The Sefer Shmos ends with the words כי ענן ה’ על המשכן יומם ואש תהיה לילה בו לעיני כל בית ישראל בכל מסעיהם For Hashem’s cloud  would remain on the Mishkan by day and there was fire on it at night before the eyes of the entire house of Yisrael in all their encampments.

Why does it mention לעיני כל בית ישראל  the House of Yisrael? The Torah itself ends with the words לעיני כל ישראל . It would have been sufficient to say here also לעיני כל ישראל without the addition of בית  which seems to have no meaning in the context of this passuk.

The Mishnah Sachir explains that there is two facets of Hashem’s dwellings within Am Yisrael. The Mishkan which is named so because ושכנתי בתוכם , was portable and not fixed in one place only, but rather travelled with Am Yisraelthroughout their journey in the desert. And even when they entered EretzYisrael,  the Mishkan travelled with them to a number of places. In contrast was the Mikdash which was fixed and built on one plot of land and remained stationary up and until it was destroyed 410 years later.

When the Beis Hamikdash was built by Shlomo Hamelech the Mishkan was concealed and hidden. The Seforno writes that the Mishkan could not have been destroyed for Moshe Rabbeinu was involved in its building and erection and his deeds are everlasting. In this way the Mishkan was greater that the two Beis Mikdashos (Pekudai 38,21). But the Mishkan’s concealment was for only 410 years. For when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed the Mishkanreturned to play its original role of being the dwelling place for the Shechinahas it was during the forty years of Am Yisrael’s residency in the desert.  As the gemarah in Megillah 29 states כל מקום שגלו ישראל שכינה עמהם   wherever Yisrael were exiled to, the Shechinah accompanied them. The day that the Mishkan was erected is the day that the Shechinah descended upon earth amongst Klal Yisrael (Shabbos 87). This same Shechina that descended then, followed us into the Galus to protect and preserve our existence supernaturally which was against all odds.

This was the original role of the Movable Mishkan in the desert, to move and accompany us throughout our journey in the desert and the future Galus. This is hinted in the gematriah גלות  which  adds up to במשכן יהו’  with the kollel. So even though when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed and it seems that the Shechinah deserted us, we are very mistaken. With the destruction of the Bayisthe Kedushas Mishkan and Hashem’s Shechinah were activated and they follow with us in every place that Yidden are exiled.

The passuk says that Moshe finished erecting the Mishkan on Rosh ChodeshNissan the first month and the Shechinah descended. This was an incredible joyous occasion, a Yom Tov, with the return of the Shechinah in Klal Yisrael. When the Beis Hamikdash was built, the Mishkan was concealed and the Yomof Rosh Chodesh Nissan became dormant. However, when the Churbanhappened and the Mishkan began radiating its Shechinah and support, the Yom Tov returned. That is why parsah’s Pekudai usually falls right around RoshChodesh Nissan demonstrating that even in our times, that calendar date is not merely historic but possesses an actual effect and kedusha flow this very day. This is why in Meseches Sofrim it says that the third Beis Hamikdash will be built in Nissan the month celebrated in Galus by the building of the Mishkan. An allusion to this can be gleaned from the gematriah and spelling of משכן  with its inner letters ממ שין כף נון together with the four letters of משכן  which equal שלישי the third Beis Hamikdash. It’s our first Mishkan that guarantees us with the building of the Thirdבמהרה בימינו .

This entire concept of the different functions of the Mishkan and Bayis is hinted in our passuk (40,38) כי ענן ה’ על המשכן יומם ואש תהיה לו לילה  the Shechinah of Hashem will dwell by Am Yisrael יומם  when it is day, hinting to the periods when there is no galus,  ואש תהיה לו לילה  and even in the darkness which symbolizes the galus, Hashem’s Shechinah will light up the night and preserve you.

Now we can understand the closing passuk of Sefer Shmos לעיני כל בית ישראל לכל מסעיהם . After building and erecting the Movable Mishkan it was determined that the Shechinah will accompany Am Yisrael במסעיהם  on their journeys during Galus. There will come a time when no longer a visible BeisHamikdash or a Mishkan will exist. However there will nevertheless remain the attachment of the Shechinah to every Jewish House and family who continue to fulfill mitzvos and cling to the Torah. For each residence will serve as miniature Mishkan with his table as a mizbaiach, his learning of Torah symbolizing the Aron, his Shabbos candles and Challos symbolized by the Menorah and the Shulchan, his Netilas Yadayim representing the kiyor, all embodied by the presence of the Mishkan’s Shechinah.   

With the above we can have an understanding in a Medrash on the passuk דים והותר  They brought enough and there was left over (Shmos 36,7). MosheRabbeinu asked Hashem מה נעשה במותר אמר הקב”ה עשה משכן לעדות What should we do with the leftover material? Hashem answered build a Mishkan of testimony. The Mishkan really had two states, the one that was visible and built and the one that was invisible and hidden but it still infused Yisrael with a spirit of Hashem and protection in which ever galus they were in at that time. As the passuk in Pekudai says אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדות. The המשכן  with the preceding letter hey, refers to the known visible Mishkan that existed until the Beis Hamikdash was built. The hidden Mishkan was the משכן העדות  which was testimony that the Shechinah rests amongst Yisrael even when they descend into galus, to protect us from becoming  annihilated by our enemies. The donations to the Mishkan which was just enough to build it completely is referred to as דים. The extra overflow of materials that was not needed for the construction, the והותר, were miraculously absorbed within the necessary materials but did not manifest a change in weight or measurement. This invisible Mishkan represented the hidden Mishkan after the Churban, whose Shechinah followed and accompanied us into the Galus to preserve our existence even in the Hester Panim.

ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם. This passuk can be alluding to the time of the First Beis Hamikdash and the words ושכנתי בתוכם  is referring to after its destruction where Hashem is not dwelling in it but rather in the Bnei Yisrael בתוכם through the ושכנתימשכן. An allusion to this interpretation is the gematriahof בתוכם  which equals 468 the same as  יהו’ בגלות with the kollel.

May we merit this coming month of Nissan the revelation of the Mishkan and the Third Bayis together spreading the Shechinah and the Light of Hashem throughout the world.

Rav Brazil

Gut Shabbos