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March 8, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Vayakhel

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Vayakhel is taken from Exodus 35:1-38:20. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he carefully points out the fact that the Torah precepts were carefully crafted by ADONAI to be lived out as a team, as a community, as a holy partnership where everyone works together as a group to live out Elohim’s calling. This means that no matter how Torah observant we may be, we will only be able to fulfill a proper biblical Torah-observance when it is done within a community!

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Torah Portion:

Parashah Torah Portion Vayakhel - Exodus 35:1-38:20

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Vayakhel - Exodus 35:1-38:20:

Moshe had a great challenge…how do you re-motivate a demoralized people?  How do you put the pieces of a broken nation back together again?  The key word is “vayakhel” which means Moshe assembled!  The word Kehillah means community.  The Kehillah or Kahol is a group assembled for a given purpose.  It can be positive or negative and can be constructive or destructive.  This word that appears at the beginning of this Torah portion is the beginning of the solution.  It appeared in last week’s portion as the start of the problem (Exodus 32:1).


The difference between the two kinds is that one results in order and the other in chaos! Exodus 32:25-26 says…” had let them get out of control and become a laughingstock to their enemies.”  The verb “perah” with the letter “ayin” means loose, unbridled, or unrestrained.  There is an assembly that has disciplines, is task-oriented, and purposeful and there is an assembly that is a mob, having a will of its own!  People in crowds lose their sense of self-restraint.  They get carried along in a wave of emotion and lose their thought process which has been bypassed by their primitive feelings. 


What is Moshe’s response to the golden calf?  Vayakhel…Assemble!  They will assemble and then bind together acting in accordance with Elohim’s commands, not their own spontaneous feelings!  However, before beginning to instruct Israel in the work of the Tabernacle – Moses first commands them and gives the commandment to rest from work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:1-3).


The word assemble means “qahal.”  In its noun form it passes into the Greek version as “ekklesia”, which in turn is mistranslated in English as “church.”  Similarly, the word translated as congregation is the Hebrew word “Adat” and from the root “Adah”, which has to do with something appointed!  For example, another word derived from the same root is mo’ed, found in Leviticus 23:1, to designate biblical festivals or appointed times!  In Greek “Adat” is frequently translated as “ekklesia”, “assembly”, “synagogue.”  What is sad in this individualistic world, is that even believers forget the importance of the community.  This is especially true, for some reason, for these who desire to follow Torah.  The Torah was given to Adat Israel, to the appointed community of Israel.


The Torah precepts were carefully crafted by the Holy One to be lived out as a team, as a community, as a holy partnership where everyone works together as a group to live out Elohim’s calling.  Therefore – no matter how so-called Torah observant you may call yourself – you will only be able to fulfill a biblical Torah-observance when it is done within a community.


Elohim gave His Torah to the holy community, not to any one individual!  Elohim, in the Torah portion, purposely involved the WHOLE COMMUNITY in fulfilling the Torah about the Tabernacle.  The calling of Torah cannot be fulfilled only by single individuals.  It was designed by YHVH to be fulfilled by each person living out that calling both individually and also together as a Holy Community!


Exodus 35:21 says, “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit made him willing, and brought Adonai’s offering for the work on the tent of meeting, for the service in it and for the holy garments.”  The assembly of Messiah is metaphorically spoken of as “The Temple.”  In I Cor. 6:29 it says, “Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from Elohim?  The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves.”  II Cor. 6:16 tells us we are the temple of YHVH but remember Moshe did not build the Tabernacle but brought down the instructions,  the people did the building!


This teaches us that the assembly of Messiah is created by the individuals within it…just as Israelites labored to make various parts of Tabernacle, we labor together to create the assembly of Messiah on earth.  The responsibility falls on us!


All the Israelites brought different gifts as they were able.  They labored in different departments and gave their various talents to complete the Tabernacle.  This is the same for us in the our Kehillahs.  We all have different roles and functions within the assembly according to I Cor. 12:14-31.  The Scripture reveals we are made up of different parts and that we are only healthy when all parts are functioning in their Yah-given roles with Yeshua being the Head (Col. 1:18-19).


Who are we?  We are an assembly, ekklesia or qahol of people, who meet in a place for Sabbath assembly as was the apostles’ custom in the book of Acts. The building of the Tabernacle required each person to contribute his/her own work.  Exodus 36:4 tells us each person had something to offer from his own unique vocational skills.  Torah life is not just a life of religious rituals and Scripture study, but it is a life of contributing to the common good of the community.


In Avot 2:2 (Rabbinic quote) it says, “The study of Torah is excellent when it is combined with a worldly occupation because the effort required by both keeps sin out of a person’s mind.  But where there is no worldly occupation the study of Torah amounts to nothing and leads to sin.  Let everyone who works in the community work for the sake of the name of Heaven.”  To concentrate only on religious matters is out of balance and will eventually lead to ruin.  We are supposed to regard our job as a religious duty performed for the sake of the Kingdom.


So, what did Moshe do, or should I say Adonai?  In Exodus 35:4, He asks the Israelites to make voluntary contributions to the construction of the Tabernacle, the Sanctuary, the Mikdash.  He was bringing them together by getting them to build something together…something that can’t be done alone!


Do you want to save your children?  Do you want your children not to run away from Adonai but to stay in the assembly?  Then read Isaiah 54:13, “All your children shall be learned of Adonai and great will be the peace of your children.”   Change your children to your builders!  We must be builders…Moshe turned strong individualistic people into builders!


Each one of you is important!  Each one of you is valuable!  Each one of you can make a unique contribution.  This House/ Assembly of Elohim must become YOUR house/assembly---- something you have helped build!  We must build a team, but to do that we must create a team that builds!


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha

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The building of the Tabernacle was YHVH’s command, not Moshe’s idea.  The fact that it was a Divine command before the story of the golden calf reveals another spiritual truth and illustrates a powerful principle that “YHVH creates the cure before the disease!”


Shalom Aleichem





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