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 Vayakhel 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
 Vayakhel 5774
o be a par o or apar rom? Tis is he cenral challenge ha conrons human beings hroughou lie. I applies o us as members o a amily or a communiy (when need we par o he larger group and  when need we asser our own individualiy?), i applies o Orhodox Jews wihin he larger Jewish communiy (where can we join orces and where do we need o asser our unique ideniy), i applies o counries or governmens (when need we be par o he communiy o naions and when need we asser our own parochial ineress?), and i applies o he Jewish people as a whole in a non-Jewish world. Te cenral heme o he orah readings hese las ew weeks has been he mishkan – exacly how i was o  be consruced and exacly wha sor o vessels i was o conain. Afer he enire descripion had been presened and everyhing discussed in grea deail, he orah saes: “And Moshe was no able o come o he en o Meeing or he cloud resed upon i” (Exodus 40:35). Moshe was no permited o ener his careully consruced abernacle  because God’s anan was presen here. Te impression given here is ha anan and Moshe are muually exclusive; one could no be in he same place as he oher. I would seem ha he anan was so special and holy ha no human  being, even he grea Moshe, was allowed in is presence.Te almud (Yoma 4b) records ha R. Zerika (or was i R. Elazar?) poined o a conradicion beween his verse and an earlier one in Parsha Mishpaim (Exodus 24:28). Tere he orah wries ha, “Moshe came in he mids o he cloud.” Apparenly, no only was he anan off limis o Moshe, he acually peneraed is very dephs. In answer, he almud cies a commen o he School o R. Yishmael: I is saed here “In he mids (bi-och)” and i is saed here (in he conex o he spliting o he sea) “And he children o Israel came ino he mids (bi-och) o he sea. Jus as here (i means ha) a pah (was made or hem hrough he waer) . . . so oo here (i means ha) a pah (was made or Moshe hrough he cloud). In ac, hen, he anan is indeed oo holy or any human  being o sand in close proximiy o i bu he only reason Moshe was able o do so in he previous case was because here, similar o he experience o he Jews in crossing he sea, he was surrounded by some kind o a special proecive orce which made a pah or him. In effec, hen, when he  Jews crossed he Red Sea hey were boh bi-och he sea and separae rom i; Moshe was boh bi-och he cloud and separae rom i; a par o and apar rom, and boh a he same ime.Tis dialecic concep serves as a paradigm or individuals wihin amilies, he Orhodox communiy  wihin he larger Jewish people, counries wihin he  world, and he Jewish people in conemporary sociey. Surely we are very much a par o he world around us. We uncion regularly in ha world and paricipae acively in ha world, in he culural, social, poliical, inellecual, academic and economic lie o he socieies in whose mids we live. We pray or he welare o our respecive governmens and in ancien imes we refleced our concern or he world a large by sacrificing animals on Sukko on heir behal. We live very much bi-och he world – and, a he same ime, are also removed rom i. We ollow our own religion, wih our own laws, cusoms and pracices, and we are differen rom all he oher naions. Our hisory has consisenly borne ou he conenion o Bil’am ha “I is a naion ha will dwell alone” (Numbers 23:9).Tis dialecic is paricularly refleced in he moto o our  beloved yeshiva, orah u-Madda. As a yeshiva, we have always sressed ha which makes us unique as Jews, our
 A Part or Apart?
