Parshat Vayakhel 5784: Wanted — A Leader Capable of Causing Am Yisrael to Gather in Unity

Shalom Friends;

This year’s Parshiyot Vayakhel vort is being sponsored by Steven and Debra Glanz and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated to their children for Hotslocha this year in all of their endeavors and dedicated for the safety of the Chayalim and the liberation of all hostages and their return home whole physically, mentally and spiritually.. To the Glanz family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
Skype: mark.burt3

Parshat Vayakhel 5784: Wanted — A Leader Capable of Causing Am Yisrael to Gather in Unity

by Moshe Burt

The opening posuk of our Parshat Vayakhel reads:

“And Moshe assembled the entire congregation of B’nei Yisrael and said to them: ‘These are the things that Hashem commanded, to do them:’” (Sefer Shemos, Perek 35, Posuk 1 As rendered to English in “The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah with Rashi Commentary)

Rashi explains:

“And Moshe assembled.” On the day after Yom Kippur, when he descended from the mountain, the word Vayakhel is in the causative: hifil, because he does not gather the people by hand, but rather, they are gathered by his speaking to them. And it is rendered by Targum Okelos: V’Ahchneish — “And he caused to gather.” (Ibid, page 488, as rendered to English)

Note #2 beneath the Rashi states:

….A person does not gather the people directly, rather he causes them to gather themselves. Therefore, the root: kehal only appears in the causative [word] hifil (“he caused them to gather”) or the passive nifal (“they were gathered”) (Ibid, page 488, as rendered to English)

The Artscroll Stone Chumash notes on “Moshe assembled” (pages 516-517) :

A day earlier, on Yom Kippur, Moshe had come down from the mountain with the Second Luchos, signifying Hashem’s forgiveness and renewed love for the people. Now they were worthy of carrying out Hashem’s command to build the Mishkan [Tabernacle, Tent of Meeting]. (Artscroll Stone Chumash citing Rashi, Ramban) Moshe conveyed this command to the assemblage of the entire nation — men, women and children — because everyone would have a share in the construction. (Artscroll Stone Chumash citing Ramban; Or HaChaim)

A number of years ago, Rabbi Arye Gordon z”l of Ramat Beit Shemesh, formerly of South Africa, spoke of Parshat Vayakhel;

Vayakhel, when used for Tov, is to actualize immense power and potential which is capable of being used for the most lofty, noble goals — building, growing and developing love for our fellow Jews, Kavod shel Shemayim V’Torah (man’s recognition of Hashem’s control of the world and Torah as Hashem’s blueprint for man’s service).

Vayakhel, when used for rah, is capable of being used, Heaven forbid, to undermine and destroy. Or if the vehicle, Vayakhel is not used at all, the reticence and inability of Am Yisrael to come together and even talk about unity is something for which we all would be held accountable.

Mida keneged Mida, Vayakhel of our Parsha, by Moshe Rabbeinu’s emphasis on the holiness of Shabbat and his appeal for funds and donations toward the building of the Mishkan, he serves to bring about rectification of the previous misuse both of gathering together and of the donations of gold which went into the making of the avodah zora. The message of Parsha Vayakhel seems meant to atone for the Chait HaEigel.

Much later on, as the B’nei Yisrael is finally about to enter the Land of Israel after their 40 years in Bamidbar, Moshe calls together the Kahal in parsha Vayeilech to give over his final discourse on Torah and Halacha before his passing.

Ultimately, we learn that on Chol HaMoed Succot in the year following the Shmittah year, Klal Yisrael, men, women and children gathered to hear the Melech’s [king’s] Torah. What follows are excerpts from a discussion by Chabad Rabbi Yosef Karasik about what is special about Hakhel:

Once in seven years, after the shemitta year, on the first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkos, all the Jewish people gathered – men, women, and children – in the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash, in the Ezras Nashim. A special wooden platform was built, upon which the king sat and read sections from the book of Devarim which urged the nation to observe the mitzvos.

There were no speeches by distinguished rabbis, not even by the High Priest. It was only the king who read most of Devarim from the Torah scroll. We can assume that it took at least an hour or more.

The main topics the king read about were: the mitzva of belief in G-d, accepting the yoke of Heaven and the yoke of mitzvos, about the mitzvos dependent on the Land – the section about trumah and ma’aser for the priests and levites, the mitzva of gifts to the poor, and the curses and blessings.

Why was this gathering regarded with such importance when there was nothing new in what the king read?

Indeed, the king did not impart anything new. He read verses that everybody knew. Yet everybody was commanded to come and stand silently and reverently, with “great kavana,” because the goal was not to acquire new information. The goal was to strengthen the nation’s belief in Hashem, and urge them to go in the ways of the Torah.

By the king reading those passages, he implanted a dveikus (cleaving) to the path of uprightness and truth. There is an expression in one of the Rishonim (the Chinuch, mitzva #612) which says, “This mitzva is a strong pillar and great glory in our religion.”

In our times, while we have Rabbanim with high levels of Torah scholarship whose Kehillot gather to hear their vort, unfortunately we have no dynamic, compelling national leader or head of state, noone comparable to Melech Yisrael, capable of causing the entire nation to gather together in unity, as Rabbi Gordon, z’l spoke of, “for the most lofty, noble goals — building, growing and developing love for our fellow Jews, Kavod shel Shemayim V’Torah.”

Instead, we have disparate factions; many among the Am doing all that they can to bring about unity with their fellow Jews, to do their parts in physical and spiritual support of our heroic Chayalim to bring about a final, decisive victory in this Milchemet Shel Torah and real, lasting peace and security for Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael — Kol HaAretz Shelanu.

And we have others, and again this may not be politically correct to state, others who are among the highest ranking military brass, as well as political and governmental leaders and former prime ministers marching in league with outside forces — i.e. Biden and his puppetmasters or George Soros, entrenched governmental bureaucrats (i.e. Israel’s “Deep State”) and print and electronic media types who foster disunity and divisiveness among the Am. There are those who opposed the democratic judicial reforms who have now managed to hi-jack and disguise themselves as “families of hostages” who scream for returning the hostages at any cost, even many more fatalities among our Chayalim.

May it be that our Chayalim emerge totally victorious — eradicating Hamas, their terrorist buddies and the so-called “innocent civilians” of Gaza who joined with Hamas in their murderous deeds, and return home whole — physically, mentally and spiritually and that the Chayalim Liberate and bring home all remaining hostages. And may we see the restoration of true unity within Am Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently re-settled in Gush Katif, once the IDF, by the Yad Hashem, destructs and eradicates the wild beasts of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, all other terror entities, and if necessary Iran, and that our brethren be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, as well as the buildings of Yishuv Elchanan, all at total government expense. May our Chayalim return from battle unharmed — physically, mentally and spiritually and may all of the hostages brutally taken by the wild beasts of Hamas be liberated and returned to their families. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now in his fourth year at home in Eretz Yisrael and continues in a new chapter in his life. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nine years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we see, in 5784, the REAL Jews from the Ukraine and Russia as well as the US and Canada, the real Jews via matrilineal descent, make Aliyah enmass — via thorough review by Misrad HaPanim. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab corona virus pandemic and all like viruses and variants. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.