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Friday, Adar 24 5783 (Hakhel Year) / March 17, 2023


This Shabbat we take out two Torahs from the ark for the Shabbat morning Torah reading. In the first Torah, we read the last two Parshiot of the book of Exodus (Shmot), Vayakhel and Pekudei. In the second Torah, we read Parshat Hachodesh(Exodus 12: 1-20).


The two Parshiot, Vayakhel & Pekudei speak about the contributions which the Jewish people gave towards the sanctuary (Mishkan); the construction of the sanctuary and its contents. The Torah enumerates the exact amount of gold, silver and copper which was collected.


When everything was finished, it was brought to Moshe to assemble.  In Parshat Pekudei, the Torah tells us, "And they brought the Mishkan [Tabernacle] to Moshe, the tent and all its vessels, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets..." 


The Torah tells us that Moshe put up the Mishkan all by himself!  The Mishkan was very heavy, Moshe's assembling it himself was a great miracle. Why did G-d want Moshe to put up the Mishkan by himself?  G-d wanted to grant Moshe this special mitzvah, honor and merit of putting up the Mishkan. 


But the Mishkan was very heavy, and it was humanly impossible for Moshe himself to put it all together and erect it.  Moshe said to G-d, "How can one person erect the Mishkan all by himself?"


G-d replied, "You just put your hands to it, and I will do the rest.. It will stand up by itself."


This teaches us a profound lesson.  At times, we are faced with a certain mitzvah which G-d demands of us, yet, we may be skeptical and wonder, "How can I possibly accomplish this? It’s beyond my capabilities."


This Parsha teaches us that G-d expects us to do our best.  If we do our best, G-d will do the rest!


The Talmud tells the following story: Once, Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa saw people bringing gifts to the Temple in Jerusalem.  He too, wanted to bring something, but he was too poor to be able to buy anything.  So, he went out in the field to see what he could find and he came across a stone which would be very fitting to bring as a gift.  The rock was too heavy, and he couldn’t afford to pay anyone to help him carry it.


Then he saw five men.  He asked them if they would carry the rock for him.  They said, “Pay us fifty sela.”  He would have been willing to pay, but he didn’t have that much.  G-d saw his great desire to bring this gift to the Temple, so He sent five angels disguised as men.  “Pay us only five sela and we will take it to Jerusalem,” they told him.  “But on one condition, that you must give us a hand.”  No sooner did he put his finger to the rock, and they found themselves in Jerusalem. He wanted to pay them, but they were nowhere to be found! Lesson: G-d expects us to do our best.  He will do the rest!




Montreal candle lighting time: 6:44 / Shabbat ends: 7:48