Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #22 Vayak’hel (He assembled) Sh’mot (Ex) 35: 1-38:20
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 7: 40-50
B’rit Chadashah: 2 Corinthians 9: 1-15; Messianic Jews 9:1-14; Revelation 11:1-13
During regular years we also read Parsha #23 P’kudei (Accounts) 38:21-40:38 during leap years they are read separately
The K’ruvim (Cherubim) described in this parashah were very special. There are two reasons for this. First, they were placed on top of the Aron (Ark) in the Kodesh Hakodashim, the Holy of Holies. Second, they were one of the few items that had to be made from one mold of gold. This was no easy task. So, wouldn’t it have been much easier to make the K’ruvim in separate parts and attach the pieces to each other?
This may teach us something about how to reach our goals in life. We should not do things in fits and starts, especially when it comes to Torah study. We must not wait to learn when we find time, learning one day, skipping the next, and then maybe learning a little the day after. This kind of piecemeal work lacks continuity, and we end up with many fissures in our Torah knowledge. We, should however set goals for ourselves, set times for learning, and maintain a regular pattern of Torah study.
Another explanation of why the K’ruvim were made in one mold is in our understanding of what they represent. The Sages say that one K’ruvim represents YHVH and the other B’nai Yisrael. From a Messianic perspective perhaps the K’ruvim represents YHVH Elohim and Yahshua; the two aspects of the Torah; law and grace.
These two K’ruvim molded from one piece of gold, show the strength and connection between G-d and B’nai Yisrael. In like manner it would show the strength and connection between G-d and Yahshua the Echad, their Unity. We know that anything made out of one mold is stronger than something made from two. It has no seams that might cause it to break or crack under pressure. It is also picture of believers becoming one with YHVH Elohim so that we might successfully overcome all the adversaries of life. Being one with the Creator in focus and direction assures us of success.
The K’ruvim were set upon the Aron where the Torah was kept. This represents the fact that YHVH and B’nai Yisrael are and unbreakable mold built upon a base of Torah, the Written and Living. . Just as the Aron served as the base for the K’ruvim, so too must the Torah, the Living and the Written serve as the base of our connection with G-d. When this is done, our tie with YHVH will be of one mold, pure and unbending.
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings 7:40-50)
In Parasha T’rumah, Moshe received instructions on how to build a sanctuary for YHVH. Our Haftarah deals with the actual building of the Temple that King Solomon erected for YHVH Elohim. The construction of several components of Solomon’s Temple is described. The craftsman named here is Hiram of Tyre. This narrative parallels our parashah and the work of Betzal’el and the other craftsmen. Hiram was an expert copper-smithPar Solomon commissioned to create copper columns to flank the largest doorway of the Temple. The basin that was to be used for the priests to immerse themselves in before serving in the Temple is also describes in great detail. This basin also called a sea sat upon 12 oxen, 3 facing out in each direction. Oxen seem to signify productiveness and provision (Psalm 144:14; Proverbs 14:4). This makes sense in the context that the 12 Tribes of which we are either a part biologically or spiritually are commanded to lead a productive, active, progressively ascending life toward YHVH/Yahshua. Note the oxen are twelve in number signifying the Tribes, and the apostles. The oxen are facing outward which signifies a posture of readiness to move outward and protection for the others in the group. It is fitting that the water of purification sits atop these oxen in a superior position. We may posit that this may also signify that the oxen (12 Tribes and apostles are “supporting” or “holding up” the “Living water” that purifies us (Yahshua). By the way, this basin was larger than the one of the Tabernacle, and it held 13,000 gallons!
The two pillars in verse 21 were named Yachin and Boaz. The pillar Yachin was on the side of the menorah. The name Yachin means “a firm foundation”. The position of this pillar and its name signify that the basis of a believer’s life is the Light of the Torah, or in a manner of speaking Yahshua. The pillar on the left was called Boaz and it was located on the side of the Table with the show-bread. Boaz means “in Him is strength,” and proclaims that the strength and prosperity, which is symbolized by the Table, emanates from G-d who alone allows us to prosper.
