weekly torah tidbits

VaYakhel - Pekudei, March 25, 2017 - Adar 27, 5777

VaYakhel - Pekudei: "He gathered" - "counting "


Torah: Exodus 35:1-40:38

Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18

Brit Chadashah (New Testament): 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, 1 Corinthians 3:11-18

Spirit-Filled Giving; Spirit-Filled Building

       You need to have some imagination and a sense of humor to appreciate this Torah portion. Moses gathers the people together, so that he could give them instructions from the L-rd about their part in the building of the tabernacle. He challenges the people to bring their jewelry, fine fabrics, wood, animal hides and other materials, as a free-will offering unto the L-rd.

       We often view the people of Israel as chafing under the burden of Torah. Yet, we see a different picture. They brought so much that Moses had to forbid them to bring anymore. Why were they so generous? Probably because they knew that although this would be "the

L-rd's place," it would be a sanctuary for them as well. They had a stake in this tabernacle being well built. But, there is more—"they were willing and their heart moved them."

       It is pretty clear that the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) was active in the building of the tabernacle, so it is likely that there was a powerful move of the Holy Spirit to stimulate them to be generous. The Holy Spirit was actively involved in the building process itself. Bezalel, who functioned as the chief craftsman and a construction supervisor, was filled with the Holy Spirit (35:31). Shocking? Not really—the Holy Spirit has been around and active since the time of creation (Gen. 1:2). There are a couple of lessons that we need to draw from this portion. 

      First of all, we need to remember that Yeshuat Tsion is a tabernacle for the L-rd—it is His house, above everything else. We too need the fullness of the Holy Spirit to move us to generous giving and to effective building of this tabernacle, according to His specifications.

      Secondly, for us as individuals in the marketplace (and in ministry), Bezalel provides a good model of the Spirit-led person. What he was doing was not, strictly speaking, "spiritual work," like teaching the Torah, praying, prophesying, etc. The point is that the fullness of the Spirit is something we all need, as we live out our daily lives. Walking in the Spirit means living life, in its entirety, by the power of the Spirit. Quite a challenge, isn't it?