Erev Shabbos Kodesh Vayakhel-Pekudei Inspiration 5775

The Chasam Sofer writes extensively about the connection between Shabbos and the Mishkan. Furthermore, the Chasam Sofer and other commentators elaborate on why in Parashas Vayakhel the Torah records that Moshe first instructed the Jewish People regarding Shabbos and then instructed them regarding the construction of the Mishkan. In Parashas Ki Sisa, however, the Torah records that HaShem first instructed Moshe regarding the construction of the Mishkan and then instructed  Moshe regarding the commandment to observe the Shabbos. These commentaries got me thinking that perhaps specifically the Kohanim and Leviim, whose role was to serve in the Mishkan, have a deeper connection to Shabbos, so let’s explore that connection.

The first association between the word לוי and Shabbos is the Gemara (Beitzah 15b) that states אמר להם הקב”ה לישראל בני לוו עלי וקדשו קדושת היום והאמינו בי ואני פורע, HaShem said to the Jewish People, “My sons, borrow on me and sanctify the holiness of the day and trust in me and I will pay you back.” Following Shabbos we are enjoined to partake in a feast called מלוה מלכה, literally translated as escorting the Shabbos Queen. Thus, we see that Shabbos is preceded by לוי and followed by לוי.

Furthermore, the Torah states (Bamidbar 2:2) אִישׁ עַל דִּגְלוֹ בְאֹתֹת לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם יַחֲנוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִנֶּגֶד סָבִיב לְאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד יַחֲנוּ, the Children of Israel shall encamp, each man by his banner according to the insignias of their fathers’ household, at a distance surrounding the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp. Rashi writes: מנגד. מרחוק מיל, כמו שנאמר ביהושע אך רחוק יהיה ביניכם וביניו כאלפים אמה (יהושע ג, ד), שיוכלו לבא בשבת. משה ואהרן ובניו והלוים, חונים בסמוך לו, at a distance, a distance of a mil, like it is said in Yehoshua (3:4) ‘but there shall be a distance between yourselves and it – a measure of two thousand cubits,’ so that they could come on Shabbos. Moshe, Aharon and his children the Levites, encamped near it [the Mishkan]. Thus, we see that all the tribes were required to camp near the Mishkan so that they could be within walking distance on Shabbos. The Tribe of Levi was encamped immediately adjacent to the Mishkan, further proof that the tribe of Levi was close to the Mishkan and to Shabbos.

The following Gematriyos provide further proof to the connection between the tribe of Levi, Moshe and Aharon and sons to Shabbos :

  1. It is said (Shemos 20:8) זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ, remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it, and the first letters of the words אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ equal in gematria the word לוי.

  2. Regarding the tribe of לוי it is said (Devarim 33:8) וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ לְאִישׁ חֲסִידֶךָ, of Levi he said, ‘Your Tumim and Your Urim befit Your devout one,’ and the words תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ  equal in gematria the words זה שבת, this is Shabbos.

  3. It is said regarding Shabbos (Yeshaya 58:14) אָז תִּתְעַנַּג עַל יְ-ה-וָ-ה, then you will delight in HaShem, and the last letters of those words equal in gematria the word לוי.

  4. The word שבת equals in gematria the words זהו משה רבינו הלוי היה, this is Moshe our teacher was a Levi.

  5. The words לוי משה אהרן ובניו equal in gematria the words זהו שבת.

Thus, we see that the tribe of לוי is closely associated with Shabbos, and it is not a coincidence, as the word לוי means to come close and to be connected.

HaShem should allow all Jews, whether we are Kohanim, Leviim, or Yisraelim, to become close to Shabbos, and as the Rambam writes in the final law of Hilchos Shemittah ViYovel, that any Jew who accepts upon himself to separate himself and serve HaShem faithfully, he becomes the Holy of Holies and his portion is HaShem, and HaShem will provide for him like He does for the Kohanim and Leviim.

Have a CLOSE Shabbos!


!!!חזק חזק ונתחזק

Rabbi Adler

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