B’rit Chadasha: 2 Corinthians 9: 1-15
9 1 There is really no need for me to write you about this offering for G-d’s people— 2 I know how eager you are, and I boast about you to the Macedonians. I tell them, “Achaia has been ready since last year,” and it was your zeal that stirred up most of them. 3 But now I am sending the brothers so that our boast about you in this regard will not prove hollow, so that you will be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if some Macedonians were to come with me and find you unprepared, we would be humiliated at having been so confident—to say nothing of how you would feel. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge these brothers to go on to you ahead of me and prepare your promised gift in plenty of time; this way it will be ready when I come and will be a genuine gift, not something extracted by pressure.
6 Here’s the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly. 7 Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for G-d loves a cheerful giver. 8 Moreover, G-d has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause— 9 as the Tanakh says,
“He gave generously to the poor; His tzedakah lasts forever.”
10 He who provides both seed for the planter and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your tzedakah. 11 You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous in everything. And through us your generosity will cause people to thank G-d, 12 because rendering this holy service not only provides for the needs of G-d’s people, but it also overflows in the many thanks people will be giving to G-d. 13 In offering this service you prove to these people that you glorify G-d by actually doing what your acknowledgement of the Good News of the Messiah requires, namely, sharing generously with them and with everyone. 14 And in their prayers for you they will feel a strong affection for you because of how gracious G-d has been to you. 15 Thanks be to G-d for his indescribable gift!
1 Last week we saw how Sha’ul used pseudo psychology in securing financial aid and this week we encounter the Jewish mother again, “There is really no need for me to write you.” Just beneath the service an inferred accusation. So why does he do it? By a figure of speech, he indicates his awareness that underneath their laziness and slowness, the Corinthians really do have the heart and the desire to do G-d’s will. But at the same time he finds it necessary to prod them to act on these deeper and better motives.
2–4 He offers the Macedonians as an example for emulation, and also the Corinthians themselves as an example he has used among others. Now, he is urging them to live up to their proffered reputation (vv. 2–3), lest they feel bad at failing to meet the implicit quota and Sha’ul be humiliated at having been so confident about them (v. 4).
5 Another reason for sending the advance committee is to prepare the gift, insuring they live up to Sha’ul’s characterization of them to avoid any unnecessary pressure tactics or embarrassment.
6 In this verse Sha’ul offers a more self-interested reason for giving. He appeals to both lofty and everyday motives but never to truly base or improper ones.
7–8 Sha’ul is concerned with the inner state of the giver and not merely with the fact of giving. As a Pharisee of Pharisees he knew G-d’s Torah that the inner condition and the outward action are components of “tzedakah” (charity); and that inner state is created not by oneself but by G-d.
8–11 Sha’ul cautions the Corinthians not to fear for themselves, for G-d will supply their needs and that they may be generous.
9 Psalm 112 reads, in part:
“Blessed is the man who fears Adonai,
Who greatly delights in his commandments…
Wealth and riches will be in his house.…
A good man shows favor.…
His heart is established.…
He has dispersed,
He has given to the poor,
His righteousness (tzedakah) remains forever.”
(Psalm 112:1, 3a, 5a, 8a, 9)
The Hebrew word “tzedakah” means both “righteousness” and “charity” (see Mt 6:1–4N).
12–14 Sha’ul gives another reason for giving: by so doing, you give the recipients a reason for praising G-d for having met their need through you (v. 12) and for having molded you into obedient believers (v. 13). As a result they will pray to G-d for you (v. 14).
15 Thanks be to G-d for his indescribable gift, namely, the opportunity to accomplish so much good for others, for yourselves, and for G-d’s glory by giving to the Judean brothers! At is, the more westward, the deeper one proceeded into the Mikdash
Think About it:
1. Usually, the east is considered a direction of great importance. The sun rises in the east, signifying a new day. Why then was the Mishkan built facing west?
I will provide some explanation on this subject.
