JEWISH DISABILITY AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE AND INCLUSION MONTH (JDAIM)
Established in 2009, led by the Jewish Federations of North America, and observed every February, it is a united effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them.
SHABBAT SHEKALIM / שַׁבָּת שְׁקָלִים
From Hebcal.com https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/shabbat-shekalim
Shabbat Shekalim (Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar II) for Hebrew Year 5782 begins at sundown on Friday, 25 February 2022 [this evening] and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 26 February 2022.
Shabbat Shekalim (“Sabbath [of] shekels” שבת שקלים) read in preparation for Purim, requests each adult male Jew contribute half of a Biblical shekel for the upkeep of the Tent of Meeting. The Torah portion Exodus 30:11-16 is read. This Shabbat takes place on the Shabbat before the 1st of the Hebrew calendar month of Adar, or on the 1st of Adar itself if it falls on Shabbat. In leap years [such as this one] on the Hebrew calendar, when there are two months of Adar, Shabbat Shekalim is on the Shabbat before the 1st of Adar II (or on the 1st of Adar II itself if it is Shabbat).
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/vayakheil
Vayak’heil (וַיַּקְהֵל — [Moses] Assembled) – Exodus 35:1-38:20
Moses then convoked the whole Israelite community and said to them: “These are the things that the Eternal has commanded you to do.” – Exodus 35:1
- Moses teaches the rules of Shabbat. (35:1-3)
- Moses asks the Israelites for a donation of gifts and those who are skilled help build the Mishkan [Tabernacle] under the direction of Bezalel and Oholiab. (35:4-38:20)
HAFTARAH – Shabbat Shekalim
Ashkenazim: 2 Kings 12:5-16 [historic: 2 Kings 12:1-17] and Sefardim: 2 Kings 11:17-12:17
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
You can read this week’s full Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.35.1-38.20
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vayakhel
Vayak’hel or Vayak’heil (וַיַּקְהֵל — Hebrew for “and he assembled”) – Exodus 35:1-38:20
In Modern Interpretation – Exodus chapters 35-39
Noting that Exodus 35–39 repeats material from Exodus 25–31, the 19th century Romanian-Argentine explorer Julius Popper argued that Exodus 35–39 was a later addition, and the Dutch Protestant theologian Abraham Kuenen and the German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen agreed. But the mid-20th-century Italian-Israeli scholar Umberto Cassuto, formerly of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argued that this conjecture was ignorant of ancient Eastern literary style. Cassuto noted that the theme of the founding and building of a shrine was a set literary type in early Eastern writings, and such passages often first recorded the divine utterance describing the plan for the sanctuary and then gave an account of the construction that repeated the description given in the divine communication. Cassuto cited the Ugaritic epic of King Keret,… And the 20th century Reform Rabbi Gunther Plaut cautioned not to approach Exodus 35–39 with modern stylistic prejudices, arguing that a person of the ancient Near East – who was primarily a listener, not a reader – found repetition a welcome way of supporting familiarity with the text, giving assurance that the tradition had been faithfully transmitted.
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
ויקהל Vayak’heil – Exodus 35:1-38:20
Making a Place for God: The Tabernacle’s Components by Carol Meyers, pp.521-522
Parashat Vayak’heil (“he convoked”) begins the portion of Exodus known as the descriptive Tabernacle texts (Exodus 35-40) because they describe the implementation of the earlier instructions. God gives detailed instructions to Moses about the Tabernacle, its materials, and its personnel in Exodus 25-30, known as the prescriptive Tabernacle texts because they prescribe what is to be done. While the Golden Calf episode in Ki Tisa seems to interrupt the Tabernacle account, its overall message–that the people can sin and still have their covenant with God affirmed–may be an integral part of the Tabernacle concept. The Golden Calf incident indicates that the people seem to doubt God’s presence among them and God’s commitment to them. Only after that incident is resolved, with God and the people reconciled, can they proceed to build the shrine. The people now feel sure that God will be with them even if they do disobey God’s word.
The disobedience that marks the preceding parashah now contrasts sharply with the people’s willing complicity in carrying out the directives for building the Tabernacle. An introductory unit (35:1-36:7) reviews the Sabbath precept, describes the collection of donations, and designates the artisans who are to collect and use the materials. The next three units report the implementation of God’s commands to build the Tabernacle: the tent (36:8-38), its furnishings (37:1-29), and the courtyard with its installations (38:1-20).
