Vayakhel – Pekudei Parshat HaChodesh – Mevarchim HaChodesh


With the coronation just weeks away, extensive preparations are in full swing. There are even reports that a replica of parts of Westminster Abbey has been built inside Buckingham Palace so that the King and Queen can rehearse key parts of the ceremony.

Rehearsals are part of this week’s parasha. We are told:

“On the first day of the first month, in the second year, the Mishkan (or Tabernacle) was erected.” (Shemot 40:17)

The Midrash comments that on each of the previous seven days, Moses had erected and dismantled the entire structure. Finally, on the eighth day, the Mishkan was set up,permanently.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will rehearse their coronation so that, on the day, everything can proceed smoothly.

Was this the only consideration behind Moses dismantling and assembling the Mishkan seven times before the formal inauguration on the first of Nisan?

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) offers another reason. He suggests that these seven reconstructions were to prefigure the seven occasions that the House of G-d would need to be re-established. Following the Tabernacle in the desert, the structure would be rebuilt: in Gilgal, Shiloh, Nob and Gibeon, and twice in Jerusalem, prior to the ultimate culmination of the third Temple.

When Moses rehearsed the re-assembling of the Mishkan, his actions were to empower the Jewish nation to find the spiritual resources to rebuild and to rehabilitate even after they faced destruction.

The Chassidic leader, the Imrei Emess (Avraham Mordechai Alter, 1865-1948), explains that the same is true in our personal experiences. G-d gives us the power to rebuild our spiritual lives, our inner sanctuaries, time and again, despite our many setbacks. As it says in the book of Proverbs:

“Although the righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” (24:16)

We may suffer disappointments in our lives. We may stumble and fall. But we have been given the resources to rise up again and restore ourselves. The next time you fail, don’t get disheartened. Remember, it’s a rehearsal for your own coronation!