Haftaras Ki Seitzei

The Midrash relates (Shemos Rabbah 34:1, end):
When the Holy One Blessed Be He said to Moshe (Shemos 25:8), “Make Me a sanctuary,” he broke out in wonder: “The glory of the Holy One Blessed Be He fills the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, and He is telling me, ‘Make Me a sanctuary’?” Moreover, he looked out [with prophetic vision] and saw Shlomo standing and building the Beis HaMikdash, which was larger than the Mishkan, and saying before the Holy One Blessed Be He (Melachim Aleph 8:27): “Will God indeed dwell on earth?” Moshe declared: “If in the case of the Beis HaMikdash, which is much larger than the Mishkan, Shlomo speaks thus, how much more so with the Mishkan!” … Said the Holy One Blessed Be He: “Not as you think do I think. Rather, [just] twenty planks on the north side, twenty on the south side, and eight on the west side. Moreover, I will descend and contract My Presence into a space of a cubit by a cubit” [the dimensions of the Luchos, which were contained within the Aron].
The Maggid explains that Hashem had a different perspective on the Mishkan than Moshe did. Moshe thought that the Mishkan would remain forever in its proper state of purity, with the Divine Presence eternally abiding within it. And if this were so, it would be fitting to make the Mishkan expansive. But Hashem was concerned that the Mishkan would become defiled through the Jewish People’s sins. He therefore directed that the Mishkan be built on a small scale: “twenty planks on the north side, twenty on the south side, and eight on the west side.” Indeed, because of the Jewish People’s sins the Divine Presence eventually fled the Beis HaMikdash, leaving just a physical shell that was ultimately destroyed.
The Maggid then notes that in this week’s haftarah we see the other side of the coin. Yeshayah declares (verse 54:2): “Expand the area of your tent and let the sheet walls of your dwellings extend out – do not be sparing; lengthen your tent-cords and strengthen your tent-pegs.” The original Mishkan and Batei Mikdash had to be built on a limited scale, because they were destined to become defaced and defiled. But with the Mikdash of the future era there will be no need to be sparing. Thus Yeshayah says further (verse 54:4): “Do not be afraid, for you shall not be shamed. Do not feel humiliated, for you shall not be disgraced. For you shall forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you shall remember no longer.” In the end of days, we will need no longer fear that our Mikdash might be defiled, for the forces of spiritual impurity will be driven from the face of the earth. It will then be fitting to make the Mikdash expansive – there will be no need to hold back.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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