Last week there was a double parashiyot, namely Va-yakhel and P’kudei. In Ya-yakhel, the instructions given to Moses earlier on the building of the Tabernacle, the Ark and the other furniture, furnishings and devices to be used both as a place of sacrifice and an amazing mobile home for the presence of God begin to become a reality. What a wonderful transformation we have here after the dreadful sin of the golden calf and our earlier complaints and fears. Moses ask for offerings of skins, wool, fine linen, gold, silver and precious stones with which to build and weave the furniture and furnishings. He asks for volunteers to craft and form everything as it should be, and he is overwhelmed by the contributions and by the volunteers. So much is given that the architects and builders have to ask the people to stop bringing things. Sometimes one’s family can bring sorrow and pain, but here they bring joy.
What a wonderful ending to Shemot, the book of names and the story of the Exodus. “God’s glory filled the Tabernacle” and the people are ready to move on, as move they must. The journey will be difficult and sometimes painful. There will be backsliding and rebellion. Yet, slowly, we will grow in strength and, with God’s help, make ourselves ready. Chazak, chazak, v’nitzchazeik.
And so we come to Vayikra. God calls to Moses, speaking to him from the Communion Tent, and proceeds to instruct him in the intricate rituals of sacrifice. There are many kinds of offering, some freely made by any member of the community, peace and sin offerings, one for the High Priest, one for the King (though there is not yet a King to sin) those for the community and those for commoners. There is far too much for me to recount here. However, this week we will have a shabbat service that will be even more special than usual. We are lucky to have David and Hannah Jacobs visiting us, and David will be leading the service, together with our very own Liz Berg.
After kiddush, David Jacobs will lead a discussion. The topic will be Pesach and the Haggadah .
Don’t miss our most excellent day: Shabbat service, kiddush and discussion all rolled up in one super package.