A Precious Gift

RASHI to Shmoth 38.22
Bezalel, the son of Uri… had made all that the Lord had commanded Moses: “That Moses had commanded him is not written here, but all that the Lord had commanded Moses,” [meaning that] even [in] things that his master [Moses] had not said to him, his [Bezalel’s] view coincided with what was said to Moses on Sinai. For Moses commanded Bezalel to first make the furnishings and afterwards the Mishkan. (Rashi is not referring to the command to donate [the materials for the Mishkan and its furnishings], since, on the contrary, the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded the opposite in parshath Terumah. [I.e.,] first [God commanded them to make] the furnishings: the table, the menorah, the curtains, and afterwards [He gave] the command to make the planks [i.e., the Mishkan, whereas] the command of our teacher, Moses, may he rest in peace, at the beginning of Vayakhel (Exod. 35:11-19) lists first the Mishkan and its tent, and afterwards the furnishings. Rather, Rashi is referring to the command to the worker, [i.e.,] in what order he should work. You will find in the parsha of Ki Thissa [where God commanded concerning the order of the Mishkan’s construction]: “See, I have called by name Bezalel…” (Exod. 31:2-11), that first the Tent of Meeting is mentioned and afterwards the furnishings. As far as [the command in Terumah] to donate, to prepare what they would require [for the Mishkan and its furnishings], what difference does it make what they donated first? [Thus the order of the furnishings listed there is irrelevant.] See Tosafoth in the chapter entitled הָרוֹאֶה (Ber. 55a): If you ask, how do we know that our teacher, Moses, may he rest in peace, commanded Bezalel to do the opposite [of what God had commanded him? Since it is not found in the text that Moses commanded Bezalel to construct first the furnishings and then the Mishkan], we may reply that it is written in parshath Vayakhel (Exod. 36:2): “And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab…”. [There] the Torah is very brief in explaining what he [Moses] said to them. From this verse (38:22), which is worded, “all that the Lord commanded Moses,” we see that he [Moses] commanded them in the opposite manner. [Therefore the text here does not state “that Moses had commanded him.”] Study this well.) Bezalel responded, “It is common practice to first make a house and then to put furniture into it.” He said to him, “This is what I heard from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed is He.” Moses said to him [Bezalel], “You were in the shadow of God [בְּצֵל אֵל, which is the meaning of Bezalel’s name. I.e., you are right], for surely that is what the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded me.” And so he did: [Bezalel] first [made] the Mishkan, and afterwards he made the furnishings. -[from Ber. 55a]
YOCHANAN: The Parshah Pekudey begins:
“These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony, which were counted at Moses’ command; [this was] the work of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the Kohen.”
To what is this like?
It is like a person who wishes to store away a precious gift. First, he makes a container for the gift then he puts it away in the container, putting the container away in a safe place in his house. Here, HaShem first commanded us the Ten Sayings of the Covenant; and then gave us the Ten Commandments written on stone (the precious gift), then he commended us (25.8) to make the Miqdash (Mishkan) “after the pattern that was shown to Moshe” (25.9) “that He would dwell among them” (25.8); yet the first set of specific direction we are given concerning the Mishkan or it’s furnishings is that we are told first of the “specific directions” for the construction of the Ark of the Covenant (25.10) (the Ark of Testimony Aydooth) (38.21).

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