1. This Shabbos is a particular opportune time for the coming of Mashiach. Every day, we must have faith in Mashiach’s coming and wait for him as the Rambam states, “I will wait for him, every day, that he come.” This is particularly true in the later generations when, “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed,” and especially in our generation when, according to all the omens mentioned by our Sages, this is last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption. Hence, surely, in the present generation, we must have strong faith in Mashiach’s coming and await his coming with genuine yearning. Although this is true throughout our entire era, there are specific times when this faith and this yearning receive greater emphasis.

The present Shabbos is certainly one of those times, for both the weekly Torah portion and, similarly, the time of the year, share an intrinsic connection with the Messianic redemption. This week’s Torah portion, parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei, describes the fashioning and the erection of the Sanctuary, a “dwelling for G‑d” within this earth. The ultimate expression of this dwelling will come in the Messianic Beis HaMikdash, the “Sanctuary of G‑d, established by Your hands.”

There is another allusion to this concept in the opening verse of parshas Pekudei. Rashi explains that the repetition of the word mishkan, “sanctuary,” alludes to the fact that twice, the Beis HaMikdash was taken as a mashkon, security, until the Jews improved their behavior. Once a debt is repaid, a security is returned in its entirety to its owners. Similarly, when the Jews atone for the sins which caused the destruction of the first and second Batei HaMikdash, the Beis HaMikdash will be returned to us in the Messianic era.

In that era, we will also witness the ultimate Vayakhel, “gathering together” of the Jewish people, when “a great congregation will return here,” within the ingathering of the exiles.1

Similarly, the present time of year, the Shabbos on which the month of Nissan is blessed is connected with the Messianic redemption. Our Sages declared, “In Nissan, our people were redeemed, and in Nissan, they will be redeemed in the future.” Nissan is “the month of redemption,” when “as in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

Furthermore, there is a direct connection between the present time of year and the weekly Torah portion since the dedication of the Sanctuary took place in the month of Nissan. Our Sages explain that similarly, in the Messianic age, the third Beis HaMikdash will be dedicated on the first day of the month of Nissan.2

2. The above concepts are also related to the subject matter discussed in the portion of the Mishneh Torah which is associated with the present day, the conclusion of Hilchos Kilayim and the beginning of Hilchos Matanos Aniyim. Firstly, the subject matter discussed in these halachos is connected with the mitzvos to be fulfilled in Eretz Yisrael which will be fulfilled in the most complete manner in the Messianic age. Beyond that concept, there is a deeper connection which is dependent on the homiletic meaning of the subject matter of these two halachos.

There is a connection between Hilchos Kilayim and Hilchos Matanos Aniyim. Hilchos Kilayim deals with forbidden mixtures. There is a natural order established by the Creator and it is forbidden to mix together two species which G‑d has defined as different. Similarly, in regard to Hilchos Matanos Aniyim, one should not mix together two types of funds, i.e., funds which G‑d has given one for the support of his individual family and funds which G‑d has given one for safekeeping with the intent that ultimately, they be given to others.

There is, however, a further point of connection which can be derived based on an analysis of the final halachah in Hilchos Kilayim. That halachah states:

Priests who wore the priestly garments while they were not involved in actual service — even if they were in the Beis HaMikdash — should be punished by lashes because of the sash which contains kilayim (a forbidden mixture of species). They are permitted to wear them only while they are actually serving for then [they are fulfilling] a positive command like Tzitzis.

It appears that the Rambam concludes Hilchos Kilayim with this law to “conclude with a positive matter,” i.e., to conclude not with the prohibition against wearing Kilayim, but the description of a situation in which this prohibition is waived and it is possible to use kilayim for a positive intent.

There is, however, a deeper dimension: Rabbeinu Bachye explains that the reason for the prohibition against kilayim stems from the fact that every entity in this world has a unique spiritual source. When G‑d created the world, He ordained that each entity would be grouped into a specific species. Thus, by mixing two species, one disrupts the order of creation and acts against G‑d’s will.

He continues, explaining the concept in mystical terms: Every time a species reproduces according to its kind, there is a great revelation of peace in the spiritual realms. Conversely, if one mixes species, one spreads discord in the spiritual realms, disrupting the order of the spiritual powers. “This is the mystical meaning of the name kilayim, ‘holding back,’ i.e., preventing the expression of the spiritual powers.”

