Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Building Community

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

This week we read two Torah portions and finish the second book of the Torah, Shemos.  The reason we read two Torah portions is in order to enable us to finish the Torah before Simchat Torah.  Some weeks we have to read two portions.

In the portion Vayakhel,  we read how Moses assembles the entire Jewish nation and relates to them G-d’s commandment regarding the building of the Temple, and continues to tell us how the Jews fulfilled these instructions and built the Temple.

The commentaries discuss “Why did Moses assemble the entire Jewish nation to tell them about the Temple, since the assembly of the entire Jewish nation was only done a few times?”

They explain that the word that the Torah uses for assembly is “Vayakhel” which doesn’t just mean assemble but also has the meaning of unified, as in the widely used word “Kehillah” which means community and congregation. Thus, Moses was not just assembling the Jewish nation, but, he was unifying them.

The reason that the Jewish people had to be united before they were told about the building of the Temple was because before the Jews can accomplish change in the world, they have to be united.

We find the same concept before G-d gave the Torah where Torah stresses that when the Jews came to Mount Sinai, they were united as one man and one heart.  So too, before building a Temple from which G-d’s glory would emanate to the whole world they had to be united.

This teaches us the importance of peace and unity.  May we take the inspiration from the portion of Vayakhel to build a strong Jewish Kehilla in the greater Boulder Area.

 

 

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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