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  • Yehuda Pevzner

A Generation of Heels

"[They shall make..] the stakes of the Tabernacle and the pins of the courtyard and their tying ropes." (Vayak'hel 35:18) 

Rashi explains that the stakes were inserted in the ground to fasten the edges of the curtains so that they would not flap because of the wind, and the ropes were used for binding them.


There is a moral to be derived from this:


The generations that preceded us can be compared to the builders of the Tabernacle itself.


Our own generation, the last one before the coming of Moshiach, can be compared to those who tie down the edges of the curtains to the stakes in the ground to avoid their flapping loosely in the wind.


In the overall stature of Israel's history, our generation is the very "heel" - the lowest part of the body - while our predecessors are like brains, hearts, and other "higher" parts of the body.


Our task and mission are likewise the "last" or "heel" - labor to complete and finish all that is still required to bring about the Messianic redemption.


Ours may be the "lowest" task, the mere tying down of the very edges of the curtains, some rather incidental and external details.


Nonetheless, it is precisely this work that completes the whole job, and precisely what we do will fasten the Tabernacle so that it may stand firm.


We are indeed the "heel" - generation, time-wise and quality-wise, compared to all those before us, and this may raise the question, "Is the generation worthy?"


That is, why should we merit the coming of Moshiach when our ancestors, who were greater saints and scholars than we are, did not?


Nonetheless, we are the ones who complete the work, and as our sages said, a meritorious deed is attributed to him, who does the last part of it and completes it.


Moreover, the edges of the curtains were to be tied to the pegs that were fixed in the ground, the earth.


This alludes to the very purpose of the Sanctuary, namely, to bring about an indwelling of the Divine Presence in the Tabernacle, which was to be a physical abode placed precisely here on earth.


This, indeed, is the very task and purpose of our generation, to draw the Divine Presence all the way down to the very earthiness of this material world - which will happen with the coming of Moshiach and the ultimate redemption.

Wishing you an amazing Shabbat!

Candle lighting time is Friday, 5:38 PM


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