Vayakhel-Pekudei 5772-2012

“A United People Build the Tabernacle”

What were the special qualities of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which ensured its durability, that were not found in the permanent Temples of Jerusalem?

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5770-2010

"Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves"

The biblical verse announcing the completion of the building of the Tabernacle describes the Tabernacle as if it had erected itself, and also that it had been erected by the people. This conflict is resolved by the rabbinic interpretation, which concludes that the Al-mighty helped the people build the complex structure, but because of the people's uncommon devotion, attributed the entire building to the people.

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Terumah 5769-2009

"The Delicate Balance"

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's interpretation of the difficult to comprehend details and furnishings of the Tabernacle teach us insightful life lessons. Among those lessons is that Israel's material and intellectual well-being stand under Divine protection. When Israel uses both of these endowments properly to further the ideals taught by Torah, then we as a people will be prosperous and safe. There is a grave danger lest prosperity become of primary importance, and intellectual advance be used to modify or reform the Torah.

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Terumah 5768-2008

"The Museum within the Tabernacle"

The Torah tells us that three items were stored in the Tabernacle for future generations, a flask of manna, some anointing oil, and the staff of Aaron that blossomed. The Talmud and the Midrashim add that the garments of the High Priest and the priest who led the Israelites in battle as well as the gifts from the Philistines when the Ark was returned were stored there as well. What purpose do these items serve?

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Terumah 5767-2007

"G-d's Love Letters"

The "obsessive" focus on the details of the erecting of the Tabernacle often seems overwhelming. In truth, however, these details convey profound messages to us, and should be properly viewed as "love letters" from G-d that are to be found in each verse. They, therefore, need to be studied for a new and profound message each time they are read.

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Tetzaveh 5767-2007

"Details, Details and More Details"

The overwhelming emphasis on detail continues in Parashat Tetzaveh, reopening the ongoing debate of "form" and "function." While all agree that function is preeminent, many emphasize that form is meant to help improve function, raise intensity during prayer and worship and enhance the awareness of Sanctity.

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Naso 5766-2006

"A Lesson from the N'seeim--the Tribal Leaders"

The fact that the Torah dwells at great length on the gifts of the tribal Princes should serve as a clue that there is much for us to learn from this particular Torah portion and from the behavior of the Princes, as well as from the actions of Moses and Aaron.

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Vayakehel-Pekudei 5766-2006

"Lessons of Leadership from the Resume of an Architect"

What qualities are needed by successful leaders and artisans? The Torah's comments in parashat Vayakhel about Bezalel, the chief craftsman of the Tabernacle, reveal to us some very important Torah insights concerning leadership.

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Terumah 5766-2006

"Make for Me a Sanctuary, And I Shall Dwell in Their Midst"

The syntax of the verse "and they shall make for Me a sanctuary, and I shall dwell among them," is rather odd. The purpose of this strangely constructed verse is to teach that G-d does not dwell in a sanctuary, but rather among the people of Israel. The questions remain: How are Jews to develop true passion in their relationship with G-d? How are we to light the fire that will ignite our hearts and souls in our worship of the Al-mighty G-d?

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Terumah 5765-2005

"Identifying the Essentials of Life"

Moses Mendelssohn, the German-Jewish philosopher, identifies three basic elements of workmanship that are employed in the building of the Tabernacle: essential arts, useful arts and ornamental arts. These categories are important in order to identify the labors of humankind and ascribe value to them. Their identity also helps us discern which skills and arts are useful and essential, and those that may lead to overindulgence.

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Terumah 5764-2004

"Being Transported by Torah"

Within the instructions regarding the fashioning of vessels of the Tabernacle, a timeless lesson regarding the Torah is to be found. Since the Torah is always to be portable, Jews have been able to bring it with them no matter where they journeyed. Yet any notion that Jews have about sustaining the Torah throughout the years is a delusion. It is the Torah that supports those who cling to it.

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Pekudei 5763-2003

"The Lesson of the Basin: 'Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover'"

According to tradition, the basin that contained the sacred water in the Tabernacle was made of the bronze mirrors that the mirrors used in Egypt to seduce their husbands who had separated from them, not willing to produce children who might be murdered by the Egyptians. Moses, however, was reluctant to accept the bronze from the mirrors considering them objects of vanity. G-d responds that the mirrors are dearer to Him than anything else.

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Vayakhel 5763-2003

"Defining True Generosity"

Although people tend to say that generosity is simply giving of one's wherewithal to help another, Judaism defines true generosity as giving with a full and willing heart. It is the willing heart that determines true and genuine generosity.

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Terumah 5762-2002

"The Centrality of Torah"

The Holy Ark was the central furnishing of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which housed the Torah. Since Torah is the elixir of life for the Jewish people, the Ark, with its nonremovable staves, went with the people whenever they moved. This ancient practice teaches us that at the very core of our homes must be the Torah.

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Pekudei 5760-2000

"Honesty and Integrity in Public Life"

In parashat Pekudai, the Torah portion provides an exact accounting of the amount of gold, silver, and copper that was contributed to the construction of the Tabernacle. Honesty and integrity play a major role in the Jewish religion. Leaders especially, who are meant to serve as role models for the rest of the community, are expected to live up to the highest standards.

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Vayakhel 5760-2000

"Jewish Women and Jewish Destiny"

We are told in parashat Vayakhel that the Jewish women responded immediately to the appeals that were made by Moses for gold for building the Tabernacle, removing their precious jewelry and rushing them to the Tabernacle. This was only one of the many heroic actions that the women of Israel performed. The key role that the women of Israel played in the redemption of the people of Israel is confirmed by the remarkable rabbinic statement asserting that only in the merit of the righteous women, were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt. It is quite likely that this is true not only of the generation of Egypt, but in all subsequent generations as well.

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0 Comments15 Minutes