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ויביאו את המשכן אל משה

And they brought the Mishkan to Moshe. (39:33)

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Rashi explains that the people came to Moshe Rabbeinu with a problem: They had formed all of the Mishkan’s components, but they just could not seem to erect it. Whatever they did – did not endure. Apparently, Hashem wanted Moshe to put the finishing touch on the Mishkan. Rashi teaches that Moshe had previously not been involved in either contributing towards nor constructing the Mishkan. Hashem gave him the opportunity to put the finishing touch on their work. Indeed, without him their work would have been for naught, because it could not achieve viability until it was standing erect.

Furthermore, on his own, Moshe was unable to raise the Mishkan, because of the weight of the Kerashim, beams. Hashem told Moshe to “involve yourself (engage in erecting the Mishkan), and it will appear as if you are erecting it.” In other words, nothing is set up on its own. We always need Hashem.

Perhaps we can derive a deeper lesson from Hashem’s insistence that Moshe be the one to raise the Mishkan. When Hashem called for contributions for the Mishkan, everyone came forward to offer his contribution. When Hashem asked for skilled artisans to construct the Mishkan’s components, those who felt competent came forward. Now that the work was all done and the Mishkan was about to be raised, a setback seemed to impede the seamless progression from dream to reality. Hashem wanted Moshe to assume the administration of the final phase. Why?

There is an important message here for all future generations – not just concerning the Mishkan. Money – regardless of the sanctity of its source – does not create an enduring Sanctuary, Torah-oriented edifice, organization or endeavor. The spiritual component which the Torah leader provides determines its durability. The material component is critical, but, without Torah, it will not endure.

To take it one step further, the contributions – the tzedakah, charity, generosity of Jews – represent their acts of chesed. Torah supersedes chesed. Torah guides chesed. Acts of lovingkindness which are neither built upon nor inspired by Torah guidance, lack spiritual integrity, and, to a certain extent, are flawed.

Furthermore, the “Moshes” of each generation are acutely aware that every endeavor achieves fruition only through Hashem. Just as Moshe was told to “involve himself by lifting the beams,” and Hashem would do the rest, likewise, the Torah authority knows that he is simply a figurehead. Hashem pulls the strings; He makes it work. The individuals who so generously contribute the funds might be carried away with their material abundance, to the point that they think that they are in charge. Hashem asserts the opposite. They facilitate, but Hashem creates reality.

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