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Dvar Vayakhel

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. Thank you for bearing with me while I welcomed many new subscribers to this Dvar. The new servers are now in place, so any subscription/removal requests should happen quickly. So keep sending these to friends, and don't be shy about writing back with anything on your mind. As for the free book form of these Dvars, they've almost arrived! In the meantime, enjoy...

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In this week's Parsha, Vayakhel, we learn about Moshe gathering the Jews (on G-d's command) to tell them about keeping Shabbat. Describing the laws of Shabbat, G-d says that ordinary work should "be done" for six days, and Shabbat should be holy, and should be used for rest. Two questions emerge: 1) Why gather the Jews for this particular law? And 2) why the strange wording of work "being done"?

One possible answer is that we have to realize that work shouldn't be for the purpose of doing it, but rather so that it gets done. Too often people get caught up in their work, and fail to realize what it is they're working for. That's why we have Shabbat, to keep us focused on what our real goals are and should be. Furthermore, even when the work is building the Mishkan for G-d to dwell in (a holy and noble cause on its own) G-d made sure everyone heard first-hand that the main goal is not to work or build it, but the completion of the work so we can focus on its function and purpose. We too should train ourselves to take time out every Shabbaton to reflect on what we're really hoping to accomplish in the future rather than what's being done in the present.

Quotation of the Week (thanks to Yossi):
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank

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Last Updated: Thursday, March 03, 2005