Much of the information presented in the elaborate instructions for making the Tabernacle and priestly vestments (the prescriptive texts in Exodus 25-31) is repeated, at times word-for-word, in this parashah and the next. While the content of the accounts is almost identical, the order is significantly different. Instead of presenting the components in order of degree of sanctity–starting with the Ark and the other golden furnishings–the description of their fabrication proceeds according to technological logic: first the structure itself is erected (36:8-38), then the interior furnishings are made (37:1-29), and finally the courtyard and its installations are constructed (38:1-20). The descriptive texts are somewhat briefer because they omit information about how items are to be used, indicating an interest in fabrication rather than function. Another major difference is that in the descriptive texts Moses is much more prominent that Aaron–the dominant figure in the prescriptive passages. It is fitting than Aaron is less important following the Golden Calf episode, since he was considered complicit in the people’s sinfulness.
Although the priestly personnel apparently are all men, as are the chief artisans, women appear in this parashah as significant contributors of materials. They also are the ones who turn the raw materials of textile production into the requisite fabrics. Because woven fabrics are key components of the tent shrine, the skilled labor of female artisans (35:25-26) is integral to the construction of the Tabernacle…. In addition, the surprising mention of “women who performed tasks at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting” (38:8) hints at roles performed by women at the sanctuary.
Another View – by Elsie R. Stern, p. 538
There is much debate among scholars about the relationship between the Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple. Some scholars think that the Tabernacle is a completely mythic structure whose description is based on the Temple constructed early in the 1st millennium B.C.E. These scholars argue that the Tabernacle tradition evolved to justify and provide a pedigree for the Temple. Other scholars argue that there existed a portable Tabernacle that pre-dated the Temple. Although it would not have been as elaborate as the Tabernacle described in the Torah, this structure must have formed the basis for the portable divine dwelling recounted in Exodus 25-40.
While it is currently impossible to determine the historicity of the Tabernacle texts, it is clear that within the Bible, the Tabernacle and the Temple provide two models of sacred space. The Temple model was particularly resonant when Israel/Judea was a sovereign kingdom (10th-6th centuries B.C.E.). The Temple was a symbol of God’s sanction of the Davidic monarchy, and it functioned as a key element in the Judean monarchy’s attempts to centralize national and religious authority (II Samuel 7:11-16; I Kings 8; 12:26-27).
The Tabernacle model was particularly resonant in the absence of Judean–and later, Jewish–sovereignty (after the Babylonian conquest in 587 B.C.E.). According to the Tabernacle model, God is manifest in the community no matter where the community resides. In order to come into contact with God, the people do not need to make pilgrimages to a fixed location. Instead, they need only maintain a set of behaviors that will allow God to reside in their midst no matter where they are. According to the Rabbis, when the Jews went into exile, God’s presence (Shechinah) went with them and continues to manifest itself wherever Jews pray or study Torah. The medieval Kabbalists understood the Shechinah to be a feminine aspect of God. The idea of the Shechinah as an immanent and feminine divine presence has been a source of reflection and inspiration for feminist theologians like Judith Plaskow and Lynn Gottlieb.
ROSH CHODESH – ADAR II (Leap Year)
Begins at sundown on Wednesday, March 2 and ends at sundown Friday, March 4, 2022. Adar II is the thirteenth month of the Hebrew calendar. If a month has 30 days, then day 30 becomes Rosh Chodesh. The current month of Adar I has thirty days, and so Adar II’s Rosh Chodesh is two days. This year, Purim falls in Adar II beginning on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. We will have a Purim spiel and celebration on Zoom starting at 7 PM. Details to follow.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
ROSH CHODESH – FOR THE NEW MONTH p.519
Our God and God of our ancestors, may the new month bring us goodness and blessing. May we have long life, peace, prosperity, a life exalted by love of Torah and reverence for the divine; a life in which the longings of our hearts are fulfilled for good.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 25 Adar I through 1 Adar II, we lovingly remember:
Father of TKH Member Ida Farmer
Father-in-law of TKH Member Iris Adler
Friend of TKH Members, the Caron Family
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, February 25, 2022.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Vayak’hël (triennial part) Ex 36:20-38:20
Time: Feb 25, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service – Shabbat Shekalim
Time: Feb 25, 2022 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!