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עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

Parshat Vayakhel

Posted by rabbiart on April 21, 2008

Torah Reading: Shemot 35:1 to 38:20 Haftorah Reading: 1 Kings 7:40 to 7:50.

Shabbat Shalom

As the parshah opens Moshe has gathered together all of the Israelites. He gives them additional instructions about building the portable tabernacle. These instructions are immediately proceeded by yet another command to observe Shabbat. Because of this juxtaposition, rabbinic Judaism derives the definition of “activities forbidden on Shabbat” from the actions required to complete the mishkan.

Our parshah is often read in combination with Pekudei. Pekudei is immediately following and concludes Sefer Shemot (The Book of Names, aka Exodus). Near the end of Pekudei, after all the work has been completed, we find this fascinating passage:

“According to all that the Lord commanded Moshe, so the Israelites did all the work. Moshe saw all the work, and behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it. And Moshe blessed them.”

The alert reader will immediately recall the creation story, where HaShem reviews HaShem’s work each day and declares that it is good. Moshe’s review of the work relates directly to the creation story, and is a key to understanding the story of eating the fruit of the tree (you know which tree I mean.) More on this in next week’s issue.

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