Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pekudei, Shemos 38:21. Pekudei Hamishkon Mishkan Ho’eidus.

Rabbeinu Bachya here says that these three words, Hamishkon Mishkan Ho'eidus, are a remez to the time the Mishkon, the Bayis Rishon, and the Bayis Sheini stood. The gematriya of the third word, Ho’eidus (choseir) is 479; the Mishkon stood for 480 years, but the first year was only half the year. The gematria of the second word, Mishkan, is 410, which is exactly the number of years the first Beis Hamikdosh in Yerushalayim stood. And the gematria of the first word, Hamishkon, is 415; the Bayis Sheini stood 420 years, so he adds the kollel— the number of letters in the word. In sum:
Hamishkon = 415, the years the Bayis Sheini stood (w/kollel).
Mishkan = 410, the years the Bayis Rishon stood.
Ho'eidus = 479, the years the Mishkon stood.

(This gematria is amazingly on point, except for the need to resort to the kollel. Perhaps the Bayis Sheini lost its kedushah five years before it was destroyed, and was no more than a dead, soul-less edifice under the control of the various splinter cults that arose at that time. As the Gemora in Megilla regarding the parties made by Belshatzar and Achashveirosh indicates, nevu'ah calendars are not printed in advance, and numbers and dates can be interpretated in various ways.)

The Satmarer Rov in Vayo’el Moshe asks, why are they in reverse order? Why does the last word refer to the first of the three, the Mishkon, and the first word refer to the last, the Bayis Sheini? Although I bring the Satmarer Rov's teretz below, I would be happy to hear a more straightforward explanation for the order reversal. Write a comment or send me mail at

Back to the Satmarer Rov's teretz: After asking why the Botei Mikdosh are referred to in reverse order, he also asks the following questions: Why does this remez belong specifically here? Also, why is there no description of the specific use of the gold in the Mishkon, while the silver and copper’s uses are described in minute detail? He answers that the gold was a kappora on the Eigel. The Gemora says that although Beis Din is authorized to attach a person’s property to ensure that he fulfil his korbon obligations, we do not do so for korbonos that are for kapporo– ein memashk’nin al hachato’os. This is because a person that stands to gain kapporoh from a serious sin gives be’ayin yofeh, he is happy to take advantage of this opportunity, and he will give as soon and as much as he can. Here, the nation felt the same way about the gold they gave for a kapporo on the eigel, and they didn’t demand itemization. But the other nedovos were given as a favor to the mishkon, and because the people gave it not for a kappora, but as a donation, they gave it with some degree of reservation. When people give without complete love and enthusiasm, underlying character flaws assert themselves, and thus began their distrust of Moshe. This distrust is an example of sinas chinom, which ultimately caused the churbon Bayis Sheini. So it is proper that immediately after the word ‘pekudei’, which refers to the audit that was made necessary because of the spirit of distrustfulness and suspicion, the possuk alludes to the Bayis Sheini, the third of the mishkonos.

I wonder what predictive value Rabbeinu Bachya’s vort has. Can we find a remez to the third and eternal Beis Hamikdosh, sheyiboneh bimheiro b'yomeinu? Or perhaps it would be impossible to find a numerical reference to the Bayis Shlishi because it will stand forever? But maybe it will only stand until the end of the sixth millenium, so it is limited in time? But if we could find a remez to its years, we could simply subtract that number from six thousand nine hundred ninety nine to find the date it will be built.

1 comment:

  1. The Chasam Sofer says the missing five in the Bayis Sheini is because they were missing five of the constant nissim that existed in the time of the Mishkon and the Bayis Rishon.