In Sefer Shemos 25:31, Rashi says that the material for the Menorah was thrown into a fire and the Menorah emerged (i.e. the Menorah was God-made). Later on Rashi comments on the pasuk 39:33 that although Moshe went through the motions of erecting the mishkan, it was in fact an act of God that raised the pillars and did various other actions of erecting the mishkan. Do we find that there were other God-made vessels or find any other acts of God in the construction of the mishkan?

(I'm asking because Rabeinu Yaakov mi'Lisa writes based off of those two examples that the entire mishkan was God-made. However, I can't find a source that God was actively involved, so to speak, in anything other than those 2 instances.)

2 Answers 2


The זהר פקודי רכב עמוד ב states:

וְתָא חֲזֵי, בְּשַׁעֲתָא דְּכֻלְּהוּ אוֹמָנִין שָׁארוּ לְמֶעְבַּד אוּמָנוּתָא, הַהוּא עוֹבָדָא מַמָּשׁ דְּשָׁרָאן, אִיהִי אִשְׁתְּלִימַת מִגַּרְמָהּ. אִינּוּן שָׁרָאן, וְאִיהִי אַשְׁלִימַת עֲבִידְתָּא, אִיהִי מַמָּשׁ, מְנָלָן, דִּכְתִּיב וַתֵּכֶל כָּל עֲבוֹדַת מִשְׁכַּן אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

It seems to say when the craftsman started a piece of work, it finished by itself.

This seems to indicate that to some extent, Hashem was involved, only first the craftsman need to begin the action. Perhaps, that is the comprise of all the sources mentioned in the first answer. The craftsman need to begin the act, but then the act was completed by itself through Hashem.


It is a mitzvah to construct the Tabernacle, as stated in Shemos 25:8.

וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃ And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

The Gemara (Temurah 31b) explains that the Mishkan- the Tabernacle, was constructed using the consecrated property:

“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). The verse indicates that the Tabernacle can be constructed from that which is Mine, i.e., consecrated property.

The Rambam, in his Moreh Nevuchim (3:32:2) uses the following words:

For this reason G-d allowed these kinds of service to continue; He transferred to His service that which had formerly served as a worship of created beings, and of things imaginary and unreal, and commanded us to serve Him in the same manner; viz., to build unto Him a temple; comp. "And they shall make unto me a sanctuary" (Exod. 25:8); to have the altar erected to His name; comp. "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me" (ibid. 20:21); to offer the sacrifices to Him; comp. "If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord" (Lev. 1:2), to bow down to Him and to burn incense before Him.

G-d instructs to build the Mishkan in Shemos 25:8. He uses the words "And let them make", e.g. let the people build the Mishkan, not "I will build the Mishkan". In a similair vein, the Ramban on Shemos 25:9 explains the words "so shall you make it"- this means that in future generations, when a vessel is lost, you know exactly how to remake it, since G-d gave these instructions:

AND SO SHALL YE MAKE IT — [also] “in future generations. If one of the vessels is lost, or when you make the vessels of the Sanctuary of Jerusalem, such as the tables, the candelabrums, the lavers, and the bases which Solomon made — after the pattern of these you shall make them

Rashi seems to accept this view:

according to all that I am showing you the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its vessels, even so shall you make them.

The Chizkuni on Shemos 25:9 explains:

וכן תעשו, “and this is how you shall do it.” The letter ו at the beginning of the word וכן, is not necessary in this context; some commentators understand it as referring to what follows about the construction of the individual items of furniture for the Temple. The idea of the connective letter ו then would be: ”just as I instructed you first to build the structure, I will now instruct you to construct the furnishings to be housed in that structure.”

Also, I would like to add the commentary of the Siftei Chakhamim on the Rashi you quoted. On pasuk 25:32 he writes:

“Throw the mass into the fire.” This was done by Betzalel.

Elsewhere (v.33) he writes:

For they were unable to erect it . . . [Rashi knows this] because otherwise, they would not have brought it [to Moshe] in pieces, since it is the way of craftsmen to erect a house and then to show what they built. Therefore Rashi explains, “For they were unable to erect it.” Rashi then answers a further question: Every time they traveled from place to place, they erected the mishkon [themselves]. If so, why did they not do so now as well? Therefore Rashi explains, “Because Moshe did no work. . ..” Thus the first time, it was erected through Moshe, of its own. And from then on, each time they traveled, it stood upright on its own, and through those who erected it. (Nachalas Yaakov) Here it is implied that even Moshe erected it [only] by a miracle. But in Shabbos 92a, Berachos 54b and Bechoros 44a, it is implied that since Moshe was ten amohs tall, he therefore had the strength to erect it. See there.

On a side note, the Tosfos on the Gemara in Temurah 31b writes:

הא קדשי בדק הבית נותנין מנא ה"מ - תימה אלא מאי עבדינן מינייהו אי לא דיהבינן להו לאומנין בשכרן לחזק בדק הבית ואומר מורי הרמ"ר דס"ד דאין מותר לקנות אלא עצים ואבנים שהן צורך הבנין וקדושתן נשארה עליהן אבל ליתן לאומנין בשכרם להוציאן לחולין אסור אלא מתנדבין מעות בפני עצמן לפרוע לאומנין משום הכי איצטריך קרא דמאותן עצמן שהוקדשו נותנין לאומנין:

Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim in the "Tosfos-section" writes:

What else should one do with them, other than give it to the workers as remuneration for strengthening Bedek ha'Bayis?

Last, but not least, I would like to add-in the commentary of R'Moshe Feinstein on Shemos 25:8 (Darash Moshe al HaTorah, p. 133-134 ArtScroll)

On the surface it would appear that the holiness of the Sanctuary has to emanate from Hashem, and that humans can only build a physical structure which Hashem ten makes into a Sanctuary by causing His Presence to dwell in [...]. We must say that the Torah wishes to make the point that Hashem's explicit instructions apply only to creating this sanctity.

Personally, after reading the commentaries, I do not understand the statement of Rabeinu Yaakov mi'Lisa , G-d simply instructs the people to "make Me" a Tabernacle. Maybe if you could source that statement, we can look at "the bigger picture" of what R'Yaakov mi'Lisa writes, maybe he suggests a deeper meaning?

Reference List:

Klugman, E. M., Rohr, P. O., & Rosenberg, A. Y. (1994). Darash Moshe I: A selection of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s choice comments on the Torah (1st ed.). Mesorah Publications Ltd.

  • Granting you all your points, the 2 sources I quoted in the question still indicate that there were items and construction that were done directly by God. How do you account for those?
    – Gavriel
    Feb 22, 2022 at 21:42
  • Thank you, please see my latest edit where I added in a quote from the Siftei Chakhamim on v. 33 "Thus the first time, it was erected through Moshe, of its own. And from then on, each time they traveled, it stood upright on its own, and through those who erected it.".
    – Shmuel
    Feb 22, 2022 at 21:45
  • Excellent! Now the question becomes, or remains, were there other direct interventions by God in the original construction or only the two quoted in my question.
    – Gavriel
    Feb 22, 2022 at 21:48
  • I added in a quote from Rav Moshe Feinstein. He explains that men build the Mishkan, but it was G-d who "put His Presence in it". Personally, I think that everything was man-made, except for the example Rashi mentions. I have not find any other commentary who suggests otherwise. Might add that in later, if I find one...
    – Shmuel
    Feb 22, 2022 at 21:54

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