do every single thing, from start to finish, l’shem Shomayim, for the sake of Heaven. Only that which is done completely for the sake of Heaven is free of any noxious effect from the forces of impurity. If one builds a Torah edifice on the foundation of holiness, in such a manner that every aspect of this structure is hallowed from the moment it comes into existence, the powerful forces of evil/impurity will never even touch it.

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