Updated: Feb 26
25 Adar, 5782
Welcome to Vayakhel (And He Assembled) this week’s Parshah (Torah Portions).
This Shabbat is Shabbat Shekalim which is the Shabbat that falls before the time of the Rosh Chodesh Adar 'the New Moon of Adar'.
Vayakhel (And He Assembled)
· Torah Portion:
2 Kings 12:1-17
. Brit haChadash:
Vayakhel (And He Assembled)
In the last few Parshiot of Terumah, Tetzaveh and the first part of Ki Tisa, YEHOVAH instructed Moses regarding the making of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), dwelling place, its vessels, and the priestly garments.
In this week’s readings, the glory of YEHOVAH filled the Temple after the work of building it was completed.
Completing the Temple
“How lovely is your dwelling place [Mishkan], YEHOVAH Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of ELOHIM; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living ELOHIM.” (Psalm 84:1–2)
Vayakhel records the actual implementation of YEHOVAH's instructions on how to build the Mishkan, which was recounted earlier in Parasha Terumah.
Indeed, Vayakhel is almost repeated word for word in Terumah, with one notable change: the instructions in Terumah that were prefaced with the words "and they shall make" are now written with "and they made."
The Tabernacle and the Sabbath
“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of Sabbath rest to YEHOVAH. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:2–3)
The people stood prepared to begin the construction of the Tabernacle. But even as important as this work was, Moses brought to their attention, yet again, that they must not work on the Shabbat (Sabbath).
The holiness of the Sabbath was not to be violated even for the sacred purpose of building the Tabernacle.
Building the Tabernacle: A Community Affair
Regarding the building of the tabernacle, YEHOVAH stirred up the hearts of the people to bring their offerings for the work of YEHOVAH.
It was not just Moses’ private project; it was a community affair, so each one contributed what they could from their material resources.
Some prepared the holy garments, while others prepared the anointing oil, and the sacred vessels, etc. Everyone worked together toward this common goal.
Similarly, none of us can do the work of YEHOVAH alone.
Building up the body of Messiah must be a communal work – each one whose hearts are stirred by YEHOVAH, giving what they are able. Some use their talents and others give their material resources.
Many give both.
A Joyful Outpouring of Resources
“The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job YEHOVAH has commanded us to do!” (Exodus 36:5)
The Israelites were so overjoyed to give to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that they gave enthusiastically.
So generously did they give that they actually had to be restrained from giving more! (Exodus 36:3–7)
YEHOVAH responds to the cheerful giver with love and generosity, and He multiplies the seed sown so that there is no lack.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for YEHOVAH loves a cheerful giver. And YEHOVAH is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:7–8)
If everyone whose heart was stirred by YEHOVAH gave what was in their heart to give, there would be more than enough to meet every need.
The Widow’s Mite
It’s not so much the amount of the offering, but the amount of sacrificial love with which it is given to YEHOVAH, that counts.
In chapter 21 of the Gospel of Luke, YESHUA observed the rich putting their gifts into the Temple treasury. He also witnessed a poor widow putting in two leptons (which are called mites in the King James translation of the Bible).
In YESHUA’s day, a lepton (Greek for ‘small’ or ‘thin’) was the smallest denomination of coins. Like pennies today, they would hardly be considered worth the effort of stooping to pick one up off the street.
Her two mites were not going to make an appreciable difference in the upkeep of the Temple, but YESHUA took special notice of this tiny offering and gave this widow a great honor.
What might be considered an insignificant offering by some has been recorded and is still read about two thousand years later! YESHUA actually valued this poor widow’s offering more than the generous offerings of the rich.
“I tell you the truth,” YESHUA said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:3–4)
Offerings of Time and Talent
"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of YEHOVAH.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
It wasn’t only financial offerings that the people gave to complete the work of building the Tabernacle. They also gave of their gifts and talents.
In some individuals, such as Betzalel (see last week's Parasha Ki Tisa), YEHOVAH placed HIS SPIRIT of wisdom and understanding for a specific artistic gifting to complete the building of the Mishkan.
Likewise, YEHOVAH gives each one of us gifts to be used for HIS glory.
Just as YEHOVAH gave explicitly detailed instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, and not just a general outline, we may also seek YEHOVAH for specific instructions on what HE wants us to do for HIM.