Weekly Reading Insights: 
Vayakhel-Pekudei 5764



Overview of the Weekly Reading: Vayakhel-Pekudei, Shabbat Hachodesh,
Shabbat Mevarchim

To be read on 27 Adar 5764 (March 20 )

Torah: Exodus 35:1-40:38 (end!), Maftir HaChodesh: Ex. 12:1-20;
Haftorah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18 (for Shabbat HaChodesh. as its beginning mentions both Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the Pesach sacrifice)

Vayikahel is the 10th Reading out of 11 in Exodus and 22nd overall, and 22nd out of 54 in overall length.
Pekudei is the 11th Reading out of 11 in Exodus and 23rd overall, and 41st out of 54 in overall length.
(Vayakhel Pekudei combined is longer than any single parsha and 2nd longest of the seven double parshas.)

First is the command to keep Shabbat. Next is described the materials donated to constructing the Tabernacle. The chief architects, Betzalel and Oholiav, oversaw the contributions and the work. The verses go on to describe the building of the tapestries, coverings, beams, ark, table, menorah, incense altar, sacrificial altar, washstand, and outer enclosure of the Tabernacle. In Pekudei is an accounting of all materials used in making the Tabernacle. Then described are the methods used in making the priests' clothing. All the labor was carried out as G-d commanded, and Moshe blessed the workers. G-d commanded Moshe how and when to assemble the Tabernacle and dress the priests. When this was completed, G-d's cloud of glory came and rested on the Tabernacle for all to see. When the cloud would rise, it was a signal for the Jews to travel. Thus concludes the Book of Shmot (Exodus) - Hazak hazak v'nit'hazek!


From the holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

For there are no wars in the world and no ruler [of a nation] is uprooted from his place in his kingdom, until the Heavenly Armies and the stars of the other Heavens [except those of Israel], all wage their battles and disputes each with the other. Then these four ofanim stand over [those below] in the four directions of the physical world.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed

Since someone who serves idols is considered as if he had denied the entire Torah, [Moses] commanded them concerning two things that are also considered equivalent to the entire Torah. [The first was] the Shabbat, for a person who observes the Shabbat is considered as if he observed the entire Torah. "

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the Shelah, Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz

The Torah wanted to point out that from the episode of the Golden Calf until the building of the Tabernacle the men were kept aloof from the women. Only then did the Angel of Death depart from the camp.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.



"And the Children of Israel did according to all that G-d commanded Moses, and they brought the Tabernacle to Moses." (39:32-33)
This contains an important lesson in how to build the individual "Sanctuary" that exists in every Jewish home: The first thing is to establish it according to "all that G-d commands," observing mitzvot carefully and scrupulously. The next step is to bring it to "Moses," the singular Jewish leader of a given generation, to allow the Divine Presence to rest in it.
(Likutei Sichot) (from L'Chaim #610)


"And you will eat them in haste" (Ex. 12:11)
What is the reason for the rush at the time of the exodus from Egypt? It gives the impression that the Jews had to run away from Egypt; but since Pharaoh begged them to leave, they could have left slowly and comfortably!

The truth is, that the exodus from Egypt wasn't just the leaving of geographical Egypt, it was also, and mainly, the departure from the world of evil and impurity in which the Jews were steeped while in Egypt. And a person who is attracted by evil yet wants to save himself from it, should not take his leave slowly and comfortably; at the first opportunity he should run and make his escape, since he is still attached to the impurity through his attraction to it. This was the status of the Jews at the Exodus. It was only with the Giving of the Torah that "their defilement came to an end".

Of the future redemption, however, it says: "You shall not leave in a hurry." At that time G-d will remove the spirit of impurity from the world, so there will be no need to run to escape from evil.
(Based on Tanya - translated from Sichat HaShavuah1 #109)


from the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi Yosef Marcus for

www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org

An essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here) (W:22-23-64/Vayakhel-Pekudei )

The Lubavitcher Rebbe suggested that we learn daily the day's portions of Chumash, Psalms, and Tanya, and later added learning Rambam (Maimonides) daily, as well. Some individuals learn three chapters a day, some one chapter, and some, particularly children and those with not enough time, a mitzvah from the Rambam's Book of Mitzvahs. (Learning-schedule calendars for all these studies are available for the asking).

The Torah portion begins with a discussion of Shabbat, and Rambam's Book of Mitzvahs this week discusses the sabbatical year for the land. What lesson should a person take from these mitzvahs for the entire year?

In past generations, most residents of Israel worked in agriculture, and the Sabbatical year was a strong reality for them. For six years they worked the earth, and in the seventh year they left the fields and orchards fallow. The commentaries explain since a person was free from his labors, he was supposed to make a "Shabbat for G-d"-his free time was supposed to be devoted to things that were clearly holy matters (Torah study, praying, doing more mitzvahs, teaching others about Judaism, to name a few). Therefore, in those sabbatical years there was a big increase not only in studying Torah, but in the enthusiasm for studying Torah, since they were not already tired from their physical labors.

Today, and for every Jewish person in the world, the lesson is as relevant as ever. Whenever we are freed from our routine tasks, it is incumbent upon us to take advantage of this time to do what G-d commanded of us, starting with Torah study and continuing with, doing more mitzvahs, as we know that Torah study should lead to action. All of this G-dly service should be with extra enthusiasm and joy. Shabbat is an especially opportune time for these things. Furthermore, all of this increased Jewish activity should lead to us influencing those around us.

In addition, by using our spare time to study Torah and increase the number of mitzvahs we fulfill, we will hasten the arrival of Moshiach. Since during the time of Moshiach the Almighty will take care of all of our physical needs, there will be plenty of time to study Torah and do mitzvahs. By using our spare time now for spiritual tasks, we are showing G-d that we are ready for Moshiach already now!

This spiritual shift relates to all of us, but relates even more to Jewish children. Since all their physical needs are provided, this is like the sabbatical year. Therefore, it is even more important for them to live with the verse, "Shabbat for G-d", and dedicate their time for Torah and mitzvahs.

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul Leiter

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here)

For all our insights for this parsha:

from last year

Back to Top


Redesign and implementation - By WEB-ACTION