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacer 
 Vayakhel 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
 Mirrors of Love
Rabbi Lord Jonahan Sacks
he orah in Parsha Vayakhel, which describes he making o he Mishkan, goes ou o is way o emphasize he role women played in i:
Te men accompanied he women, and hose who waned o make a donaion brough braceles, earrings, finger rings, and body ornamens, all made o gold. (35: 22)
Every skilled woman pu her hand o spinning, and hey [all] brough he spun yarn o sky-blue wool, dark red wool, crimson wool and fine linen. Highly skilled women voluneers also spun he goas’ wool. (35: 25-26).Every man and woman among he Israelies who el an urge o give somehing or all he work ha God had ordered hrough Moses, brough a donaion or God. (35: 29)Indeed he emphasis is even greaer han i seems in ranslaion, because o he unusual locuion in verse 22,  Vayavo-u ha-anashim al hanashim, which implies ha he  women came o make heir donaions firs, and he men merely ollowed heir lead (Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Rabbenu Bachye).Tis is all he more sriking since he orah implies ha he  women reused o conribue o he making o he Golden Cal (see he commenaries o Ex. 32: 2). Te women had a sense o judgmen in he religious lie – wha is rue worship, and wha alse – ha he men lacked.Kli Yakar (R. Shlomo Ephraim Lunschiz, 1550 –1619) makes he urher poin ha since he abernacle was an aonemen or he Golden Cal, he women had no need o conribue a all, since i was he men no he women who needed aonemen. None he less, women gave, and did so  beore he men.Mos moving, hough, by ar is he crypic verse:
He [Bezalel] made he copper washsand and is copper base ou o he mirrors o he dedicaed women [ha-zove’o] who congregaed a he enrance o he Communion en. [Ex. 38: 8]
Te sages (in Midrash anhuma) old a sory abou his. Tis is how Rashi ells i:
 Israelie women owned mirrors, which hey would look ino when hey adorned hemselves. Even hese [mirrors] hey did no hold back fom bringing as a conribuion oward he Mishkan, bu Moses rejeced hem because hey were made or empaion [i.e., o inspire lusul houghs]. Te Holy One, blessed is He, said o him, “Accep [hem], or hese are more precious o Me han anyhing because hrough hem he women se up many legions [i.e., hrough he children hey gave birh o] in Egyp.” When heir husbands were weary fom back-breaking labour, hey [he women] would go and bring hem ood and drink and give hem o ea. Ten hey [he women] would ake he mirrors and each one would see hersel wih her husband in he mirror, and she would seduce him wih words, saying, “I am more beauiul han you.”  And in his way hey aroused heir husbands’ desire and would be inimae wih hem, conceiving and giving birh here, as i is said: “Under he apple ree I aroused you” (Song 8:5). Tis is [he meaning o] wha is
ֹצַהתֹאְרַ ְ 
[li., he mirrors o hose who se up legions]. From hese [he mirrors], he washsand was made.
Te sory is his. Te Egypians sough no merely o enslave, bu also o pu an end o, he people o Israel. One way o doing so was o kill all male children. Anoher was simply o inerrup normal amily lie. Te people, boh men and  women, were labouring all day. A nigh, says he Midrash, hey were orbidden o reurn home. Tey slep where hey  worked. Te inenion was o desroy boh privacy and sexual desire, so ha he Israelies would have no more children.Te women realised his, and decided o rusrae Pharaoh’s plan. Tey used mirrors o make hemselves atracive o heir husbands. Te resul was ha inimae relaions resumed. Te  women conceived and had children (he “legions” reerred o in he wordzove’o). Only because o his was here a new generaion o Jewish children. Te women, by heir aih, courage and ingenuiy, secured Jewish survival.Te Midrash coninues ha when Moses commanded he Israelies o bring offerings o make he abernacle, some  brough gold, some silver, some bronze, some jewels. Bu many o he women had nohing o value o conribue excep he mirrors hey had brough wih hem rom Egyp. Tese commimen o our mesorah as has been augh o us by our illusrious rashei yeshiva over he pas many decades.  And we have also appreciaed wha we have in common  wih oher Jews and wih he world a large.  Are we a par o he world or are we apar rom i? Te answer is ha we are boh, like Moshe in he cloud and he  Jewish people in he sea, and we are boh a he very same ime.
