Memoriam of Mr. David M. Warren (Menachem
Dovid ben Harav Yosef Z’L)
Israel completed the Tabernacle, the Torah
states: “And Moses saw all the work, and,
behold, they (Israel) finished it as G-d
commanded, that is how they completed the
work. And Moses blessed them.” (Exodus
Rashi (1040 – 1105) teaches us that Moses’
blessing was later included in King David’s
Book of Psalms - “May it be the will of G-d
that He manifests his presence upon your
handiwork, and May the graciousness of G-d
be upon us, May He establish our handiwork,
and may our handiwork be established by
Him.” (King David, Jerusalem 1040 BCE – 970
BCE; Psalms 80:17)
(Rabbi Ovadiah ben Jacob Sforno, Bologna,
Spain 1475 – 1550; Psalms 90:17) explains
each part of the verse as follows:
graciousness of G-d be upon us” – May we
understand His gracious Torah and thereby
know His will.
establish our handiwork” – May we have the
willpower to easily perform what we
handiwork be established by Him.” – May our
handiwork reach a sense of purpose and be
desirable to G-d.
is quite clear – After the Israelites
completed the Tabernacle exactly “as G-d
commanded” Moses blessed them. And what was
his blessing? As we learn from Rashi and the
Sforno, Moses’ blessing was for the Children
of Israel to continue doing things pleasing
to G-d. And, within Moses’ blessing, we find
the steps necessary to do so: First, learn
G-d’s will by studying Torah. Next, submit
oneself to G-d’s will, doing only what He
wants to the best of our understanding. And
only then will our handiwork be of purpose
and desirable to G-d.
Jewish soul naturally strives to become
closer to G-d. Moses, the greatest of all
prophets, who spoke to G-d face-to-face,
shows us the path but it is a challenging
uphill climb. Studying Torah is hard work.
Submitting ourselves to G-d’s will at all
times, G-d’s will as we learn it from the
Torah, not as we would like it to be, is
again, we see people looking for shortcuts,
an easy way to ascend the heights without
having to scale the cliffs. We see people
with the barest knowledge of Torah drawn to
Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and the
Messianic Era. Yet, if there was an easier
way, would Moses have hid it from us?
is exhausting. Submitting ourselves to G-d’s
will in every instant in every detail can be
extremely taxing. But this is the only way.
This is what we must strive to do.
“they finished it as G-d commanded,” did
Moses bless the children of Israel that “our
handiwork be established by him.” This is
the only way.