Parashas Pekudei, Part 2

This week’s parashah begins with the following verse (Shemos 38:21): “These are the accounts of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of testimony. …” The Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 51:3) says that this verse, with its repetition of the word mishkan, hints at the fact that the Beis HaMikdash was to be pawned twice. Here the Midrash builds on the similarity between the word mishkan and the word mashkon, meaning collateral. Hashem, so to speak, pawned the Beis HaMikdash in order to ransom the Jewish People from the fate facing them due to their sins. Another Midrash brings out the idea further (Eichah Rabbah 4:14): “The Holy One Blessed Be He poured out His wrath on the wood and stones [of the Beis HaMikdash], and did not pour out His wrath on Israel.” We deserved a severe sentence, but the Beis HaMikdash was given as ransom to redeem us. Hence it behooves us to exert ourselves to gain the Temple’s restoration.
The Maggid, in his commentary on Lamentations 2:19, presents the following allegory to bring out the point. A man was put in prison, and then sentenced to death. A certain kind gentleman resolved to redeem this man, but he could not amass the ransom money. The gentleman therefore took all his finest household goods and expensive jewelry and pawned everything for the ransom money. In this way he gained the prisoner’s release.
Clearly this released prisoner has a duty to reciprocate the kind benefactor who rescued him. The least he should do is collect the money needed to redeem his rescuer’s possessions from the pawnbroker. To this end, he should work nonstop, not allowing himself any sleep or rest. Moreover, he ought to be sparing on personal expenses, in order to save money to reimburse his rescuer. If instead he squanders his money carelessly, his ill-conduct will be obvious to everyone.
It is the same, the Maggid says, with us and Hashem. Since Hashem “pawned” the Beis HaMikdash to ransom us, we have a duty to strive to secure its restoration. We must be sparing with the time, effort, and money we spend on our personal needs, and focus instead on what we need to do to bring the Beis HaMikdash back.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

1 Comment

  1. North Jerusalem Maggid of Dubno Project » Blog Archive » Parashas Pekudei:

    […] be given as security. We presented one of the Maggid’s explanations of this Midrash in a previous piece; here we present another one. The Midrash compares the opening verse of our parashah with the […]

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.