Parshas Pikudei - Waiting for the mishkan to be built

The passuk says in perek מ׳, possuk ב׳:
וַיְדַבֵּר ה׳ אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. בְּיוֹם הַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ תָּקִים אֶת מִשְׁכַּן אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד
“Hashem spoke to Moshe saying; ‘You should raise the mishkan of the ohel moed on the first of Nissan.’”

The Yalkut Shimoni (yalkut shimoni, melachim alef: 184) says that the mishkan was completed on the 25th of Kislev.
  • Why did Hashem tell Moshe to delay the hakomas ha’mishkan till the 1st of Nissan?
The Medrash Tanchuma (39:11) relates that when the mishkan was completed and the benei yisroel were unable to raise it, the benei yisroel became anxious and came to Moshe to ask him why they were not able to put the mishkan together;

...נכנסו כל ישראל אצל משה, אמרו: משה רבנו, כל מה שאמרת לנו עשינו, וכל מה שצויתנו ליתן ולהוציא נתננו הכל, והרי כל המלאכה לפניך, שמא חסרנו שום דבר או ויתרנו על כל מה שאמרת לנו, ראה הכל לפניך. והיו מראין לו כל דבר ודבר, שנאמר: ויביאו את המשכן אל משה וגו'. וכתיב: וירא משה את כל המלאכה וגו'. אמרו לו: לא כך וכך אמרת לנו לעשות. אמר להם: הן. וכן על כל דבר ודבר. אמרו לו: ואם כן למה אינו עומד, שהרי כבר נצטערו בצלאל ואהליאב וכל חכמי לב להעמידו ולא היו יכולין?
“[When the benei yisroel were unable to assemble the mishkan they came to Moshe and they said: ‘Moshe Rabbeinu! We have done everything that you told us to do and … here is all the work. Maybe we have left anything out or have overlooked anything that you told us… Did you not tell us to make it like this?’ Moshe replied, ‘It is all correct].’ They said, ‘If so, why are we unable to assemble it?’.”

  • Why did Hashem cause the benei yisroel to become anxious after they had completed the mishkan?
The passuk in Shir HaShirim (2:3) says:
כְּתַפּוּחַ בַּעֲצֵי הַיַּעַר כֵּן דּוֹדִי בֵּין הַבָּנִים בְּצִלּוֹ חִמַּדְתִּי וְיָשַׁבְתִּי וּפִרְיוֹ מָתוֹק לְחִכִּי
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest so is my beloved between the sons. I desired to sit in his shade and I sat and his fruit is sweet to my palate.”

The Vilna Gaon explains that the shade is refers to yetzias mitzraim and the fruit refers to matan torah. Passuk ד׳ continues with references to the degalim given to the shevatim and the mitzvah to make the mishkan. In possuk ה׳ the passuk continues:
סַמְּכוּנִי בָּאֲשִׁישׁוֹת רַפְּדוּנִי בַּתַּפּוּחִים כִּי חוֹלַת אַהֲבָה אָנִי
“Support me with jugs of wine, surround me with apples for I am sick from love.”
The Gr”a translates:
סַמְּכוּנִי בָּאֲשִׁישׁוֹת: כמו שעושין לחולה והם כוסות מלאות יין ושאר משקין המסעדין את הלב
“Support me with jugs of wine: As they do for an ill person. [Ashishos] are cups full of wine and other beverages which satiate the heart .”
רפדוני בתפוחים: סבבו את רפידתי בתפוחים שאחזק את לבי מריחם, כי חולה מחמת אהבה אני
“Surround me with apples; Surround my couch with apples so that I should strengthen my heart from their smell, for I am sick from love.”

The Gr”a explains the mashal:
והענין קאי על זמן שנגמר המשכן קודם חנוכתו וחמדתי אל האהבה שהוא פרטיות מכל התורה כמו שכתוב וידבר ה׳ אל משה מאהל מועד
“The passuk is talking about the time when the mishkan had been completed before it was inaugurated. [Klal yisroel said that] I coveted the love [of Hashem] which are the details of the Torah that were revealed to Moshe in the mishkan as the passuk says, ‘And Hashem spoke to Moshe from the Ohel Moed’. [The jugs of wine and apples refer to the nesachim and menachos which klal yisroel brought while they were waiting for the hakomas hamishkan.]”

It seems from the order of the pessukim in Shir ha’Shirim that just as yetzias mitzraim and matan torah were a required for the shechinah to rest on klal yisroel, so too it was necessary for there to be a hiatus between constructing the mishkan and the inauguration of the mishkan for the benei yisroel to achieve hashroas ha’shechinah.

Why is this?

The Gr”a explains in possuk ג׳:
כשנופל לאדם חלק טוב בלי חימוד לה אינו מעלה וכן להיפך אם חומד ואינו מגיע גם כן אין טוב
“In order to appreciate and enjoy something, a person has to want it before they receive it. If they receive something which they never wanted they will have no feeling for it. The reverse is also true, if a person desires something and does not get it, this is also not good.”

Hashem told Moshe to delay the hakomas hamishkan from the 25th of Kislev till the 1st of Nissan so that the benei yisroel would be distressed that they were unable to assemble the mishkan and would feell ill waiting once everything had been made ready. Through this they were able to fully appreciate the hashroas hashechinah of the chanukas ha’mishkan.

The possuk says in Terumah (25:8):
וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם
“They should make a mikdash for me and I will dwell in their midst.”

The Alshich explains:
בתוכו לא נאמר אלא בתוכם
“The possuk does not say ‘They should make for me a mikdash and I will dwell in it.’ Rather the possuk says ‘They should make for me a mikdash and I will dwell in them.’” - The purpose of the mishkan is that through it the shechinah should dwell among the benei yisroel.

Because the benei yisroel had to wait for the hakomas hamishkan they were able to become the resting place of the shechinah together with the mishkan when the mishkan was finally completed.


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