The Jewish people contributed generously and the master craftsmen worked diligently to arrange that all the components of the Mishkan should be in place. The completion of the Mishkan was followed by a seven-day period of inauguration. Finally, on the eighth day, which was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the inauguration was completed and Aharon and his sons were initiated as the Kohanim.

On this day, Moshe and Aharon blessed the people, saying, Yehi ratzon shetishreh Shechinah b’ma’asei yedeichem” — “May the Shechinah — His Divine Presence — abide in the work of your hands” (9:23, Rashi). This indeed is a beautiful blessing, but why did they speak in an obscure way? Instead of referring to the Mishkan as the “work of the hands,” they should have clearly said “May the Divine Presence abide in the Mishkan?”

When the Jews were involved in building the Mishkan, Hashem was delighted with His chosen people because they were in an exalted spirit. After the Mishkan was completed, they returned to their regular mundane activities.

Undoubtedly, Moshe and Aharon prayed that the Shechinah should be pleased with K’lal Yisrael and dwell in the Mishkan. However, in addition, they also blessed the Jews that when they are involved in “ma’aseh yedeichem” — their regular daily activities and preoccupations — even then they should conduct themselves in such a way to merit that the Shechinah should feel “comfortable” to be in their midst.

Every Chatan and Kallah builds their own home, which is their miniature Mishkan — Sanctuary. They, too, have a period of inauguration, which is the seven days of sheva berachot. This time is a Yom-Tov for them. They refrain from work and are primarily occupied with enjoying each other. They are royaly treated as a king and queen and they are the guests of honor at festive meals and listen to the acclaim, praise and laudatory remarks of the host and guests.

After this comes their initiation into the mundane daily routine of life. The joyous Yom Tov period has climaxed, and now they need to face the daily chores and common travails connected with olam hazeh — this earthly world. In day-to-day life sometimes people are confronted with trials and tribulations and a husband and wife may experience strife and animosity.

I would like to paraphrase, dear Chatan and Kallah, the berachah issued by Moshe and Aharon to you. Our Sages (Shabbat 30b) tell us that His Divine Presence abides only where joy and happiness prevails. Undoubtedly, His Divine Presence will definitely be in your midst during your personal Yom Tov period. May you be blessed with continuous joy and happiness, a life without confrontation and strife, so that also when you are engaged in ma’asei yedeichem, the daily mundane activities, His Holy Divine Presence will abide with you.

Now let me share with you the secret ingredient to attain and merit this exalted lifestyle.

Immediately prior to the joint berachah given by Moshe and Aharon, we are told that Aharon personally blessed the people with Birchat Kohanim — the traditional three-fold priestly blessing for Divine protection, spiritual enlightenment, and peace.

The Torah tells us: “Vayisa Aharon et yado el ha’am vayevarcheim” — “And Aharon lifted his hand towards the people and he blessed them” (9:22).

Now, there is something strange in the Hebrew text. The word “yado” is written without a yud between the daled and the vav, thus, it spells out the singular “his hand” (ידו). However, when the text is read aloud, it is read as “yadav” (ידיו) — “his hands” — with a yud and denoting the plural. How could this be reconciled?

This apparent oddity contains great meaning for all and particularly you, dear Chatan and Kallah.

Perhaps it could be said Aharon was in a sense employing an audio-visual aid to convey an important message. Indeed, he lifted both hands when he bestowed his blessings, but the two hands were placed so closely together to appear as one united hand.

Aharon’s message was that for a community, partnership, business enterprise or a husband and wife to merit the fulfillment of the Priestly Blessing it is imperative that all “hands” involved be united as one. When the hands pull in different directions and each has his selfish interests in mind, chaos prevails. When all hands, however, join together in a mutual and dedicated effort for the enhancement of the undertaking, G‑d is truly pleased and His blessings for success are imminent.

My dear Chatan and Kallah, it is my fervent wish that the both of you unite your “hands” as one and work jointly to accomplish your noble goals and aspirations. Hashem will definitely reward your “love and friendship, harmony and fellowship” with His blessings for all the best materially and spiritually.

"ארבעים קודם יצירת הולד בת קול יוצאת ואומרת בת פלוני לפלוני"
“Forty days before the formation of an embryo a Heavenly voice issues forth and proclaims ‘the daughter of so-and-so is destined for so-and-so’.” (Sotah 2a

QUESTION: Why isn’t the announcement “ploni l’bat ploni” — “so-and-so is destined to marry the daughter of so-and-so” (mentioning the male first)?

ANSWER: According to Biblical law a man may have more than one wife, while a woman is forbidden to have more than one husband. Thus, bat ploni l’ploni means that the daughter of so-and-so is destined [and belongs as a wife only to] this man.

It does not say ploni l’bat ploni because he may have more than one wife and would not belong as a husband only to her, but to the other woman as well.

(אגרא דבי הילולא בפי' תפארת יצחק)