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86/929 “Ein Patentim!” No Shortcuts!

April 21, 2015, 12:06 pm

Dedicated to the memory of our beloved, esteemed Roshei Yeshiva, Rav Yehuda Amital, and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein in whose light I strive to walk, two pillars of Torah now reunited in the Heavenly Yeshiva.

“Oy,” I said to myself, looking at chapter 36. “If Rashi barely has anything to say about this chapter, where does that leave me?”

If in chapter 35 we managed to find significance in the repetition of the long list of donations needed and contributed, the difficulty in chapter 36 is even greater. The Torah, which we’re always taught chooses its words with utmost care, repeats all the minute construction details of a structure that isn’t even meant to be eternal! Seventy nine verses in the Torah are spent to say what is then said in ten words (38:22). We can say it in six: “Betzalel did everything God had commanded.”

But the Torah is teaching us a profound message about the movement from vision to reality, and there was no other way to do it.

Planning a grand vision is fun. The imagination can soar, the smallest details can be thought of at no expense, with little investment of time, and an ideal picture can emerge. But a groundbreaking vision can easily break when you break ground. Transforming ideas into reality is arduous, tiresome, and boring, and the temptation to abandon all the fine details is powerful.

And so, when presenting us with the Mishkan, as the paradigm of human creative activity, the Torah delivers the message that my Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yehuda Amital of blessed memory drilled into his students often: Ein Patentim! There are no shortcuts! The Torah takes the time and space to repeat every singly painstaking detail of the vision as it is realized. It doesn’t make for good reading. But its absolutely necessary for good living.

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This blog is my own little daily insight about the 929 chapter of the day, in 300 words or so. I’d love to hear your comments and start a conversation

What’s 929? A near-impossible challenge of consistency. A song of Jewish unity. A beautiful project worth checking out. Learn more at 929.org.il