Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayakhel - Pekudei

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Parshas Vayakhel - Pekudei


Avi, did you see that sign over there?

What sign, Chaim?

The sign about volunteers. Look.


Volunteers to lead an afternoon group for first-grade boys.

Must be at least 10 years old. No experience required

Are you thinking about applying, Chaim?

Yes, I am. It sounds like a great opportunity. I'm really interested.

Aren't you scared, Chaim?

Of what, Avi?

Maybe you won't be able to control the kids.

But the sign says, "No experience required." I guess they'll teach me what to do on the spot.

Did you ever try to lead little kinds before?


They can be pretty energetic.

But the sign says, "No experience required," Avi.

Okay, I hope you're right.

Avi I can tell you another time that people with no experience undertook difficult jobs and succeeded.

When was that, Chaim?

During the building of the Tabernacle in the desert. Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, who is known to us as the Ramban, explains the scenario as follows: When the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, their work consisted of brick making and building construction. They had absolutely no experience working with silver and gold, hewing stones, woodworking, or weaving. Yet these were the skills required to build the Tabernacle and its accessories. How could they succeed? There were even more difficulties. The jobs required more than the skill of a craftsman. They required great wisdom to understand the complicated and subtle workings of the Tabernacle and its accessories in order to properly fashion them. How could a former slave who worked with crude bricks his whole life ever be able to build the Tabernacle?

What's the answer, Chaim?

G-d filled the workers with wisdom they needed to do the job. All they needed was the desire to succeed. The Torah states, "Every man whose heart inspired him came (to work); and everyone whose spirit motivated him...(Shemos 35:21)." If they were ready to do whatever G-d wanted, then He would give them the skills they needed.

I see, Chaim. This is certainly a big mitzvah to help first grade boys use their afternoon time productively. If you are prepared to do whatever is needed, you will acquire the necessary skills. If that's the case, I think I'll volunteer also. In fact, this is a good thing to keep in mind for all mitzvos. I won't let my lack of knowledge discourage me. What I need to know, I will learn.

That's great, Avi. See, you've learned something very important already.

Simcha's Quiz

A gentleman who passed away recently left just under $8000 to be divided between his widow, his five sons, and four daughters. He stipulated that every son should receive three times as much as a daughter, and that every daughter should receive twice as much as their mother. If the precise amount left by the man was $7999.97 (notice that the figures read the same backward as forward), how much did the widow receive?

Write Simcha with the correct answer to

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