The highest level of holiness is found in the holy of holies which was found in the westernmost part of the Mishkan. From there, the holiness spreads eastward, diminishing in intensity. The order of service was performed from east to west. Interestingly. Hebrew is read from east to west or right to left. Shabbat and other holy day candles are kindled from right to left.
Idolaters/pagans/those of apostate religions often worship the sun as a “sun god” or otherwise are taught that facing east brings one “closer” to G-d. Perhaps YHVH specifically had the Mishkan built facing the west to counter apostate religion such as Catholicism and other religions that pray to the east. East was the direction from which those who built Babel came (Gen 11:2). The east also frequently refers to tribes hostile to Israel (Num. 23:7; Jud.6:3,33).
When Yahshua hung on the execution stake, He faced the west. Going west symbolizes moving toward G-d. The gate to the garden of Eden was on the east side (Gen.3:24). Cain went away from G-d to the land of Nod, east of Eden (Gen. 4:16). Lot split from Abraham went east and landed in the cities of S’dom and ‘Amorah (Gen. 13:11). In contrast, the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of G-d was on the west end of the courtyard.
So, how do we reconcile placing the Torah scroll on the east side of the synagogue today?
The Talmud (Berakhot 30a) instructs Jews outside the Land of Israel to face the Holy Land while praying; Jews residing in Israel should turn towards the city of Jerusalem; those living within Jerusalem should orient themselves toward the Temple Mount, and those next to the Temple Mount should turn towards the former site of the Holy of Holies. (This is where they should have been facing in the first place!)
This may be quite confusing. We are safe
Let’s connect this to the B’rit Chadashah. Matthew 24:27 reads “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” This is a prophetic statement. The bottom line is that G-d and His holiness comes from the east and progresses west, consistent with the pattern of the Mishkan orientation. When Yahshua returns, He will come through the eastern gate, which is currently sealed and faces the Mount of Olives. Interestingly, The Eastern Gate is between the Dung Gate and the Lions’ Gate. Could this also be prophetic whereby Yahshua was crucified on Golgotha but will return as the Lion of Judah?
There is much more information to be gained should you choose to carefully and prayerfully research this subject.
2. In describing the attributes of those who participated in the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the Torah calls them haham lev, “wise of heart.” Isn’t that a contradiction? Wisdom is in the brain, while emotions are in the heart.
3. The washbasin of the Kohanim, the Keyor, was made of something very unique, mirrors that the women donated. Why?
Wisdom of the Sages:
This Parasha appears to be a repetition of T’rumah. The Torah could have said, “They built all they were commanded.” Why the repetition? Creative people like to add to whatever they are doing. Yet, when it comes to instructions from YHVH, exactness is essential. YHVH has already created the masterpiece and we cannot add to it. By telling us that B’nai Yisrael did exactly as He instructed we learn that following YHVH’s instructions in His Word leads to the Perfect House of YHVH.
“And Moshe assembled the entire community of Israel.” (35:1)
Before commanding them to begin building the Mishkan, Moshe assembled the nation. He wanted to be sure the people understood that they had to be united in order to ensure the continuous existence of the Mishkan. Sure enough, one of the reasons given for the destruction of the Second Temple is disunity of the Jewish people.
“Each person who was ready to volunteer then came forward.” (35:21)
Why doesn’t the Torah simply tell us that the volunteers came forward? If they volunteered, then certainly they were ready.
People with good intentions don’t always have the opportunity to carry out their good deed, especially regarding finances. They become lazy, letting the opportunity to do what they planned slip away. But when it came to the donations for the Mishkan, everyone who had the intention of contributing actually did so.
Vaya’as Betzal’el et ha’Aron, “And Betzal’el made the Aron” (37:1) The name Betzal’el has the numeric value of 153. This is the same value as the words, B’tzel El, “In the shadow of G-d.” G-d gave Betzal’el certain wisdom. One example of this wisdom is that only Betzal’el knew how to make the Aron (Ark). It was a secret process that only someone who walked in the “shadow of G-d” was permitted to know.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart