By Five Towns Marriage Initiative

In this week’s parashah, Moshe commands the nation regarding the construction of the Mishkan and asks for people to come to work on its construction: “Vayikra Moshe . . . v’el kol ish chacham lev asher nasan Hashem chochmah b’libo, kol asher nesa’o libo l’korvah el ha’melachah la’asos osah–Moshe called to . . . every wise-hearted man within whose heart Hashem had put wisdom, everyone whose heart inspired him to approach the work, to do it” (Sh’mos 36:2).

The Chofetz Chaim (Toras HaBayis, chapter 7) points out that although it sounds like two separate groups, talented people and motivated people, it really is one group of people; the second description is an explanation of the first. The Chofetz Chaim explains that any person who took it upon himself to help with the construction of the Mishkan was given from Hashem the talent and abilities to enable him to help.

When we reflect on the Jewish nation during this period, we realize that we are talking about a group of people who were recently redeemed from Egypt after years of backbreaking labor. These were workers experienced in brickmaking and manual labor, not people skilled in fine arts such as weaving, embroidering, artistic design, and molding silver and gold. It was their sincere desire to be a part of the creation of the Mishkan that caused them to have these abilities and skills.

This concept can be applied to our family life as well. We enter marriage inexperienced and often unskilled in the “art” of being a spouse. If we truly have the motivation and the sincere desire to build a relationship with our spouses and to create strong family units, then we will be granted by Hashem the skills and knowledge to accomplish the task. Similarly, people are not born experienced parents. It is through sincere desire to raise our children properly, on the path of Torah, that we are granted from Hashem the abilities and skills to raise and guide them.

The Mishkan was built by people who showed Hashem their sincere desire to build a house for Him. Let us show Hashem our sincere desire to build a beautiful marriage and family, and pray that He will grant us the abilities and talents needed to do so. v

Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00—11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail

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