Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayakheil-Pekudei - 5777
After reading for several weeks the many details of the construction of the Mishkan in Pareshat Vayakhel, we finally reach the point where the children of Israel are informed to start the project. Yet, right before they actually get to work, the Torah reminds the people, again, about the significance of the Shabbat.
The Talmud lists the thirty-nine primary categories of labor prohibited on Shabbat. These acts, known as Melachot, are based, and derived, from the types of work employed for the construction of the Mishkan. In other words, that which was used to create the Mishkan is considered to be an act of creation, and thus forbidden on Shabbat.
The Mishkan is like a world that we created for the presence of Hashem. If specific types of labor are used for this creation, they are by definition acts of constructing a world. Thus, on the Shabbat, when we are to rest and remember the fact that the Almighty rested from His act of creation, we are to avoid those activities of creation used to create the world of the Mishkan.