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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Mordechai Lipskier

Someone can help with that

Reb Shlomo Kupchik, originally a Skverer chosid and eventually a Chabad chosid, was a very influential teacher and activist in Kiryat Atta for many years. In the winter of 5718 (1957) he wrote a letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe saying that he’s incapable of accomplishing all that the Rebbe expects of him.

In response, the Rebbe referred him to the story of Rebbi Chanina Ben Dosa who wanted to donate a beautiful, large stone to the Beis Hamikdash but could not afford to pay for transport. Hashem sent five angels disguised as people, who told him, “Pay us five coins and we’ll transport it for you, on one condition. You have to help us push the stone with one finger.” When they arrived at the Beis Hamikdash, the five “men” disappeared. The lesson? Do your part, the Rebbe encouraged Reb Shlomo, and Hashem will grant you disproportionate success. In this week’s sidra, Moshe Rabbeinu commands the Yidden regarding the construction of the Mishkan. “Every wise-hearted person among you shall come and make everything that Hashem has commanded.”[1] The Alshich poses a question: Why are the words chacham lev, “wise-hearted person,” written in singular form but yavo’u, “shall come,” written in plural form?

The Yidden had been slave labors in Mitzrayim for several decades. From where would they possess the craft of carpentry or weaving? And they’d have to create these masterpieces based solely on Moshe Rabbeinu’s oral descriptions, without even a visual model to follow! Naturally, it was an outrageous expectation. But Hashem told the Yidden: All I ask is that you dedicate your hearts to my work. Do what you can, even if it’s nothing more than lifting a finger, and I’ll take it from there. And so it was. The Yid started the work on his own, singular, but by the time he completed and brought his work to the Mishkan, yavo’u, he came in the company of Hashem. A similar message is conveyed in yet another pasuk in this week’s sidra. “Bezalel and Oholiav and every wise-hearted man into whom Hashem had imbued wisdom and insight to know how to do, shall do all the work of the service of the Holy, according to all that Hashem has commanded.”[2] The medrash Tanchuma points out that the word boheima, “into whom,” can also be read as beheima, animal. The Torah is telling us that Hashem imbued even the animals with special wisdom for the construction of the Mishkan. The Eitz Yossef explains that the “animals” to which the medrash refers are not only four-legged creatures but also human beings, Yidden who were so coarse that they could be described as beheimos. Even regarding these people, Hashem assures us, if they commit themselves to His work, they too will be imbued with exceptional wisdom. The lesson for us is clear. Even when we consider ourselves to be a mere senseless beheima, we must remember that Hashem sees more in us and expects more of us. And even when it seems that we’re on our own, Hashem is right alongside us, doing the heavy lifting. This also serves as a prism through which to view our fellow Yid. We can never dismiss a Yid as unworthy or incapable. Every single Yid has their part in transforming this world into a dwelling place for Hashem even if it seems that all they can contribute is one finger’s effort.[3] Gut Shabbos, Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier [1] 32: 10 [2] 36:1 [3] Sicha of parshas Teruma 5743 (1983).


The Flint family l’zecher nishmas Reb Avraham Michoel ben Yaakov Shimon Halevi a"h

The Moshe Group Moshe and Rivky Majeski


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