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Vayakhel(Exodus 35:1-38:20)

Vayakhel 5759

GOOD MORNING! I saw the following "Refrigerator Piece" on ... a refrigerator in Atlanta. It used to be entitled "101 Ways to Love Your Child." It is now "99 Ways." I took out "flatter" and "tickle". Flattery is insincere and should be avoided. As for "tickle", I have a cousin who used to tickle me until I had an asthma attack, so there is no way that I could include "tickle". (By the way, go ahead and count them ... there are 99.)


99 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR CHILD

Accept Admire Adore Advise Advocate Aid Allow Amaze Answer Applaud Appreciate Approve Ask Assist Assure Attend Believe Care Carry Celebrate Challenge Champion Charm Cheer Cherish Comfort Commit Compliment Confide Consider Console Defend Devote Discipline Discover Educate Empathize Empower Encourage Endorse Enlighten Excite Explain Guide Hear Hold Honor Hope Hug Imagine Influence Inspire Involve Join Kiss Know Laugh Learn Like Limit Listen Marvel Motivate Need Notice Nourish Nurture Observe Offer Participate Play Please Praise Protect Provide Recognize Regard Respect Respond Show Smile Speak Squeeze Stimulate Suggest Supervise Support Surprise Talk Teach Thank Train Treasure Trust Understand Value Watch Wish Wonder.

Hold his hand so that he can walk, let go so that he can run, cheer so that he can fly!


Three weeks to Pesach and counting ... It's time to give some thought to making the Seder more enjoyable and effective in creating a warm family experience. Most Jews would like their children to feel positively about being Jewish. You cannot transfer your feelings, but you can create the atmosphere and the experience which will engender positive feelings. Anyone I have ever met who loved being Jewish, fondly reminisced about their Zaideh (grandfather) presiding over the Shabbat table or their Bubbie (grandmother) lighting Shabbat candles ... and their Seder! You are a link in that chain!


Q & A:  HOW DO I MAKE MY SEDER ENJOYABLE, CREATIVE AND MEANINGFUL?

Remember that the Seder is for the kids, to transmit our history and understanding of life. You've got to make it interesting and intrigue them to ask questions. If a person asks a question, he'll be inclined to hear the answer! The only way to transmit your love and feeling for Judaism is through shared, positive experiences. Some ideas from the Passover Survival Kit:

  1. Invest time before the Seder. Trade in your Maxwell House Hagaddah for one with commentary. Then read it! See what intrigues you. Look at a commentary to get interesting insights to share with your family and guests. Check out the Passover Survival Kit, Artscroll Haggadahs and Book of Our Heritage by E. Kitov. Available at local Jewish bookstores or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242. NO EXCUSES!

  2. Get Passover story books for the kids now! Read to them the stories before Pesach. Have them or help them make a little play to present at the Seder. Buy them Artscroll Children's Hagaddah!

  3. Have quizzes and prizes. Ask questions and give 20 points for a right answer. 100 points and they get a prize! Start with the youngest and work up through the ages. If a child answers a question that's not his, he loses 20 points! Name the plagues, the 4 sons, the number of years in slavery -- make your list of questions before the Seder. (You can even prep the kids before the Seder with the answers!)

  4. Plan out the Seder with little surprises and props. During the section on the plagues throw into the air plastic animals when you get to the Wild Beasts; use ping pong balls for the plague of Hail. Be creative. Give each child a brown paper bag filled with his props. Have fun!

  5. Passover marks the birth of the Jewish people. It's a time to reflect on the meaning, value and implications of being Jewish. Here are some questions to discuss:

    1. On a scale of 1-10, how important is being Jewish to you? Please explain.

    2. If your son, daughter, brother, sister, or best friend told you that they planned to raise their children without any Jewish education or identity, how would you react?

    3. If you thought the existence of Israel was in danger, would you risk your life to help save it?

    4. What do you like about being Jewish? What don't you like?

    5. Is it important to you or for your children to have mostly Jewish friends? Why?


Torah Portion of the Week
Vayakhel-Pekudei

Moshe relays the Almighty's commands to refrain from building the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) on the Shabbat, to contribute items needed to build the Mishkan, to construct the components of the Mishkan and the appurtenances of the Cohanim. The craftsmen are selected, the work begins. The craftsmen report that there are too many donations, and for the first and probably the only time in fundraising history, the Jewish people are told to refrain from bringing additional contributions!

Pekudei includes an accounting of all the materials that went into the making of the Mishkan and details of the construction of the clothing of the Cohanim. The Tabernacle (another translation of Mishkan) is completed, Moses examines all of the components and gives his approval to the quality and exactness of construction, the Almighty commands to erect the Tabernacle, it's erected and the various vessels are placed in their proper place.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "Do not kindle a fire on the Sabbath." (Exodus 35:3). In addition to its literal meaning, what lesson for life can we learn from this verse?

The Shaloh (an acronym for the title of his commentary SHnei Luchos Habris -- Two Tables of the Covenant) writes that this verse alludes to the fire of anger and disputes. Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian writes that "ideally a person should never feel angry; someone who nonetheless feels angry, should at least not speak out of anger. On Friday, in the rush to finish the Shabbat preparations on time, a person is apt to become short-tempered. On Shabbat when the entire family sits at the table together, parents might become angry with young children for not behaving properly. Therefore, special care should be taken on the Shabbat to control one's anger."

Published: January 19, 2000

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