Toras Avigdor Junior
The Most Important Place
Shabbos Night at the Greenberg Home
The gefilte fish was finished and the Greenbergs began discussing the parsha. After little Esty finished answering the questions from her Morah’s parsha sheet, Totty and Heshy began discussing the Parsha in more detail.
“I have a question, Totty,” Heshy asked as Brochi got out of her seat to help Mommy clear the fish plates. “Why are we still talking about the Mishkan? We’ve already had so many parshiyos about it and it feels like now we’re just repeating it again! There’s barely even any Rashi because the pesukim are so similar to the ones in Terumah and Tetzaveh.
“And not only that, but the Mishkan was only around for the 40 years in the Midbar! We don’t have a Mishkan today anymore! So why all of these Parshiyos just for the Mishkan?”
“That’s an excellent question,” said Totty, handing Brochi his plate. “But before I answer I want you to think about it. Let’s see if you can come up with the answer by the cholent tomorrow. If you do, I’ll give you double dessert!”
Shabbos Morning, on the way to Shul
Totty, Heshy, and Esty approached the beautiful building of Kehillas Bnei Avigdor. There standing outside was Richard the Shabbos goy.
“Good morning, Richard,” Totty and Heshy said with a smile.
“Hi, y’all,” said Richard. “Can I ask youz a question?”
“Of course,” Totty said. “What’s on your mind?”
“I gotta know,” Richard began. “Why are y’all always comin’ to the synagogue? Don’t mean no disrespec’ or nuttin, but it seems like y’all come to pray like six times a day. And then you come for your brisses and your bar mitzvahs and sometimes y’all just come just to sit and read those big books. Why do y’all need to go to the synagogue for all them things?”
Totty smiled. “Richard, we only come to pray three times a day, but as Torah Jews the most important part of our life is our service to Hashem, our Creator. And the shul is the place where we serve Hashem, so it is the most important place to us. That’s why we do everything of importance in our shul whenever possible.”
“Oh, I understand,” said Richard, looking like he didn’t really understand at all. “Thanks for explainin’ it to me.”
As the Greenbergs left shul to go home, Heshy turned to Totty.
“Totty,” he said, “I think I know the answer to the question from last night!”
“Oh wow!” said Totty. “We’re not even close to having the cholent yet!”
“Yeah, well I actually thought of it right as we were starting davening,” said Heshy. “You see, what you told Richard really made me think. We really do spend so much time in Shul. And it really is the most important place in our life. Our davening, our Torah learning, and even our simchos mostly take place in Shul. Even the first place I ever visited after coming home from the hospital eleven years ago was when you brought me here for my bris!
“And I think maybe that’s why the Torah spends so much time talking about the building of the Mishkan. The Torah wants to teach us the importance of the place where we do the Avodah because serving Hashem is the single most important thing in our life. And that’s why the Torah spends parshiyos and parshiyos talking about the Mishkan, the Keilim, the Begadim, and the Karbanos.”
Totty gave Heshy a hug. “Heshy!” he said, “that was incredible. In fact, this is exactly what Rav Avigdor Miller said about this week’s Parshah! The Mishkan was the single most important point of the lives of the Klal Yisroel, as was the Beis Hamikdash after it. Wherever the Mishkan was, that was the center of Eretz Yisroel, just as Yerushalayim was when the Beis Hamikdash was built. And unlike poor Richard, who didn’t look like he understood my answer, you and I do understand this because serving Hashem is what our lives are all about! How amazing is it that we are zoiche to understand this important secret to life? Great job, Heshy!”
Heshy beamed, and it wasn’t just because of the extra piece of double-fudge chocolate cake he’d be getting after the cholent. It felt so good and special to have a real purpose to his life as a Torah Yid.
Have a Wonderful Shabbos