Thursday, March 15, 2007
Shabbos = Meleches Hamishkan - Reb Nachum from Chernobyl
Reb Nachum from Chernobyl teaches in the first piece Meor Einayim on Parshas Ki Sisa:
“Ach es Shabsosai tishmoru” (Shmos 31:13) - On this pasuk Rashi says l’ma’ait Shabbos mi’meleches hamishkan. In other words,” ach” always excludes something and here it excludes Meleches Hamishkan from being done on Shabbos.
Reb Nachum Chernobyler asks: This isn’t a mi’ut at all. It should have been marbeh (included) a prohibition of meleches Hamishkan. If it was a mi’ut, it would be taking away isurim from Shabbos (i.e. making them muter). But it’s adding isurim. So why does the Gemara/Rashi call the “addition” of an isur of meleches Hamishkan a “mi’ut?”
He answers that the whole purpose of building the mishkan is to cause hashro’as Hashchina, the dwelling of G-d’s presence within the Jewish people. He also points out that Shabbos means Hashem’s perfection dwelling in the Jewish people. Since Hashem’s presence is perfect and lacks nothing, there is nothing lacking in Hashem’s presence in the Jewish people on Shabbos. It is whole and perfect. The whole idea of doing melacha of meleches Hamishkan is that we don’t currently have hasho’as Hashchina, so we’re building the Mishkan to fill in that void.
Therefore, by working on the Mishkan on Shabbos, one is impliedly saying that Hashem’s presence on Shabbos is lacking and we still need to bring hasho’as Hashechina through meleches Hamishkan! This takes away from and minimizes the value of Shabbos since it’s purporting to accomplish what Shabbos already achieves.
That is why the Rashi uses the term “l’mai’ait Shabbos mimeleches Hamishkan.” Because working on the Mishkan does “lessen” or “minimize” the value of Shabbos, it is called an lessening “mi’ut” of Shabbos, so it is forbidden.
This teaching of Reb Nachum teaches us a great Yesod. The purposes of Shabbos and building the Mishkan are the same. They both are the building of a dwelling place for Hashem. There is a piece in Shema Yisroel quoting the Sfas Emes making a similar point here.
My rebbe teaches that many of the things we do on Shabbos reflect this fact. We smell hadasim or some other besamim on Shabbos as a bechina of the Ketores. We have Challah corresponding to the Lechem Hapanim. We light the neros Shabbos corresponding to the Menorah. We eat meat corresponding to the korbanos. We drink wine and have Kiddush corresponding to the wine libation. We make our beds before Shabbos (as mentioned in the Rambam) corresponding to the Kodesh Kodashim which the pasuk calls the “cheder hamitos.” We eat on a table corresponding to the Shulchan.
And after Shabbos we say “Vayehi Noam,” which is a pasuk in Tehilim to be said upon the completion of the building of the Bais Hamikdash. We do this because after Shabbos we have truly brought Hashem’s presence into our lives and built a mishkan in our homes. Therefore, upon completion of this accomplishment, we say a pasuk referring to building the Bais Hamikdash.
May we all keep Shabbos in a way of binyan Bais Hamikdash and bringing down hasho’as Hashechina, and in this zechus, may we merit the real binyan Bais Hamikdash bimehaira b’yameinu.