• Rabbi Yonah Burr

Vayakhel: True Freedom!

By what right does the title of redemption fit when worn by the rest of the story?


The Ramban calls Sefer Beraishes, Sefer HaYetzira, The Book of Creation; and Sefer Shemos, Sefer HaGeulah, The Book of Redemption.


While only the first few verses in Beraishes discuss the actual creation of the world, he explains that creation is the theme of the entire Sefer. It begins with creating the world, and continues with creating man, establishing nationalities, and establishing the Jewish People. The Sefer also foreshadows the entirety of human history with everything that will transpire. It is truly a complete Book of Creation from beginning to end.


Why is Sefer Shemos known as The Book of Redemption, or "Exodus"? Simply put, because it describes the Egyptian exile and our redemption from it. But after leaving Egypt, the book goes on to chronicle the climactic revelation at Mount Sinai and the building of the Mishkan. By what right does the title of redemption fit when worn by the rest of the story?


The Ramban explains that our ancestors, Avrohom, Yitzchak, and Yaakov; together with Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah; each played a specific role in establishing the nation of Klal Yisroel. And their holy way of living caused the Shechina to rest upon each of their tents. Chazal tell us that the tents of the Avos and Imahos had a cloud of glory hovering above at all times and had other open miracles reminiscent of those in the Beis Hamikdash. A candle miraculously remained lit all week; blessing was found in the bread. In the tents of the Avos, this special closeness to Hashem was commonplace.


They planted these seeds, which later bloomed in the collective spirit of the Jewish nation. Because of their actions, we, too, have the ability to bring the Shechina into our homes and feel Hashem's presence among us. This is our heritage and the great wealth that our forefathers bequeathed to us.

They planted these seeds, which later bloomed in the collective spirit of the Jewish nation.

The experience in Mitzrayim was meant to purify us so we could again reach these lofty levels. Only after we received the Torah and established the Mishkan did we finally get there. Only then were we truly ‘redeemed’ and free.


True freedom is being free from the distractions that hold us back from realizing our true potential. It releases us to do what we need to do and be the special people we need to be. Having the freedom to realize our goals and to serve Hashem fully is what true freedom is all about. אין בן חורין אלא מי שעוסק בתורה - true freedom is the ability to study and live and enjoy a Torah lifestyle.


May we all merit to see the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash speedily in our days and to experience the taste of true freedom.


Have a wonderful Shabbos!

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