Shabbat Parashat Vayikra | 5770
Parashat Hashavuah: A Time for Different Types of SanctityHarav Yosef Carmel
Sefer Vayikra begins with descriptions of the avoda (service) in the
During the account of the command to build the Mishkan, Shabbat is mentioned after the command. However, later on, it is mentioned before the description of the actual building. In between these two sections, the Torah tells the story of the sin of the Golden Calf and its aftermath. The disciples of the Gra posit that after the giving of the Torah, Bnei Yisrael reached the level of Adam before his sin. On that level, they should have been able to build the Mishkan even on Shabbat. After the calf, their level plummeted and they had to refrain from construction on Shabbat. Yet, throughout its existence, service in the Mishkan and
During the miluim (the days of inauguration), Moshe did the avoda in the Mishkan, a duty that was transferred to Aharon and his sons only thereafter. During the pre-Beit Hamikdash preparations of bringing the aron (ark) to Yerushalayim, King David dressed similarly to a kohen and led the “services.” During the inauguration of the Beit Hamikdash, it seems that King Shlomo brought the sacrifices (Melachim I, 8: 62-64), not the kohanim. What was special about the inaugural period?
Our Rabbis have taught us that there are three categories of sanctity: place-related; time-related; and person-related. At least one of these categories has to be functioning in full force in order for there to be a strong spiritual anchor. Before the sin of the Golden Calf, Bnei Yisrael was on a level whereby there was strength in human sanctity. The Divine Presence could dwell in the individual and the world could handle not keeping Shabbat in the quest to make a Sanctuary. After the sin and before there was a Mishkan, there was a need to preserve the sanctity of time of Shabbat even if it meant suspending the building of the Mishkan. After the Mishkan was built, the service that was related to that sanctity could be performed even on Shabbat (thus lowering the sanctity of time) by relying on the sanctity of place.
The mitzva to build a Sanctuary and
Let us pray and make efforts that all elements of sanctity will be restored to their fullest speedily in our times.
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This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of