Vayakhel-Pekudei 5780-2020

“Judaism Sanctifies Time, Not Space”
(Updated and revised from Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001)

Unexpectedly, in the midst of the Torah’s 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 is the sanctity of time. Lost land, earth or space, can often be recovered. But time that passes, can never be recovered. Time is truly sacred.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778-2018

"Bringing G-d Home”

Just as the Mincha, the meal offering that was offered in the ancient Temple, sanctified everything it touched, so do we hope that the Passover symbols and rituals will sanctify and elevate all those who experience them at the Passover Seder.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5777-2017

Bezalel--Master Craftsman, Master Teacher”

Bezalel, the chief architect of the Mishkan, was not only a master craftsman, he was a master teacher as well.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5775-2015

“Bringing Heaven Down To Earth”

The Biblical narrative describing the final erecting of the Tabernacle teaches that human beings can indeed build an earthly dwelling place for the Divine Presence, and they can even bring the Divine Presence down to earth.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5773-2013

"The Jewish Connection"

The minutely detailed architectural plans of the Tabernacle and the precise designs of the priestly vestments underscore the interconnectedness of all the vessels and vestments. Interconnectedness is a vital feature of human life, and a most profound element of the Jewish religion.

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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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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5769-2009

"All For the Sake of Heaven"

Parashiot Vayakhel-Pekudei are, in essence, repetitions of the instructions regarding building the sanctuary and manufacturing the priestly vestment. The multiple repetitions come to teach that every action in building G-d's dwelling place must be done for the sake of Heaven. So too must all the actions of every Jew be for the sake of Heaven.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5767-2007

"Leadership and its Perils "

While leadership comes with many perks, honors and often extraordinary rewards, leadership has great perils and is often a no-win situation. At least that's the way our commentators in parashat Vayakhel portray the perils of leadership for the ancient princes of the tribe in their donations to the Tabernacle.

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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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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5764-2004

"Celebrating the Month of Nisan"

The Jewish month of Nisan, the first month that was celebrated by Israel after the birth of the Jewish nation, is heralded each year by an additional reading from the Torah on Shabbat HaChodesh. This special Shabbat serves as a reminder to Jews that G-d grants His people solace in times of grief, support in the face of challenge, and light in the darkest of hours. The month of Nisan signals that redemption and renewal are in the air.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5762-2002

"The Original Jewish Renewal Movement"

On the Sabbath prior to the new month of Nisan, a portion known as Parashat Hachodesh is read, announcing the arrival of the new month of Nisan, the first month of the year. Nisan is the month of redemption and salvation. It is a time when the Jewish people burst forth from darkness and despair to allow the glory of G-d to shine forth. This is the original Jewish renewal movement.

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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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