Sometimes even when we try our best, we need a helping hand.
In this week’s parsha, Pekudei, we conclude the long saga of the mishkan. After all the commandments regarding the contributions and collections, the who, what, where, when, why and how of it all – we reach the actual setting up of the mishkan on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Chapter 40 verse 17 describes this moment with a surprising twist: In the first month, in the second year (since they left Mitzrayim), on the first of the month, the mishkan was erected. Not “Bnei Yisrael finished the mishkan” or “Betzalel, the project manager and head artisan, completed the work,” but just “it was erected” as if it happened by itself!
Rashi (back in 39:33) quotes a midrash which describes how Bnei Yisrael couldn’t get all the walls set up, so they brought it all to Moshe. Since Moshe had not done anything in the building of the parts or vessels, Hashem left this grand finale for him. He then asked God: How can a human do this?? Pick up and set up this mishkan?! God responded: Just do your part, and I’ll do the rest.
And so it was! As the verse says: ” the mishkan was erected.” With that passive verb, the Torah informs us that although Moshe was putting in effort, it was all being done by God. It felt like it was just happening by itself.
What does this Midrash teach you?
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t do something, but you just “tried your best” and somehow that was enough to meet success? The rabbis here are teaching us that in those moments, one needs to realize it is (of course) God who is making it happen!
Go around and give an example of when you were overwhelmed by a task, but you just put in your best effort and “somehow” it all worked out…
Sometimes we say “and then it just happened,” but now we know who The Cause really is!