Live from Home – Rabbi David’s Notes

Because there were sound issues for many of you, I want to share with you my notes (almost a transcript) from this morning. Step by Step 🙂

Parshat VaYakhel 2020

Parshat VaYakhel– He assembled/ Pekudei–Accountings

Exodus 35:1-40:38, Exodus 12:1-20

Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18

B’rit haChadasha: Luke 21


Live from Home

Opening prayer:

Before we begin our Torah study, let’s pray together.

…La’asok b’divrei Torah

Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sanctifies us with his commands, and commands us to engross ourselves in the words of Torah.


Exodus 35:1

Moses assembled ( וַיַּקְהֵל)

 the whole community of the people of Israel and said to them…

  • Kahal – Assemble as a community of faith

Exodus 35:21

Then they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit made him willing

  • Some English translations miss a subtle but important point
  • When they translate like this: whose heart was stirred, and whose spirit was willing…
  • This can come across as an emotional reaction
  • But the Hebrew conveys something else.
    • The heart stirred him to action
    • The spirit made him willing to act
  • Sometimes we can stop at the emotional response…
  • There’s something to be learned here

Many times these days, people can be looking for an emotional response, and that’s why so many religious events are geared towards that.

Oh what a feeling!

God wants to train our hearts and our spirits…as well as our minds and our bodies…even our personalities. He wants to train our hearts and our spirits so that we can act and respond with action to his direction.

I don’t want to be content with an emotional response.

I don’t just want to feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. I do want to feel better.

But I want more than that.

This passage focuses on HOW the people built the House of the Lord.

I’m glad we can learn from them how to live now.

Acts 20:35

Remember the words of Yeshua: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

  • It is blessed to receive.
  • And it is blessed to give.
  • It’s just MORE blessed to give.
  • It’s an act of generosity towards other.
  • Caution: for those who can’t receive help from others. You can give, but can’t receive.
    • Remember: Both sides are blessed.
    • Let others serve you too.
  • The Give and Take are a healthy pattern.

I also want to remind you that this week’s reading is a continuation of the theme from Terumah.

It would be worth your time to listen to the podcasts from February 28 and 29 of this year.

  • Turning point: Time for Give and Take/not just receive
  • Some important thoughts on people who want to give
    • They want to build
    • They want to be with God
    • They want to be with people who want to be with God

We can’t assemble the way we are accustomed to.

But we can gather together in new ways.

We’re using new ways right now to gather together as a community.

Our main objective is not to have a great Shabbat service like we always do in when we meet in our synagogue sanctuary.

Our main objective is to gather together, to continue our life as Mishpochah, to stay connected.

As your rabbis and Rebbetzin, Sandy and I and Rabbi Yuriy and Rebbetzin Inna, and the leaders of Beth Israel, want to stay connected with you during this time.

And we want you to stay connected with us, and with each other.

The Lord is training our hearts and spirits to move us to action – to move us towards this connection.

And to go further.

To build the House of the Lord in this new situation.

To serve the Lord together.

To serve each other together.

SO there are now more opportunities for ministry in the congregation. New opportunities.

  • We want to launch new ways of connecting to some important segments of our congregation.
  • Our hearts are particularly stirred about the singles of all ages.
  • And we’re also concerned about the elderly.
  • And everyone who is vulnerable because of chronic health issues.
  • Plus all those who are giving care to loved ones who are vulnerable.
  • Our leadership teams will be putting time into launching new efforts and ministries in our congregation.
  • We also will develop some easy to access online resources.
    • Curated carefully
    • Such things as:
      • Help and relief for those with mortgages
      • Help for children’s lunches for those facing food insecurity
      • Help for the newly unemployed or those whose hours have been cut back
      • Help for Business Owners facing economic stress
      • Help for those facing Food Insecurity (Food Bank)

I’m also asking for help from some people who work professionally with statistics.

  • Projections for us
  • Scenarios that help us stay One Step Ahead


Special Thanks to everyone at Beth Israel for your continuing support.

You’re faithful, steady giving gives us stability.

This makes it easier for us to expand our efforts, to do more together as a community.

Even though we can’t use our building, we have all our regular expenses.

We’re grateful for your generosity and your cheerfulness.

And your sacrificial giving as well with your tithes and offerings.




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Closing of Part 2:

I will close this with the Aaronic Benediction, as we normally do at Beth Israel.

But first let me remind you to stay tuned for Part 3.

We will close this segment, and coming up Live from Home Part 3 with Rabbiy Yuriy and Rebbetzin Inna Korshun.

Aaron’s blessing….