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Alumni Corner: Yoni Schuster

Riding the Waves

Parshas Vayakhel

In Last week's parsha, we find that the Mishkan was built up after we read about the terrible tragedy at the Cheit Ha'Egel. There is a machlokes if the Mishkan was built before or after Chet Ha'egel. However, in terms of the order of the pesukim, it seems that Mishkan was built afterwards. Moshe went up and got the Torah, only to come down to see the heart breaking scene of the Chet Ha'Egel. Suddenly, almost immediately afterwards, the Torah starts discussing the Mishkan. Hashem is teaching us a very powerful message. The Chet Ha'Egel could have been the end. Hashem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisroel, had Moshe not interceeded on our behalf. The Egel was arguably one of the most famous sins of all time (aside from Adam & Chava eating from the Eitz Hada'as). This really could have been the end. They were just on such a high lofty level at the receiving of the Torah. They shed the 49 levels of Tumah that surrounded them from Mitzrayim. Suddenly, they come crashing down by mkaing the golden calf. They were shattered. The Luchos Moshe held were shattered. That was it. They could've stayed at the fail stage, and kept ruminating in that failed maindset. Hashem tells Moshe to go back up for round two, get a new set of Luchos, and begin building the Mishkan.

the Mishkan is all about bringing down the Shechina into this world. It's centralizing Hashem in this world. Moshe came back with a round two and put the luchos directly intothe Mishkan. The Aron held not only the new, second luchos, but also the shattered remains of the first. This shows us a powerful message: the point of going down is to come back up. A Tzaddik falls seven times and gets up even stronger and better than ever. May we all find the strength and determination to always grow through the thick and thin, and find meaning in every challenge.

~ Yoni Schuster is an alumni and former Dorm Counselor of Lev Zion. He currently lives and works in Jerusalem.

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