Sunday, February 26, 2012

Truma 5772: Rabbi Chaim Brovender on why there are two narratives about building the mishkan (tabernacle)

It's worth listening to here.

The basic question is: Why do we need the repetition of the tabernacle narrative in Vayahkel and Pekudei, if we have it in Terumah and Tezaveh? What does the repetition add?

In short, Rav Brovender's own idea is that there are two narratives in the Torah. What was, and what could have been. With regards to the tabernacle, the two narratives are separated by the sin of the Golden Calf. Even if chronologically, the building of the tabernacle does come after the sin of the Golden Calf, the placing of the first narrative before it is indicative of what should have been - a tabernacle built straight after the Revelation at Sinai. The second narrative indicates that it was built on the back of the Sin of the Golden Calf.

Also at the end a moving link to depression, hope and Rebbi Nachman from Breslev. Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of mind that is like a child, full of hope and innocence, and other times we find ourselves connecting to a darker past, even depressed. This is the tension with which one might read the tabernacle narratives, aware of what was and what should be. Rebbi Nachman, who may have suffered from depression, taught - Asur Lehityaesh - it is prohibited to give up hope. It's a prohibition, just like driving a car on Shabat. Not just good advice. What should be - must be the driving force in our lives.

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