 Vayakhel 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
hey brough o Moses, who recoiled in disgus. Wha, he hough, have hese cheap objecs, used by women o make hemselves look atracive, o do wih he sancuary and he sacred? God rebuked Moses or daring o hink his way, and ordered him o accep hem.Te sory is powerul in isel. I ells us, as do so many oher midrashim, ha wihou he aih o women, Jews and Judaism  would never have survived. Bu i also ells us somehing absoluely undamenal o he Jewish undersanding o love in he religious lie.In his impressive recen book Love: A Hisory (2011) he philosopher Simon May wries: “I love in he Wesern world has a ounding ex, ha ex is Hebrew.” Judaism sees love as supremely physical and spiriual. Ta is he meaning o “You shall love he Lord your God wih all your hear and all your soul and all your migh” (Deu. 6: 5). Tis is no he language o mediaion or conemplaion, philosophical or mysical. I is he language o passion.Even he normally cerebral Maimonides wries his abou he love o God:
Wha is he love o God ha is befiting? I is o love God wih a grea and exceeding love, so srong ha one’s soul shall be kni up wih he love o God, such ha i is coninually enrapured by i, like a lovesick individual whose mind is never fee fom passion or a paricular woman and is enrapured by her a all imes … Even inenser should be he love o God in he hears o hose who love Him. Tey should be enrapured by his love a all imes. (Laws o Repenance, 10:5)
Tis is he love we find in passages like Psalm 63: 2, “My soul hirss or you, my body longs or you, in a dry and weary land where here is no waer.” Only because he sages hough abou love his way, did hey ake i or graned ha Te Song o Songs – an exremely sensual series o love poems – was abou he love beween God and Israel. Rabbi Akiva called i “he holy o holies” o religious poery.I was Chrisianiy, under he influence o classical Greece, ha drew a disincion beween eros (love as inense physical desire) and agape (a calm, deached love o humaniy-in-general and hings-in-general) and declared he second, no he firs, o be religious. I was his sel-same Greek influence ha led Chrisianiy o read he sory o Adam and Eve and he orbidden rui as a sory o sinul sexual desire – an inerpreaion ha should have no place whasoever in  Judaism.Simon May speaks abou he love o God in Judaism as  being characerised by “inense devoion; absolue rus; ear o his power and presence; and rapurous, i ofen quesioning, absorpion in his will … Is moods are a combinaion o he piey o a vassal, he inimacy o riends, he fideliy o spouses, he dependence o a child, he passion o lovers …” He laer adds, “Te widespread belie ha he Hebrew Bible is all abou vengeance and ‘an eye or an eye,’ while he Gospels supposedly inven love as an uncondiional and universal  value, mus hereore coun as one o he mos exraordinary misundersandings in all o Wesern hisory.Te Midrash dramaises his conras beween eros and agape as an argumen beween God and Moses. Moses  believes ha closeness o God is abou celibacy and puriy. God eaches him oherwise, ha passionae love, when offered as a gif o God, is he mos precious love o all. Tis is he love we read abou in Shir ha-Shirim. I is he love we hear in  Yedid Neesh,[1] he daring song we sing a he beginning and oward he end o Shabba. When he women offered God he mirrors hrough which hey aroused heir husbands’ love in he dark days o Egyp, God old Moses, “Tese are more precious o Me han anyhing else.” Te women undersood,  beter han he men, wha i means o love God “wih all your hear and all your soul and all your migh.”
[1] Yedid Neesh is usually atribued o Rabbi Elazar ben Moshe  Azikri (1533-1600). However Sean Rei (Te Hebrew Manuscrips a Cambridge Universiy Libraries, 1997, p. 93) reers o an earlier appearance o he song in a manuscrip by Samuel ben David ben Solomon, daed circa 1438.
Finishing the Mishkan
Rabbi David Horwiz
hus was compleed all he work o he abernacle o he en o Meeing. Te Israelies did so; jus as he  L-RD had commanded Moses, so hey did (Exodus 39:32).
R. Moses Alshikh (1508 Adrianopolis- 1600 Damascus,  bu spen mos o his lie in zea, Israel) raised he ollowing quesion: Shouldn’ he order o he verse have been reversed? One would expec ha he words

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