White at the End of the Tunnel
I just heard tonight a beautiful shtikle from this week's Parsha that's very appropriate. Both the Yeriyos on top of the Mishkan, as well as the Paroches curtain by the entrance to the Kodesh HaKodashim had the same materials used for threads. They were - linen; blue wool, purple wool, and red wool. There was a difference however. By the Yeriyos it puts them in this order: white (linen), blue, purple, then red. By the Paroches it is in a different order: blue, purple, red, and then white. Why the switch?
I heard in the name of Rav Dovid Feinstein that it depends on where the materials were being used. When on top, it represents the Shamayim. When our Neshamos come down they are white. Then they begin to get "dirty" down here with our wrong doings. First a little dirty (blue) then more dirty (purple) and then R"L filthy (red). Therefore on the top they are in that order - white, blue, purple, red. But when a person is coming in to "clean" himself, he comes in first with the dirt, and only after is he Zoche to turn white. That's why by the Paroches we have white last.
The problem is, that it should have been in complete reverse order when entering the Mishkan - red, purple, blue, and then white. Why start from the middle, and end at the beginning? Rav Dovid said that the answer is like Chazal say "Haba letaher mesayin oso". Since you want to improve, you are automatically upgraded immediately.
I wanted to add my own addition, which I think is vitally important. Even though Hashem helps us when we so much as 'want' to come back, it won't be easy. Many times we feel like we are finally moving in the right direction when we get blind-sided by the YH. We think it's not fair. Every time things start going well, they get much harder once again!! The Torah is hinting to us that it is not only fair, it is by design. The only way to know if something is really strong is by trying to break it. If you can't, then it's strong. If you can, then make it stronger. Hashem is testing us to see how strong we are. But if we withstand all the tests, we will suddenly feel liberated and things will finally start to run more smoothly.
That's why it's in that order. We want to improve, so Hashem helps - blue. But then the YH challenges us - first purple, and then maybe even red. But if we "keep trucking" we will pass these 2 stages and hit pay dirt when we end off - white.
Don't quit when it gets hard!!! There is a "white" at the end of the tunnel!