© 2017 by Shalom Magazine

Parsha Veyak'hel

Israel atones. Next day, Moses gathers everyone together.

"These are the things God commands: Work for six days. The seventh is holy for you. Rest completely then. Do work and die. Do not kindle a fire in your home on this Sabbath day."

"Also," Moses says, "I must collect a contribution for God. Every person whose heart is inspired to generosity should bring gold, silver or copper; turquoise, purple and crimson wool; linen and goat's hair; red-dyed rams' skin and multicolored tahash skins; acacia wood; oil for the eternal lamp and spices for the anointing oil and the incense; stones for the breastplate."

And Moses explains that all must be gathered to build the Tabernacle (its roof and cover and clasps and beams and pillars and sockets), the Ark (its poles, lid and partition), the table, the candelabrum, the incense altar, the sacrificial alter, the courtyard and all therein. Too, materials are needed for the priestly garments.

The people hear Moses and every single one of them leaves his presence. Every person with an inspired heart brings a contribution. The women (followed by the men) bring bracelets, earrings and various other golden bodily ornaments. They bring the wool, the linen, the skins. They bring the silver and the copper. They bring the acacia. They bring the stones and the spices and the oil. The women, in the rush of inspiration, spin the goats' hair while it's still attached to the living animal.

Moses tells the people that God has appointed Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur from the Tribe of Judah to build everything -- that God has inspired him with Divine wisdom and insight, as well as an unsurpassed knowledgable knack for all kinds of handiwork. To Bezalel, God gives Oholiab as an assistant and every other Divinely inspired person as helpers.

Meanwhile, the people keep giving and giving. It's getting to be too much. The wise men tell Moses who then issues a command in the camp that the people should stop donating.

The donations stop. There is a surplus of material out of which they make the tapestries, the loops, the clasps, the sheets, the loops, the clasps, the coverings, the beams, the crossbars, the partition, the pillars, the curtain, the ark, the gold rings, the angel-headed lid of pure gold, the table, the frame, the rings, the poles, the utensils, the candelabrum, the cups and spheres and flowers, the incense altar, the rings, the holy anointing oil, the incense, the altar for burnt offerings, the utensils, the lattice, the poles, the urn, the courtyard, the curtains, the sockets, the hooks, the belts, the pillars and the entrance to it all.