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This week's Torah Portion: 

22 VAYAK'HEL - HE ASSEMBLED - EXODUS 35:1-38:20

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וַיַּקְהֵל מֹשֶׁה אֶֽת־כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהוָה לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָֽם

vayak'hel moshe eht-kol-adat b'ney yisra'el vayomer aleyhem eyleh ha'd'varim asher-tzivah adonai la'asot otam

"Moshe assembled the whole community of the people of Isra'el and said to them, "These are the things which ADONAI has ordered you to do."


Our parashah starts out with some familiar instructions. Actually, the contribution (Hebrew: t’rumah) taken in verses 4-29 is a repeat of the instructions of Sh’mot chapter 25. However, this time, we learn that the t’rumah was so great that Moshe had to instruct the people to stop giving (see 36:3-7)! The major difference between the two accounts is that the former (Parash’ot T’rumah, Tetzaveh, and Ki Tissa) signifies the instructions (as can be observed by the fact that the verb tenses are in the future), whereas the latter (i.e. our current portion as well as the final portion) is in the past tense, signifying the work that was completed according to instructions. It is unfortunate that the awful golden calf incident had to even mar the historical narrative at all! Moreover, we learned last week that the temptation to sin is never so great that we cannot escape. But despite the fact that 25, 000 died as a result of the punishment, isn’t it fantastic to know that the remaining people gave so abundantly!
— Parashat Vayak'hel