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Parshat Vayhakel/Pekudei

By: Tova Bossewitch (9th)

This Week's Parsha is a double Parsha, Parshat Vayekel/Pekudei. I am going to be focusing on Vayekel, which discusses the construction of the Mishkan and Bnei Yisrael who donated objects to be used in the building. Rabbi Yamin Goldsmithshares a confusing aspect of one verse of Pasuk Zayin in Sefer Shemot, Perek Lamed Vav:

וְהַמְּלָאכָ֗ה הָיְתָ֥ה דַיָּ֛ם לְכׇל־הַמְּלָאכָ֖ה לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת אֹתָ֑הּ וְהוֹתֵֽר׃ {ס}

For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

Rabbi Goldsmith brings up the following question: Doesn’t this Pasuk directly contradict itself? First it says they brought enough, and then it states they brought too much!! Which is it?

Many different sources offer their answers to the question.

Seforno says as follows: The Jews’ contributions the Jews were so generous that craftsmen, or the people working to build the Mishkan, didn’t have to be too careful when building. They didn’t need to spare any materials because they knew that there was more if they depleted their supplies. . Therefore, the fact that Bnei Yisroel brought extra materials ensured the completion of the Mishkan.

The Malbim’s explanation echoes Seforno’s: He states that many artists actually make sure to have extra materials in order to fix later mistakes.. Likewise, the people building the Mishkan had extra materials to remedy mistakes and ultimately used all of them to complete the tabernacle.

Ohr HaChayim is yet another source, but his opinion differs.. He explains that Hashem was so impressed and surprised by the generosity that somehow, the materials brought were dayam - just the right amount. Hashem wanted everyone to feel special and included in the building of the Beit Hamikdash, so he miraculously made 100% of the materials get used, ensuring that everyone would know they made an important contribution.

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