Parshas Pekudei 5757

These are the instructions for building the Tabernacle, the dwelling place of Hashem's testimony." (Exodus 38:21)

On the words 'the dwelling place Hashem's testimony', Rashi comments, "It is a testimony to Israel that Hashem overlooked the transgression of the Golden Calf and let his presence dwell amongst them."

The 2nd Rebbe of Ger, the Sfas Emes asks how can it be that Hashem overlooked the transgression. There are several sources in the Talmud that tell us that He doesn't overlook transgressions, and the one who claims that He does, risks sacrificing his own life!

Nevertheless, in this case we see a difference. Even the Golden Calf itself was an attempt, however misdirected to find a way to serve Hashem. And we see after the event itself, Israel donated huge sums of gold, silver, brass, wools and linens for the construction of the Tabernacle. No type of transgression was able to tear the hearts of Israel away from their Father. By causing His presence to dwell in the Tabernacle, Hashem acknowledged this special relationship. For this reason, the Tabernacle was never destroyed, it was hidden and buried along with it's vessels, and awaits the for the time when we shall deserve for it to be restored to us. May that day come soon, and may we always remember that special relationship we have with Hashem!


A family in White Russia are having trouble with their young son, Mordechai. He doesn't want to study, only to play outside. He also has a tendency to get into mischief. It causes the parents tremendous anxiety.

One day they hear that the great Reb Aharon of Karlin is coming to town. They bring their son to meet him the Rebbe. He hears the story that the parents have to tell and responds to them very roughly. "I'll have a few words with him and set him straight. Leave him to me. I'll teach how to behave." The parents, assured by his confidence, let him take their son into his private room.

The Rebbe leans back on the couch and gently calls to the boy to come over. He holds out his arms and motions for Mordechai to come nearer. Then he pulls him close and holds him against his heart for a long time. They then go out together. Not revealing his special method of persuasion, Reb Aharon of Karlin again speaks roughly to the parents. "I had a word with him. He'll shape up now!"

The boy does change and becomes a well known tzaddik, Rebbi Mordechai of Lecovicz, the father of the Slonima dynasty. He always told his chassidim that he first learned Torah from Reb Aharon of Karlin, who taught him Torah from the heart.

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