Parshas Vayakhel
{Exodus 35:1 - 38:20 }
Shabbos Shekalim from Exodus 30: 11-16
{Special Torah reading that replaces the Maphtir}

Jewish Unity©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr Mordechai and Mrs. Augusta Litman, may they rest in peace.

This week we read about the solicitation and collection of the terumah offering for the building of the Mishkon and for all the articles, clothing, furniture, etc. required to furnish it. The terumah offering was NOT a mandatory offering. It was an offering of generosity motivated by one's emotion to give.

Without motivation to generosity the Mishkon would not have been constructed. Then our motivation to give was not based upon membership dues. It was not based upon arm twisting by the shul Rav. It was not based upon annual dinners or the visit from mehshulachim. It was not based upon the sisterhood raising money, charity events or rummage sales, etc. It was not based upon the sale of letters, words, chapters, etc. in a new Sefer Torah. It was not based upon a book scheme requesting money... It was not based upon candy sales by children... It was only based upon generosity of the heart.

Then Jews gave generously without any of these lures. In fact they gave so generously that there was an abundance. They were told to stop giving. Why is it so different in today's world?

Then there was one Mishkon, one recognized leader, one area where Kal Yisroel resided. Today there is no Mishkon, no Bais Ha
Mikdosh, no central leadership figure like Moshe Rabbeinu and no Kohen Godal. Today we have many leaders, many organizations, many congregations and many programs, etc. Today in a world of the best communication we suffer greater separation.

This brings us to the point. There are untold numbers of Jews living in assimilation.. living in intermarried relationships... existing in denial of the perfect Torah.. making attempts to redefine the constant Torah.. challenging traditional wisdom of thousands of years.. etc.. Why?

An interesting and important part of the Mishkon was that every piece fit together perfectly with the other pieces to form the complete Mishkon. Every piece was specially crafted to be a part of the whole of the entire Mishkon.

Then there were wise hearted women who spun yarn, wool, fine linen and goat's hair with their hands. Where are those women today?

Then there were men endowed with the Divine spirit, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with the skill to perform all types of crafting. Where are these men today?

Then there were men who were filled with wisdom of the heart to execute all the tasks of the engraver, the craftsman and the embroiderer. There were weavers, laborers and planners... Where are these men today?

The women, the men, the nation of Kal Yisroel are scattered throughout the world. Yet, even though we are scattered throughout the world, each of us makes up one little, special, unique part of the entire nation of Kal Yisroel {International}. Just as the Mishkon was crafted and spun and fashioned piece by piece so is Kal Yisroel...

Originally the material that eventually became the Mishkon was scattered all about in jewelry boxes, safes, closets, etc... In a similar way, today Kal Yisroel is scattered internationally. Then Hashem used Moshe as the voice of leadership, as the channel to challenge B'nei Yisroel to give a terumah offering. This resulted in the gathering of precious items for the construction of the Mishkon.

Today the internet is a channel that spans the world that reaches Kal Yisroel International, the Jewish Community. The voice of the internet has the potential to beckon Kal Yisroel International to give the Terumah offering. The internet is a means to challenge every Jew in every nook and cranny of the universe to do shuvah, to return to G-d and to return to the land of Israel. That is exciting!

Each of us has the opportunity to share in that excitement. Each of us has the opportunity to join in. Someday it will happen...

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva  G. BelkWeekly Studies

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