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Vayakhel(Exodus 35:1-38:20)

Where Are You Coming From??

Moshe gathered the entire assembly of the children of Israel… The entire assembly of the children of Israel left Moshe's presence. (Ex. 35:1,20)

Moshe assembled the entire nation and taught them the laws of Shabbos. The Torah mentions that Moshe gathered all the children of Israel and spoke to them. A few verses later it says that the children of Israel left Moshe's presence. If we already know that they were in Moshe's presence, why does the Torah have to mention that they left Moshe's presence?

Imagine an unhappy person who is used to walking around with a sour face. He has one good friend whom he loves speaking to. One day you see this gloomy fellow and he's smiling from ear to ear. You know where he must have been coming from - his good friend. Sometimes you can tell where a person has been.

When the verse states, "They left Moshe's presence," it is telling us that it was recognizable on the Jewish people that they had been in Moshe's presence and learned Torah from him. They still acted as if they were in Moshe's presence.(1)

A Jew who studies Torah has a responsibility to walk around in a more refined manner. It should be recognizable to a bystander even when he's doing mundane activities that he is someone that studies Torah. As the Talmud in Yoma tells us, someone who studies Torah is honest in business and speaks pleasantly with people. Others will say about him, "Praiseworthy is one who learns Torah, and praiseworthy is the Rabbi who teaches him Torah."

NOTE

1. Darkei Mussar.

Published: February 16, 2014

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