By Rabbi Shloime Lindenbaum
דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה (פרק כה פסוק ב)
Hashem commands Moshe to instruct the Jewish nation to donate money and materials for the purpose of building His משכן. The Beis Halevi explains that this mitzvah comes specifically after פרשת משפטים because that deals with dealings between people and especially in business and money. Learning about those הלכות is a necessary introduction to the donations for the משכן because before someone uses their money for holy purposes, they must make sure that it rightfully belongs to them and that there is no “dirty money” mixed in. First one must ensure that they earn their money in a clean and honest fashion, only then can it bring honor to Hashem by using it for His mitzvos.
והבאת את הבדים בטבעת על צלעות הארון (פרק כה פסוק יד)
Four of the vessels used in the משכן required poles inserted into rings at the corners: the שלחן, the ארון, and the two מזבחות. However, only by the ארון and the מזבח החיצון does Hashem specify that the poles be placed in the rings, by the other two He just commands to fashion the poles, and their placement seems to be self-understood. The Netziv sees in this differentiation that by the ארון and מזבח החיצון the poles were an essential part of the vessel, as opposed to the שלחן and מזבח הפנימי where they just served as practical ways of carrying the vessel but they weren’t part of it’s actual makeup. He explains that the reason why specifically these two vessels required poles is because of what each vessel symbolizes. The ארון represents the Torah, the מזבח החיצון represents service of Hashem (either via sacrifices or, later on, through prayer), the שלחן represents מלכות (kingship), and the מזבח הפנימי represents כהונה (priesthood). The poles are a means of transporting and carrying the vessel. They therefore represent the ability of the vessel’s symbolism to “travel” and remain with the Jewish nation at all times and in all places. Therefore, only by the vessels representing Torah and service of Hashem, which are always key elements of our existence, regardless of era or locale, were the poles required in the basic construction of the vessels. The vessels representing מלכות and כהונה, however, are reserved for certain times and places (i.e. ארץ ישראל) when we merit having kings and priests in their proper positions. Therefore, they only required the poles as practical tools, not as an inherent part of their construction.