Just as G‑d commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did all the work that was requested" (Ex. 39:42)

After every different stage in building the Tabernacle, however, it was written that the Jews did all of the work as G‑d requested; why does the Torah need to repeat it here at the end of our Torah portion?

The Be'er Mayim Chaim quotes the phrase "Six days you should do work" (Ex. 36:2). He asks if this is one of the commandments - not only to rest on Shabbat, but also to work during the week? Yet we see many very observant people who do not "work" all week; rather, they study Torah, etc. We can understand this as follows: The 39 different types of labor that went into the actual physical building of the Tabernacle (which include every different possible type of Torah defined laboring with the physical there is in the world) find their spiritual source as the remedy to the 39 curses that Adam, Eve and the snake received after the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. The main thrust of the curses was that the land and all connected to it would not produce man's desired results unless they were worked upon through the 39 different types of labor.

After Mashiach will come…the curses will no longer apply….

After Mashiach will come, when the curses will no longer apply, there will be no need for any labor; the earth and trees will produce every imaginable type of delicacy. This is hinted in the Hebrew word for work , "avoda", which has the same numerical value as the divine name Elo-him - the name of G‑d that refers to His energy being concealed, and to the divine attribute of judgment. Only through the 39 different types of labor are we able to positively transform the judgment inherent in the world and all of the difficulties resulting from the sin of Adam and Eve. It comes out that laboring is a spiritual act! The 39 labors will "sweeten" (a kabbalistic term that means to change for the better) the 39 curses and evoke eternal blessings. Shabbat, on the other hand, is like the World to Come, and therefore these labors, related to curses, are forbidden.

For this, the weekdays are called "the six days of action", because we are required to work to touch every branch of reality with the 39 labors, to bring the light of holiness to the land to eliminate the curses, and bring it to blessing. Our efforts dispel the curses and the concealments that hide the divine and transform the world (particularly the food we eat).

The entire world…needs all 39 different types of labor to transform it and draw down blessings….

This is the ultimate reason that all 39 different types of labor were required to create the Tabernacle. Just as all 39 different labors were required to make the house where G‑d was served, so also, the entire world, which is also G‑d's house, needs all 39 different types of labor to transform it and draw down blessings.

This is the inner dimension of the Talmudic saying that "From the time of the destruction of the Temple, there is no day without its curse" (Sotah 48). This is because when the Temple stood, the 39 labors that were conducted within it were able to sweeten the 39 curses of the world. Unfortunately, today the curses have the upper hand. But there is no need to despair: through our performing the 39 labors we can transform them spiritually, bit by little bit, until Mashiach will arrive.

This is the meaning of the phrase "Six days you should do work". We need to do this work to transform the curses to blessings. The phrase "Just as G‑d commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did all of the work that was requested", means that only after the Tabernacle was completed with the 39 different labors had the Jewish people also accomplished the task of transforming their allotment of the curses hinted at in the name Elo-him to blessings. The 39 [expressed in Hebrew letters as "lamed-tet"] labors became "dew" [in Hebrew, "tal", spelled tet-lamed, "lamed-tet" backwards], the daily gift of precipitation from G‑d. This dew below will draw down the Supernal Dew that the entire world will be blessed with in the Age of Redemption, may it be soon in our days, Amen.

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul

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