Vayakhel – Siman Tov and Mazel Tov

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Very important note: This is not the haftorah for this week since it is Shabbos Shekalim. However, there is a very nice message learned from this haftorah and I apologize for any inconveniences. Enjoy the dvar Torah for the sake of learning, lihagdil Torah viya’adir!

In years where we read the haftorah for the Torah portion of Vayakhel, the Sefardim read from Melachim Alef perek 7 pesukim 13-26. The haftorah discusses pillars that were erected in the Beis Hamikdash, just as the Torah portion discusses the actual building of the Mishkan.

There is a commentary on the Mishna by the Tiferes Yisrael referred to as Yachin Boaz. This name comes from a pasuk in this haftorah. In pasuk 21 it states, “He erected the pillars by the hall of the Sanctuary; he erected the right pillar and called its name Yachin and he erected the left pillar and called its name Boaz.”

The Radak on this pasuk explains why each pillar was given a name. “The fact that he called each pillar  was as a siman tov, a good sign, because they were in the entrance of the house, therefore he gave them names as a good sign. One was called Yachin, which comes from the word that means preparation, that the house should be set up forever as it says, “Like the moon it shall be set up forever.” Boaz comes from the word that means strength and it’s actually a combination of a word that means ‘in it shall be strength,’ meaning G-D shall give it strength so that it will last, as it says, “Hashem is the source of strength for his nation.” (Click here for Hebrew text.)
Was King Shlomo really so superstitious that he needed to erect good signs, siman tov, to the entrance of the Beis Hamikdash? What was the point of the pillars? The Beis Hamikdash was the palace on earth for Hashem, the Almighty King Of All Kings, and there were ten miracles that constantly occurred during the First Beis HaMikdash. So why were good signs needed, seemingly to protect the Temple? Furthermore, we know that the Beis Hamikdash was actually destroyed because of our sins. So, it was absolutely pointless to have “a good luck charm” of sorts on the entrance. If so, why did King Shlomo do this?

It’s true that the permanency of the structure of the Temple depended upon our loyalty to Hashem; but we must say that there really is something to having good signs, and at the very least it adds, even if it is not needed.

We see from here that there really is a concept of an ayin hara, evil eye, and ayin tov, a good eye. A good sign, siman tov, is something of value which should be treated seriously, assuming that there is a basis for it in our mesora, our tradition, and not something which was just made up or borrowed from other people.

However, what’s important to realize is that good signs are not what drives a successful existence rather it is doing G-D’s will, being scrupulous in serving Hashem which brings us success and plenty, the good signs are just an added plus, a reinforcing of the good quality of life that we are living by serving Hashem properly.