This explanation raises a question: Why was the sash from the priestly garments made with such a fabric? Since such a garment is from a forbidden species, and, therefore, if a priest wears it while not involved in the service of the Beis HaMikdash, he commits a transgression, why was it included among the priestly garments? How can such a garment be used for the service of G‑d?3

[A similar question exists regarding tzitzis: Our Sages equate the fulfillment of the mitzvah of tzitzis with the fulfillment of all the 613 mitzvos because the tzitzis remind one of the entire Torah. Nevertheless, the fullest dimension of the fulfillment of this mitzvah (i.e., when the thread of techeiles is included) also involves kilayim, mixing linen and wool.4 ]

Rabbeinu Bachye also attempts to resolve this issue, explaining that in the Beis HaMikdash, the revelation of G‑d’s presence brings about the nullification of individual identity, thus allowing for the possibility of unity between opposites. Chassidic thought explains a similar concept, quoting our Sages’ interpretation of the phrase, “He establishes peace in His heavens,” that the revelation of G‑dliness establishes harmony between, “Gavriel, the angel of fire, and Michael, the angel of water.”

This unity, however, does not nullify the difference between the different entities. On the contrary, each one entity expresses the particular quality which characterizes it and, in this manner, is able to fulfill the Divine mission with which it was charged, be it a service of Chessed or Gevurah.

[We see a parallel in the services of Vayakhel and Pekudei. Pekudei, a “reckoning,” alluding to the recognition of the particular contribution of each individual entity. Vayakhel, gathering together, alludes to the manner in which each individual transcends his particular identity and becomes fused together into a communal entity. For example, a Jewish community is made up of Kohanim, Levi’im, and Israelites. Each one has a different identity and a different role to play. (Indeed, there is a prohibition against one carrying out the services connected with another.) Nevertheless, we are one nation. The particular differences are expressions — and not contradictions — of this fundamental oneness.]

This explanation, however, does not appear to reflect the Rambam’s position. The Rambam emphasizes that, even in the Beis HaMikdash, it is forbidden to wear the sash except while involved in the actual priestly service. This implies that the permission to wear the sash is not a result of the revelation of G‑d’s Presence in the Beis HaMikdash, but rather has another explanation.

This resolution according to the Rambam can be found in the explanation of a law in the beginning of Hilchos Matanos Aniyim which describes the mitzvah of Peah. Peah also involves a mixing of the rights of two different portions, those of the owner and those of the poor man. The Rambam explains that a person can designate his entire field as Peah.5 This law is problematic because:

a) The Rambam defines Peah as meaning, “the ends.” If one designates the entire field as Peah, then, the Peah will not be at the end of the field.

b) By giving away the entire field, the owner of the field appears to be denying the rights he has to his own property. Though, as explained above, a portion of the property he acquires is merely given to him for safekeeping with the intent that he distribute it to the needy, a portion does belong to him. Why does the Torah allow the poor to be given the owner’s portion?

These difficulties can be resolved based on the mystical dimension of the mitzvah. In Hebrew, Peah (פאה) is numerically equivalent to G‑d’s name, E‑lohim (אלה-ים). Therefore, Peah is given to the poor for this name is associated with the quality of Gevurah which is reflected in contraction, the ultimate source for the existence of poverty.

The quality of contraction expressed by the name E‑lohim has two dimensions: a) The intention of the process of contraction is to bring about revelation. Through this process of contraction, G‑d’s unbounded light can be revealed within this world. b) The process of contraction reveals that G‑d is totally unlimited, that He is not restricted to the dimension of revelation, but can also express Himself in hiddenness.

Similarly, we find that the name E‑lohim has two dimensions:

a) The aspect which serves as a medium for the revelation of the name Y‑H‑V‑H as evident from the verse, “as the sun and its shield are the Y‑H‑V‑H and E‑lohim,” i.e., in order for the infinite revelation of Y‑H‑V‑H to be expressed in this world, it must pass through the medium of the name E‑lohim.

b) The name E‑lohim as one of G‑d’s holy names. It, itself, expresses a dimension of G‑dliness, revealing how He is totally unbounded, above not only finiteness, but also, infinity.

