Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week 39, Number 39

Thirty-nine is the number of the types of work prohibited on Shabbat (the Sabbath). These prohibitions parallel the thirty-nine types of work performed in building the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, a miniature Temple where the Divine Presence resided. The Mishkan represents a microcosm of the world, and just as God rested on the seventh day during the creation of the world, the Jewish people rested on the same day when they were building the Mishkan.

The bear’s song refers to distant and uninhabited places that have the potential of praising Hashem, thus making a home for Him in this world. The Midrash Tanchumah teaches that God’s primary objective in creating the world was in order to make a home for Him in the lowly realms. That home is the Mishkan.
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