Parshas VaYigash – Shiloh and the Bais HaMikdosh

Lrefuah Shelimah L’Mori V’Rabi Moshe ben Rachel

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In the emotional meeting between Yosef and his brothers, Yosef and Binyomin cry on each other. The Torah is very specific and says they cried on each other’s necks. Rashi explains that they are crying over the destruction of the two Batei Mikdash and of the Mishkon of Shiloh. What is the connection between the neck and the places of Avodah of HaShem?

Rashi is basing himself on a Gemarra and a Midrash. But the Shem MiShmuel brings a Zohar that only describes Yosef crying on Binyomin as crying on the Bais HaMikdosh, while not comparing Yosef’s neck to Shiloh. Why should there be a difference?

Shiloh was an interim stage between the Mishkan in the desert and the Bais HaMikdosh. This true not only chronologically, but also in the construction. The Mishkon is all built from animal and vegetable, all living things. The majority of the Bais HaMikdosh is stone- inanimate. In Shiloh the walls are stone, while the roof is from the Mishkon. The Mishkon is to lift Klal Yisrael and with it all the world to Kedusha. It is easier to lift to Kedusha something animate than something inanimate. Therefore, we begin with a Mishkan which is easier, go to Shiloh which is one step above, and get to the Bais HaMikdosh.

It seems that Shiloh did not have to be destroyed. The Ram”a M’Faano writes that just as there is a Halacha that when you are building a new Shul for the community, you must first build the new one, and only then can you demolish the older one. So too, Shiloh was actually meant to stand till the Bais HaMikdosh was built, so as there should be continuity in the Avodah. Only as a result of different sins, there was an interruption between Shiloh and the Bais HaMikdosh.

That seems to be contradicted by the Halacha leant from the Pasuk. When the Torah is describing the Halachos of Bamos we learn that during the time of Shilo and the Bais HaMikdosh, and even after the destruction of the Bais HaMikdosh, Bamos remain forbidden. But in between Shilo and the Bais HaMikdosh, they are permitted. Since the Torah teaches such a Halacha, that seems to imply that the Torah foresaw such a time? One could say, that even though it was a possibility, it was not destined. The Torah was only offering possibilities and it was our choice which one of them would become a reality.

But why is the Bais HaMikdosh compare to a neck? In a person’s body the head represents Kedusha and the body all the lower parts. The neck connects them. So too the Bais HaMikdosh is a connection between this lower world and the world of HaShem. This idea is taken further in that in the neck are the trachea and the esophagus. Those bring food and air down from the head to the body. The blood vessels then bring the nutrients created from that, back up to the head. So too, HaShem sends us raw materials to use. The ultimate goal is to use them to bring them back up and serve HaShem with them. The place where we can actually bring ‘food’ to HaShem is the Bais HaMikdash.

The neck is where you can lower your head in subservience, or place ornamentation on. The question is to what will be subservient to, and whaat purpose will the ornamentation serve?

In Chazal we learn that since Binyomin was not yet born at the meeting with Eisav, he never bowed to Eisav. Therefore, He merited that the ‘neck’ of Klal Yisrael should be in his portion. It is added to this, that at that meeting Yosef stretched himself to protect Eisav from seeing his mother. Even though he did bow, but at the same time he lifted his neck to protect her. Therefor3e, one could say that is why he merited Shiloh in his portion.

That can explain the differe3nce between the Zohar and the Gemarra. Bunyomin never bowed and Yosef did. Therefore, on one level only Binyomin deserves a connection with HaShem. That is the opinion of the Zohar. But since Yosef did his best, he deserves Shiloh, and that is what the Gemarra explains.

Why are these tears expressed now? The destruction of all Kedusha goes back to Sinas Chinam. The second Bais HaMikdosh we are told clearly that reason. But the first Bais HaMikdosh, is because of the split in the Malchus between Rechavam and Yerovam. Even though after that many other sins are committed, that is the root cause. Shiloh is ddestroyed because of the sins of the sons of Eli. We learn that their descendants can undo that sin by Chesed. Therefore, that means the sin was a lack of Chesed.

Maybe, since at this time there was a chance for true Achdus, Yosef and Binyomin were trying to arouse their brothers to break the barrier of Sinas Chinam created by the sale of Yosef and lay a foundation for the Shiloh and the Bais HaMikdosh. Maybe they thought that I they cry for he Churban before it happens, they can forestall the actual crying. If the brothers, i.e. Klal Yisrael, see this crying, they will make sure that it does not reach the reality of crying for an actual Churban.

Sadly this is not yet the case, so we must continue to cry till we reach Achdus.

(I am sorry there are no Mareh Mekomos)


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