Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei

By: Rebecca Raab

This week's double Parsha, Vayakhel-Pekudei, the Jewish nation gathers together in front of Moshe. The Torah goes out of its way to mention that "kol adat Bnei Yisrael" - all members of the congregation of Israel, were present. The first mitzvah that Moshe proceeds to tell the people is Shabbat. Shabbat is one of the core mitzvot; it is stated that the Jews do not keep Shabbat, but rather Shabbat keeps the Jews.

When the nation leaves, the Torah notes, "The entire assembly of the Children of Israel left Moshe’s presence” (Exodus 35:20). Why does it need to explicitly mention that they left? It is obvious that if they were once with him, and then not that they left. The Torah never uses unnecessary terms; there is always a reason for what is written. Rabbi Eli Scheller suggests that we can learn from this phrase that Moshe made such an impact on the nation that it was obvious that they had been with him even after they were no longer in his presence. Similarly, this year after chessed trips or time with the Beit Hayeled kids, one can see the happiness shining from the faces of Amit students. The impact that significant experiences has on a person is clearly seen. That is why the Torah mentioned their departure from Moshe.

Another part of the Parsha is when it lists the three different types of metals used to build the Mishkan - gold, silver, and copper. Since the best is clearly gold, one can ask: why isn't the entire thing made from the best? Rabbi Adam Lieberman answers that every type plays a vital role. Each metal was needed to construct the proper Mishkan. This shows us that as a nation of Jewish people we value every type of person. Every person has different qualities they can bring to society and each and every one of us has the power to make a difference.
This connects strongly to us this year as we figure out what our strengths are and how we will be the next generation to lead our people. Being so fortunate to live and learn in the land of Israel helps us realize that in some way, we can all make an impact on our society and nation.