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Parshat Vayakel

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL
.

Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
For further info, click here.

PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 1
0
MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
1MITZVAH LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES):122

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1558

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 6181

This year, (5777 / 2017) Vayakel-Pekudei is a special Shabbat.
It is Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh :
פרשת החדש

The Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Nisan, is called Shabbat HaChodesh.
We take out two Sifrei Torah; seven Aliyahs in the first Sefer Torah from the weekly Parsha — Vayakel-Pekudei; Half-Kaddish;
The Maftir, reads in the second Sefer Torah from Shmot / Exodus, Parshat Bo, (12:1-20).
פרשת החדש, starts with the first Mitzva given to the Bnei Yisroel, while they were still in Mitzrayim, even before the Mitzvot of the Yom Tov Pesach (Passover festival) - the Mitzva of Kiddush Hachodesh (the sanctification of the new moon). The reading begins with the declaration that the Hebrew month of Nisan, and not Tishrei, is to be considered the first month of the year. The passage then continues with some of the mitzvot of Pesach / Passover, which are certainly appropriate to be read and studied as the holiday approaches.

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
After Parshat Pekudei
Yechezkel
/ Ezekiel
45:16-46:18 (Ashkenazim);
Yechezkel
/ Ezekiel 45:18-46:15
(Sepharadim)

Some Sephardic communities begin the Haftora with 45:16.

Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh Nisan
Rosh Chodesh - Tuesday, March 28, 2017.


פרשת ויקהל
THE
PARSHA

In our last episode, Moshe dismounted the mount with two tablets but decided to smash them in the morning (or should I say.. in mourning), when he realized he'd been replaced by a golden cow. Hashem wanted to destroy the entire nation but Moshe made a deal and wiped out the idol worshippers, then shlepped two sapphire tablets up to the summit of Har Sinai for another 40 day faith-a-thon. He came back down on the 10th of Tishrei with five holidays, ten commandments and thirteen attributes of mercy.

GOOD
NEWS!
IT'S A
MISHKAN

As our Parsha opens, it is the day after Yom Kippur, the 11th of Tishrei. Things are settling down after Moshe's massacre of the golden calf cult. As you can probably imagine, the people aren't feeling very good about themselves right now. Although Hashem has forgiven them, they just missed total annihilation by the skin of their teeth. Who knows what the relationship will be like now!

Moshe gathers up the people for a big announcement. Hashem has not only forgiven Bnei Yisroel for their terrible sins, but has decided that He will permanently dwell among the people. But first a special "home" for the Shechina must be erected. This home is called the "Mishkan."

Now, we know all about the Mishkan because we planted bugs on the summit of Har Sinai and heard all the details that Hashem gave Moshe. But Bnei Yisroel is hearing about this for the first time. Little do they realize that this antidote existed before the "mad cow disease" ran rampant.

The Bnei Yisroel are up on the bleachers, waving banners and crying out with great joy in their hearts. Now they know for sure that Hashem will always be in their midst. They are eager to begin the construction and are hanging on Moshe's every word. But before Moshe will give details, he warns Bnei Yisroel that even though building the Mishkan is holy work, it is forbidden to do any work on the Mishkan on Shabbat.


THE
MISHKAN
SHABBAT

CONNECTION

The 39 Melachot

So what does Shabbat have to do with the Mishkan? Alot! In order to build the Mishkan, the Bnei Yisroel have to perform 39 different types of work. These 39 are called "Avot Melachot" (Main Categories of Work). They are the basic categories for the kinds of work forbidden on Shabbat. For a list of the 39 Melachot, click here.

If a Jew does one of these melachot on Shabbat and has been warned by two witnesses beforehand, the Bait Din sentences him to death by stoning. A Jew who accidentally transgresses one of these melachot on Shabbat must bring a Korban Chatat (sin offering).


BRING US
YOUR WIRE,
YOUR BOARD,
YOUR ALTAR

Moshe makes an appeal for specific materials needed to build the Mishkan:
  • gold
  • silver
  • copper
  • blue, purple and crimson dyed wool
  • fine linen
  • goat's wool
  • red ram's skins
  • tachash skins
  • shittim wood
  • olive oil
  • fragrances, and
  • precious stones
The deal is that no one has to give, and no one will say how much to give. It's up to the individual to do what he likes for the project. As soon as there is enough material to build the Mishkan, the construction will begin. There's only one catch: only true Bnei Yisroel can take part in the Mishkan's construction. Since the Eirev rav caused the golden calf calamity, they are barred from contributing and constructing any aspect of the Mishkan. As a matter of fact, the Eirev rav are barred from this little gathering of Bnei Yisroel.

Moshe pitches a storage tent and heads home for a bite of mann. Imagine his delight when he is greeted upon return with thousands of Jews clutching their "material" wealth. The people were so elated that they made a bee-line to their tents and gathered up tons and tons of materials needed to construct the Mishkan. Moshe appoints a team of weighers to keep track of how much material has been collected.

The next morning, Moshe sends a crew out to the sh'vatim (tribes) with bullhorns to announce that more than enough material has been donated to the Mishkan material fund. You can imagine the shouts of joy and cheers around the camp. The people know they have responded in record time, proving that they are truly devoted to Hashem. Hashem, too, encourages them with absolute forgiveness for the sin of the Eigel hazahav.

Only twelve people in Bnei Yisroel don't jump for joy, the twelve Nesiyim (tribal leaders) of Bnei Yisroel. They figured "let's see what Bnei Yisroel donates to the Mishkan, then we will donate the rest." They were not expecting such a materialistic turnout, however, and blew their chance to show their eagerness to contribute. Lucky for them, there are a few items still open on the checklist. They are the precious gems that are placed in the shoulder straps of the Kohain Gadol's Aifod and the 12 gems that are placed on the Choshen (Breastplate). Also, spices and olive oil are still needed. So the Nesiyim donate those items.


THE BOY
AT THE
FRONT

As per Hashem's command, Betzalel is put in charge of "Project Mishkan." Betzalel recruits Oholiav as his assistant. Any man or woman with a skill needed for the construction is invited to participate. That includes sawing boards, weaving, making hooks, sewing, stitching, melding and any of 39 Melachot mentioned before. Betzalel, himself, designs and constructs the Aron (Ark), the holiest of all objects. The Aron is never destroyed, but is hidden by King Yoshiyahu 50 years before the destruction of the First Bait Hamikdash to be returned to us when the Third Bait Hamikdash is built. (May it be speedily in our days).

Moshe makes his way through the camp, making sure that the actual handiwork matches the fiery visions he beheld on Har Sinai. Miraculously, even the creative interpretations of the craftsmen match exactly to a tee with Hashem's presentation. It takes 3 months to complete the Mishkan.

Good News: This year you don't have to wait 'til next week to read how Moshe does the accounting because Vayakhel and Pekudei are read together this Shabbat. So, Click on Pekudei and read on.
It's the big Sefer Shmot finale in the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Mavin on Vayakel


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