39:32 Thus was finished all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting; and the children of Israel did according to all that the L-rd commanded Moses, so did they.

When one reads the verse carefully, it seems redundant. The first half talks about how the Bnei Yisrael finished doing everything, and the second half says that they did everything!

The explanation of the second half of the verse is explained by the Maharsham as follows: The purpose of building the Mishkan after the sin of the Golden Calf was to create a “center for rehabilitation.” Should a Jew sin, there was now a place to go and a procedure to follow in order to reconnect to Hashem and reinstate the relationship that was marred. On an intellectual plane, one would understand how terrible it is to sin because of the great lengths one must be put into regaining his former status. This alone should cause people to be frightened and run away from even the most remote possibility of sinning by accident. Yet, on the contrary, what happens many times is exactly the opposite, as can be seen in the following tale:

A husband gives his wife precious diamonds and jewels, beautiful ornaments; each one a memento of a different milestone of their lives. She cherishes every one of them, for through that object she is able to recall the special time when she received it. She also makes sure that all these valuables are insured, for they have a great amount of monetary worth. One day, she was in a hurry to leave her home and forgot to put these jewels back into her safe. A few minutes into her journey she stopped in her tracks, realizing what might happen: “The cleaning service is coming today, and all the jewels are out on my counter! Should I go back home and put them back in the safe? But wait! Each item is insured for full replacement value, so if they are stolen, I will be able to buy new jewels.” As often happens, since she was in a rush, she decided to take a chance and continued on to her destination. Unfortunately, when she returned home, she found the house clean – and cleaned out! All the jewels were stolen, and the cleaning service claimed that they must have been stolen before they arrived. She was beside herself with grief because, even if the insurance were to give her double the financial value of her jewels, it would not replace the sentimental value that the jewels had.

I think we all recognize this kind of folly of human nature: we have a mishkan, so we feel secure. Even if we sin, we can always repent and be reinstated. The verse comes to tell us that the bnei Yisrael learned their lesson well. Though the Bnei Yisrael had a safety net for sin via the mishkan, the second half of the verse comes to tell us that instead of becoming more lax in their observance, they became even more meticulous in keeping the Torah and performing the mitzvos.

Sometimes we have a situation, such as I had this week. I called someone and asked him “How are you feeling?” and he responded, “Exceptionally well!” and he proceeded to explain: A few days ago, he experienced symptoms similar to those of a stroke! Worried as can be, he went to the doctor to be examined. Baruch Hashem it seems that there was no real issue with which to be concerned. When these things happen, we have to make a choice: do we say “What a pain in the neck to have to go through all the trouble to find out that I was well, like I thought I was all along” or do we stop and take the time out, after realizing that our general well-being is not to be taken for granted. At these times, if we say an extra prayer of thanks to Hashem for the “nothing” that happened, those warnings from heaven were well used.

In fact, all of the worrying of the Jews at the times of Achashveirosh, we can brush it off and say it was a false alarm, because nothing really happened. Yet we have been taught that the “nothing” that happened may be the greatest gift of all.