Pekudei : Before & After

Early this week in the evening, I was sitting and working, and then, even with my headphones on, I heard something strange.  Listening carefully, it sounded like automatic gunfire (we've heard it enough over the years to recognize it).  At the same time, my wife runs in and asks if I hear gunfire.  Naturally, it was from the Arabs from the nearby town, celebrating the first night of Ramadan.

Now, you need to understand.  Israel has very, VERY strict gun laws.  It's not so simple to get one and even with a permit, you're limited on what you're allowed to own.  It's one of those known-but-not-officially-recognized things, that the Arabs have plenty of arms, while we are left rather defenseless.  It's a bit spooky to know that if they get in the mood…

Yet, despite all this... from everything I hear on what's going on in the US, UK, Australia, etc... I'm so happy to be here.

"And when Moshe saw that they had performed all the tasks as Hashem had commanded, so they had done—Moshe blessed them" (Shemos 39: 43).

Rashi comments that he gave the following bracha: "May it be the will that the Divine Presence will dwell in the work of your hands."

Rav Pincus notes that we learn a very important lesson from Moshe. We see that when they were building the Mishkan, they did everything "as Hashem had commanded."  And when Moshe saw this, and saw all the work and effort they put in to building the Mishkan, he blessed them "on the spot" that Hashem should dwell "in the work of your hands."  We see the same bracha given by Moshe in Parshas Shmini when they finished inaugurating the Mishkan and using it for the first time.

We often forget the immense work each spouse does for the other.  I thought about this the other day, in fact, when I saw laundry, nicely folded, lying on my bed, ready for me to put away.  My wife washed it, dried it and folded it.  I don't pay too much attention to it for a couple of reasons.  One, I'm very busy myself, and I don't notice a lot of things. Two, everybody receives this chessed of hers, not just me. And third, I'm a man.  However, when I thought about it, it forced me to go up and thank her for it.

Similarly, with the state of the house, dishes, taking care of children, work, fixing things, etc., each spouse does things for the other or for the family which entail a lot of work.  And when the children (usually girls since boys are too incompetent to do anything useful on a daily basis) get older and start helping out, they too are contributing a lot in the running of the household.

My oldest daughter, for example, will be living in Yerushaliyim next year, and my wife and I realized how dependent we are on her and how difficult of a change it will be.

So we see from Moshe the importance of thanking and even giving brachos when one sees the work that others are putting in for their benefit.

In fact, says Rav Pincus, we see that really a person should be thankful twice.  Once, on erev Shabbos, for example, when one sees the work being done (like this week's parsha) and once after the meal that night, when one actually partakes in the work that was done (like in Parshas Shmini).

This is no different than the two brachos we say on food.  The first before we partake, and the second after we partake.

One of the main ingredients in a successful home is appreciation the work each member does in running the home.  Not just to think about it in one's heart, but to say it outright to those who are responsible for it.

With that, I wish you all a quiet Shabbos.