In this week’s parashah, Rashi writes a very perplexing statement. It is said (Shemos 38:21) אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל פִּי מֹשֶׁה עֲבֹדַת הַלְוִיִּם בְּיַד אִיתָמָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן, these are the reckonings of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of Testimony, which were reckoned at Moshe’s bidding. Rashi writes המשכן משכן. שני פעמים, רמז למקדש שנתמשכן בשני חורבנין על עונותיהן של ישראל, the word Mishkan is said twice, and this hints to the Bais HaMikdash that will be taken as collateral for the sins of the Jewish People. Why are we mentioning the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash at the time of the completion of the Mishkan? Perhaps the answer to this question is that the word פְקוּדֵי, besides meaning reckonings, can also mean remember in a loving manner (See Bereishis 21:1). The Torah is telling us that the Jewish People worshiped the Golden Calf and to atone for this grievous sin, they were instructed to build the Mishkan. Nonetheless, HaShem had warned Moshe (Ibid 32:34) וְעַתָּה לֵךְ נְחֵה אֶת הָעָם אֶל אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי לָךְ הִנֵּה מַלְאָכִי יֵלֵךְ לְפָנֶיךָ וּבְיוֹם פָּקְדִי וּפָקַדְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם חַטָּאתָם, now, go and lead the people to where I have told you. Behold! My angel shall go before you, and on the day that I make an account, I shall bring their sin to account against them. Rashi writes עתה שמעתי אליך מלכלותם יחד, ותמיד תמיד כשאפקוד עליהם עונותיהם, ופקדתי עליהם מעט מן העון הזה עם שאר העונות, ואין פורענות באה על ישראל שאין בה קצת מפרעון עון העגל, now I have heeded you not to destroy them all at once, but always, whenever I shall make an accounting of the Jewish People’s sins against them, I will bring their sin to account against them, i.e. a fraction of this sin along with the other sins. There is no punishment that comes upon the Jewish People which does not have in it some retribution for the sin of the Golden Calf. Thus, we see that HaShem would always remember the sin of the Golden Calf.
To minimize the retribution of this sin, Moshe infused in the Jewish People his love for them and in the words of the Zohar, the extension of Moshe exists in every generation. Moshe was thus teaching the Jewish People that every leader in every generation would do his best to keep the nation in line and connected to HaShem. Although there may be trials and punishments along the way, the Jewish People could be comforted in knowing that HaShem and our leaders will never abandon us. This is the lesson of the Mishkan, which is reflected in the Gemara (Sukkah 45b) that states that the boards of the Mishkan never lost their glory, as the Mishkan is eternal.
Have a meaningful Shabbos and a Good Chodesh.