Parshat Vayakhel - Pekudei
Moshe Rabbeinu exhorts Bnei Yisrael to keep Shabbat, and requests donations for the materials for making the Mishkan. He collects gold, silver, precious stones, skins and yarn, as well as incense and olive oil for themenorah and for anointing. The princes of each tribe bring the precious stones for the Kohen Gadol's breastplate and ephod.
The Book of Shmot concludes with this Parsha. After finishing all the different parts, vessels and garments used in the Mishkan, Moshe gives a complete accounting and enumeration of all the contributions and of the various clothing and vessels which had been fashioned. Bnei Yisrael bring everything to Moshe. He inspects the handiwork and notes that everything was made according to
A Wise Heart
“Every wise-hearted person among you shall come and make everything that
There are two ways an observant Jew can look at an airplane flight: a series of tiring inconveniences punctuated by the occasional real bummer, or an opportunity to be an ambassador for the Jewish People and
Assuming that we all want to be in the latter category, here are some “Guidelines for the Ambassador”:
- When you arrive at the check-in, make sure that you do not push in line. Better, offer to let someone who seems to be in a rush go in front of you. (It always amazes me how people want to jump ahead to get on the plane despite the plane's departing at the same time for everyone.)
- Smile. You're on Candid Camera!
- Make sure you say, "Have a nice day!" to people with whom you speak: the check-in person; the flight attendants; the security and the immigration personnel.
- When you board the flight look for a shortish or elderly lady/gentleman who is struggling to put his/her bag into the overhead locker. Bound over and say, "Excuse me, can I help?" You have sanctified the name of
G-din front of a couple hundred people.
- Before reclining your seat always make sure to ask the person behind if they mind.
- Usually the "strictly kosher" food arrives before the rest of the plane is served. Better to wait till everyone else is served before starting.
- In the arrival hall try to help a lady or elderly person remove their heavy case from the carousel.
- Say "Thanks for looking after us!" to the police who usually supervise the luggage carousel when flights come in from Israel (or anywhere else).
- Never smuggle anything!
When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem there was a revelation of the Divine Presence in the world that is impossible for us to imagine. It's like trying to describe a sunrise to someone who was born blind.
We live in a world of spiritual blindness, where little light reaches our eyes. The Jewish People, however, still have the power to reveal the Divine in our midst. The verse says "And I will dwell in them."
Just as it took a wise-hearted person to build the Mishkan that revealed