Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001

"Jews Sanctify Time, Not Space"

Unexpectedly, in the middle of the plans for the construction of the Tabernacle, the Torah in parashat Vayakhel exhorts the Jewish people to observe the Sabbath. While the Tabernacle and the Temple were sacred spaces, far more important was the sanctity of time. If we lose or forfeit space, land or earth, they can often be recovered. But time that passes can never be recovered. Time is truly Israel.

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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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Terumah-Purim 5760-2000

"The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life"

The Mishkan--the Tabernacle--is very much like a home, and has all the furnishings that are found in a home. The fact that our synagogue is called a Beit Kinesset, a house of coming together, underscores the importance of the home. Unless our homes serve as dwelling places for G-d, there will be little chance that our religion will be effectively communicated in our synagogues or in our temples.

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