These two dimensions of the name E‑lohim are reflected in two approaches to giving Peah (its numerical equivalent): One, in which the Peah is given to allow a person to appreciate the remainder of his field (contraction for the sake of revelation) and one, in which giving Peah becomes a self-contained service and thus, one’s entire field can be designated for this purpose.

To explain these concepts in terms of our individual service of G‑d: The first approach relates to the service of “all your deeds should be for the sake of Heaven,” i.e., a person is involved in the material world so that ultimately, generating benefit for the service of holiness. The second approach is reflected in the service of “knowing Him in all your ways,” in which involvement in the material world itself is a revelation of the knowledge of G‑d.

Similarly, service “for the sake of Heaven” is limited as reflected by giving only a portion of one’s field as Peah. In contrast, “knowing G‑d in all your ways” is an unlimited service. Thus, it is reflected in the designation of one’s entire field as Peah. When one makes such a commitment to G‑dliness, one establishes a connection which encompasses the totality of one’s being. Therefore, one can designate the entire field as Peah. At this level, one has no individual identity and, hence, it is irrelevant to talk about the portion of the field which remains for him.

Based on the above, we can appreciate why kilayim are permitted in the priestly garments and in tzitzis. The process of contraction and Divine self-limitation associated with the name E‑lohim is the source for the potential to sin. Even this potential, however, ultimately exists for the purpose of revealing G‑d’s glory.

There are two ways G‑dliness can be revealed through such a medium: a) negating its influence, refusing to use the forbidden objects. This reveals G‑d’s glory, demonstrating how even in a world where the potential exists to disrupt the order for creation established by G‑d, a Jew chooses not to do so. b) Refining and elevating it, transforming it into article used for a mitzvah. This shows how the very force which conceals G‑dliness can be used as a medium for expressing it.

This is clearly expressed by the fact that, before and after the forbidden mixture is used for a mitzvah in the priestly garment and in tzitzis, it is prohibited to be worn. This clearly emphasizes that the mixture is a concealment of G‑dliness. Nevertheless, even this concealment, can — under certain conditions — be used to express His will.

The potential to reveal this quality lies in the essence of the soul which relates to the essence of G‑d. This level totally transcends the concepts of revelation and concealment. Thus, it transforms a medium of concealment into a source of revelation.

This ultimate level of service is reflected in the sash and in Tzitzis. The sash is 32 cubits long, its length being the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word lev, meaning “heart.” The essential point of the soul is revealed in the heart. Furthermore, the sash is wound several times around the priest’s body, implying that the essential connection to G‑d found within our hearts must encompass a person in his entirety. Similarly, the mitzvah of Tzitzis alludes to an essential connection to G‑d which extends beyond the revealed levels of the soul. Therefore, the potential for the transformation of forbidden mixtures is revealed through these mitzvos.6

3. The above concepts are also related to the subject originally mentioned, the immanence of the Messianic redemption. One of the fundamental aspects of the Messianic age will be the complete refinement of the material world (which was brought into being by the name E‑lohim) making it into a dwelling for G‑d. Not only will the concealment of G‑dliness be nullified, demonstrating that the purpose of the concealment was the revelation. Furthermore, the G‑dly intent of the concealment itself will be revealed and even the seemingly negative dimensions of our world will also become a dwelling for G‑d.

The same applies to the concept of exile, not only will the exile be nullified, it will become transformed into an aspect of redemption. The revelation of the positive dimensions of limitation will come about through the revelation of G‑d’s essence, a potential which is above both limitation and transcendence.

The above must be reflected in activities that reflect our anxiousness for the coming of Mashiach, including the spreading outward of the wellsprings of Mashiach for, these efforts will hasten his coming. Also, there must be an emphasis on gifts to tzedakah as our Sages declared, “Israel will only be redeemed through tzedakah.” In particular, this applies to giving Maos Chittim, tzedakah intended to allow the needy to purchase their Pesach necessities. Since we are less than thirty days before the Pesach holiday, when the awareness of the upcoming holiday is already stressed, efforts must be made in this direction. As mentioned previously, one should search after the person collecting tzedakah and give him the money without waiting for him to ask for it.7

May these efforts hasten the coming of the Messianic redemption and may we merit “a month of redemption.” May it be in the immediate future.