Weekly Torah Portion: Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38)


In Vayakhel, God commands the Israelites not to do any work in the Sanctuary on Shabbat. The Israelites gather gifts for God. They gather so many that they are restrained from searching for more. Moses says that Ohaliab and Bezalel, who are filled with the spirit of God, should take the gifts of the Israelites and build God’s Sanctuary. Read an extensive summery on My Jewish Learning

In Pekudei, Aaron and the priests are given their clothing for work in the Sanctuary. This marks the completion of the Tabernacle construction. Moses anoints Aaron and his sons to make their priestly positions official. A cloud descends upon the Tent of Meeting and God’s presence fills the Tabernacle. Read an extensive summery on My Jewish Learning

“Khazak khazak v’nitkhazek
Be strong be strong and let us strengthen one another”

Related D’var Torah

“Why we are here on this planet at this time, despite all the distractions of the world, how do we not loose focus on building our Spirituality? What do you put into building your spiritual house? Do you know what/where your spiritual house is? What are the requirements?” – Leigh Gorde in 2016. Read the full drash

“Each day we are faced with hundreds of choices. Some are clear-cut, while other choices are more complicated. With each situation we are often pulled in two directions needing to weigh right versus wrong, or perhaps right versus more right or wrong versus more wrong…” – Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg in 2007. read the full drash

“Now would be a good time to ‘see with new eyes,’ to look inside and find our ‘willing hearts.’” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2005. read the full drash

“As we reach the end and complete a book of torah, we say ‘Chazak, Chazak venitchazek’-be strong, be strong and together we will be strengthened.’ We are reminded to look inward and be aware of our own inner strength…” – Michael Main in 2001. Read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Presence of God filled the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34; Parashiot Vayakhel-Pekudei)

Other Suggested Readings

“I hate moving… the part inside me that screams at the idea of having to inventory my home and pack ever again wonders is there more to learn here?” – Leah Zimmerman writes on her blog Experiencing Torah

Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels writes in his article ‘From “Over” to “Beloved”‘ that the Mishkan is “literally “dwelling-place,” the place where God and Israel meet. Read more about it on the Telephone Torah Study archives

*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by Rabbi Lisa Edwards during Tuesday’s Torah studies. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place

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