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ככל אשר אני מראה אותך את תבנית המשכן...וכן תעשו

Like everything that I show you, the form of the Mishkan…and so shall you do. (25:9)

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Rashi comments, v’chein taasul’doros; “And so shall you do” – for generations. This means that, if for some reason it was necessary to make more vessels for the Mishkan, or later for the Bais HaMikdash, the form should be similar to the original vessels used in the Mishkan. Alternatively, the Nefesh HaChaim explains the tzivui, command, of l’doros, for ensuing generations, based upon a statement of the Gaon, zl, m’Vilna who posits that the entire Bais HaMikdash was redolent with a sweet fragrance emanating from the Torah housed in the Aron HaKodesh, situated in the Kodesh HaKedoshim, Holy of Holies.

This teaches that the Mishkan edifice was ancillary to the Torah within its confines. Furthermore, we derive that essentially each and every one of us has the potential and obligation to serve as a veritable sanctuary for Hashem. We should achieve a level of connection with the Torah that we are able to serve as an abode for Hashem’s Divine Presence. The external edifice of the Mishkan is no more than a repository for the Aron HaKodesh, which serves as the receptacle which houses the Torah. It is the Torah that inspires, consecrates and whose fragrance permeates the entire environment around it. Likewise, it is our intrinsic Mishkan, our actions, deeds and total spiritual demeanor which determines our spiritual qualification to warrant being a mikdash for the Shechinah.

With this idea in mind, Horav Shmuel Auerbach, Shlita, explains an incident cited by Chazal in Meseches Yoma. Following the completion of the Yom Kippur service, the Kohen Gadol left the Bais Hamikdash accompanied by a throng of worshippers. The Kohen Gadol would make a festive celebration for his loved ones when he emerged unscathed from the Holy of Holies. It was an indication that Hashem had forgiven the nation. Relief led the overwhelming joy, as everyone walked the Kohen Gadol home. The Talmud Yoma 71 relates that one time as the people accompanied the Kohen Gadol, they met the two Torah leaders of the generation:  Shmaya and Avtalyon. Immediately, everyone left the Kohen Gadol and joined these two gedolim, Torah giants. It was clear that the high position of Kohen Gadol and the reason for celebration aside, the position of pre-eminence in Torah achieved by Shmaya and Avtalyon took precedence.

The Rosh Yeshivah explains that the people realized that the true sanctuary of Klal Yisrael is the Torah and concomitantly the scholars who devote their lives to its mastery. Thus, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, even the Kohen Gadol who entered the Holy of Holies — a place where no other man may enter — and emerged safely, in spiritual triumph over having effected the atonement of Klal Yisrael, was secondary to the Torah and its disseminators. The Torah is our greatest and holiest treasure.

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