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Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh 5780

Parashat Hashavua: On Nationalism and Sanctity part VI

Harav Yosef Carmel

We have been dealing for several weeks with the connection between David’s improper census and the punishment afflicting the people in its aftermath and between the acquisition of Har Habayit from Aravna the Yevusi and the building of an altar and sacrificing there. We will now take a look at the philosophy behind the punishment of the people.

David turned to Hashem when he saw an angel in a menacing position and said: “Behold, I have sinned and distorted, but these flock (the people), what have they done? Let Your Hand be against me and the house of my father” (Shmuel II, 24:17). The prophet Gad told David to build an altar at the place of Aravna’s silo (ibid. 18). David did this and brought several sacrifices on it, and then the plague that was felling people in Israel stopped (ibid. 25).

The story, as told in Divrei Hayamim (I, 21:26-22:1), adds some pertinent details. It says that at that time the Mishkan, which had been erected in the desert, was found in Givon, but that David was not able to seek out Hashem there because of the “sword of the angel.” Hashem told him that the altar he had erected in Yerushalayim was actually the altar for Israel’s sacrifices.

Before coming to some conclusions, we will see some midrashim. The Midrash Shmuel (31) says that David was like a son who was being hit by his father and was not sure what the reason was for the punishment. At the end, Hashem informed David that people from the nation died in the plague because they were guilty of not asking for a Beit Mikdash.

The Sifrei (Eikev 51) says that David was criticized for having conquered Aram Tzova, which was out of the halachic borders of Israel, while he still left Yevusi areas around Yerushalayim in foreign hands.

We will put the issue of the Beit Hamikdash at the time of David in context as follows. Many in the nation were not enthusiastic about the prospect of building the Beit Hamikdash. They were troubled by the halacha that when there is a central place for service of Hashem, it becomes forbidden to offer sacrifices in local and private altars. Many were not willing to give up the closeness they felt due to the permissibility to bring sacrifices locally up to that point. Hashem determined that it was hypocritical for the people to be willing to go to great lengths to fight in order to expand the borders of the country and likewise to develop it from an economic perspective and not build the Beit Hamikdash. The people needed to be awoken to the positives of building a central place of service, and how this could be critical for the merit of the nation. Hashem demonstrated this with the building of the altar in Yerushalayim, which saved lives.

We will continue to pray that in our day we will merit to understand this idea and that we will see with our own eyes when Hashem returns His Presence to Zion.

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9  5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

 R' Gershon (George)

ben

Chayim HaCohen Kaplan

z"l

Adar II 6

 

R' Yehudah ben Naftali Hertz

Cohen (Kamofsky)

Adar II 12

 

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is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

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