Dvar Torah Pekude 3 5763- 2003 דבר תורה פקודי

It was customary in Europe in the time of the Vilna Gaon that Rabbis would go from community to community and hold DRASHOT in the synagogues encouraging the people to keep the Torah and to act righteously with their fellow men. The Seven Elders (equal to the Board of Directors of today) in the synagogue of Vilna passed a regulation not to permit these Rabbis to speak in their Bet Midrash. Their reasoning was sound. They felt when the speakers came to hold a Drasha they gathered around them some of the students to listen and thus disturbed them from their learning.

When the Vilna Gaon heard about it, he invited the Elders to come to him and said to them: The Mishkan that Moshe built was called MISHKAN, dwelling, because the Presence of Hashem dwelt there. The reason the Presence of Hashem dwelt there was because the tablets containing the Ten Commandments dwelt there in the Ark that was built for them.

A Bet Midrash is called by that name because of the Drashot or Rabbinic lectures that are given there to teach the people. If you will prevent them, you are eliminating the very thing that gives the Bet Midrash its name.

When we try to make changes in what is normally accepted practice, we must examine all the implications of our intentions and make sure we are not doing more harm than good.


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