Shabbat Nugget: Parashat Vayakhel

In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the Jews donating the material for the Mishkan (the Portable Temple) that they built in the desert. The Torah tells us that the craftsmen came to Moses that there is no need for people to continue donating materials for the Temple, since more than enough was already donated. The Torah continues to tell us that Moses told the nation not to bring any more donations.

Our Sages teach us that a Synagogue is called a miniature Temple, since just as G-d rested in the Temple, so to that every synagogue contains a degree of holiness.

We certainly find that the same enthusiasm the Jews had for building the temple replayed itself throughout history.  Whenever Jews settled in a new area, the first thing that they did, was to  build a Synagogue for the community.  Many of these Synagogue were extremely beautiful and the community invested much resources and energy to build them.

It is interesting to note, that even under communism, while the communists made every effort to eradicate Judaism to the decree that people that organized Jewish activities and schools were often arrested and jailed.  They still allowed the Synagogues to remain open.  Since, they realized that the Synagogues was a second home for the Jews and it would be too cruel to take it away.

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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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