A person might ask: Since we are expecting Mashiach at ever
moment, how can we possibly immerse ourselves in the
drudgery of everyday life and even make plans for the future? If we
are truly excited about the coming of Mashiach, how can we be
excited about serving God in the world as it is before Mashiach comes?
The answer to these questions can be found in the way that the
Tabernacle was dismantled and erected in the desert. Often, the
Jewish people would stay encamped in one place for a considerable
period of time—as much as 19 years (Rashi to Devarim 1:46) —so the
need for fully erecting the Tabernacle, with all the labor involved,
was understood. But “sometimes, the cloud remained for (just) a few
days… and sometimes the cloud remained from night until morning,
and when the cloud rose in the morning, they traveled” (v. 20-21) .
MONTH OR A YEAR …” ( V . 22)
So what was the point of the hundreds of man-hours involved in
erecting the Tabernacle, if it was to be dismantled soon afterwards,
sometimes the following day?
The Talmud explains that since ”they encamped by the word of
God, and they traveled by the word of God” (v. 23) , each encampment
was not considered to be transitory in nature, because the direct
Divine command to camp at that point, “conferred it with the
importance of a permanent settlement” (Eruvin 55b) .
Likewise, while it is true that our current work is transitory in
nature, for Mashiach is about to arrive at any moment, nevertheless,
since in our daily work we are following “the word of God,” we
should view what we are doing as having the utmost importance and
be enthusiastic in carrying out the tiniest detail.
(Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Vayigash 5747)