February 28, 2024 |

Parshat Vayakhel: Walkthrough

Loyalty to the literal text, with a modern voice [All editorializing in brackets]

[This is largely a recapping of Parshat Teruma. Rather than repeat all the detail, readers are encouraged to flip back to the description there, and consult a word-by-word translation to explore any differences between the two versions.]

Moses got the Israelites together and told them: “These are the things that God has commanded: Work for 6 days, and the seventh day should be a holy Sabbath for God. Anyone who works on that day will be put to death. Do not use any fire anywhere on the Sabbath day.”

And so Moses continued, reviewing everything God had told him earlier, starting with the donations (parshat Teruma), which were meant to support all the parts of the Tabernacle that was about to be built. And with that the meeting was over.

People came forth in droves, with gold, jewelry, fine fabrics, and precious stones, which would all form the basis for the work on the Tabernacle.

Moses publically called out Bezalel as having been chosen by God, as well as his apprentice, Ohaliav, to do the artistic work required by the large project. They, as well as the other talented artists that came forward, started organizing the donations people were bringing on a daily basis. Finally, they told Moses that it was too much, and Moses had to tell the people to stop bringing donations. In the end, they had enough to do all the work and then some.

And so the artists went to work, first on the SANCTUARY and the TENT, and then the BEAMS with their attachments, and then the CURTAIN and the screen that covered the front of the tent.

Then Bezalel made the Ark and its cover, with the cherubs on top facing each other.

He made the TABLE as well, along with the poles needed to carry it, and all of its utensils (plates, spoons, etc.).

Then he made the MENORAH of pure gold, with all its decorations and seven branches.

He made the INCENSE ALTAR with its poles, as well as the special oil and pure incense.

He made the SACRIFICIAL ALTAR as well, with the poles and holders needed to transport it.

He made the SINK and its platform.

He made the COURTYARD, surrounded by columns and covered by curtains, as well as a screen at the entrance.


Jack Kustanowitz

Joined: July 15, 2007

Jack is an Internet professional living in Silver Spring, MD. He is a proud alum of the Frisch School in Paramus, NJ as well as Boston University, where he was active at BU Hillel.

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