In this modern day, with the overdevelopment of our logical thinking and a shortage of true spiritual focus in most people’s lives, it is a mystery why anyone would bother to even read the Bible. It talks about historical events that are long gone and can seem to have no practical relevance to our day to day lives.
How can it be that the Bible is consistently one of the best-selling books when it doesn’t even make logical sense much of the time? Why does anyone bother to read it?
Before I answer that question, let’s review the story up to this point:
In the previous chapter the Israelites fell from being in total alignment with ‘Creator Consciousness’ (the desire to impart only good and not want anything in return; no selfish agenda) by getting swept up in the influence of the ‘Mixed Multitudes’ (the mixed multitudes are a code word for hatred. Before the golden calf there was no energy of death, and everyone was invited into the Tabernacle, preventing the energy of death from entering) desire to build the golden calf. Those who participated in this crime of denying God’s existence were eliminated.
The Israelites were then separated by Moses and given the opportunity to once again participate in building the Tabernacle, but this time without the involvement of the mixed multitude.
The portion of Vayakhel basically repeats the earlier portions of Terumah and Tetzaveh that deal with the Tabernacle (the portable temple that was used to communicate with God during the Israelites’ journey in the desert), and the priests (cohanim) who served there. There is a running theme that is repeated throughout these portions. It has to do with the construction, architecture, furniture, and tools that are used in service to God.
This portion of Vayakhel begins with Moses assembling the entire congregation of Israelites once again. Moses repeats the basic requirements of what the people can do to once again realign their consciousness with Creator Consciousness after their fall. By the way, they heard the same words before their fall and it didn’t help. They still fell in their consciousness and their actions.
What can be gained from the message here? Is there a message here?
All these stories actually smuggle precious soul-nourishing energy that slips past our thick egos and logic and inoculates our hearts and souls with life force energy. That’s why after thousands of years, millions of people are reading these stories that don’t make relevant sense! Through the study of Kabbalah we can merit connecting to the deeper secrets and receive the blessings of the Torah’s coded messages.
“The previous chapter of Terumah is duplicated here in the chapter of Vayakhel because the earlier chapter included the consciousness of evil people known as the ‘erev rav’ (the mixed multitude). The repetition stresses how much our consciousness weighs and influences this physical reality. And therefore if we think we can remove chaos by physical methodologies, we’re still going along the path of the erev rav, the anti-kabbalists. We’re still hovering around this expectation and hope for a better world, based on the superiority of physicality. And, my friends, it hasn’t worked for 3 thousand years, and there is no question that it will never achieve the removal of chaos.
“The chaos that exists today comes and goes -- seemingly by some new physical development, or some new physical advancement. Only again to crumble and again thrust the entire world back into a chaotic condition.
“Vayakhel concerns the environment and how we deal with everything and everyone around us. Are we respectful? Do we treat others with dignity? Or is it just our personal domain that we take care of, dismissing everything and everyone else?
“By participating in this reading, we strengthen our consciousness to treat everything and everyone in all areas outside of ourselves with human dignity. It is not an easy task to constantly be in a consciousness of human dignity. And this task is made even more difficult by the ‘Opponent’, who is old and so experienced at manipulating us and maneuvering us away from having respect for and treating others with dignity.”
Two actions that are highly recommended by God, via Moses, right off the bat are:
1. The Sabbath is the day to let go of the mundane.
The power of Shabbat is one of the strongest ways to connect to our inner connection with God (or higher intelligence, or the universe or our true self. Pick whatever word works for you). This connection can be made by anyone of any faith. Shabbat is not a religious experience meant only for the Jews. It is a system that is meant for all. If we commit even 5 minutes on Shabbat toward a connection with the Light (there’s another word you can use), it will be easier to connect to the energy of the Creator at any other time of the week.
“During the weekdays, the lines between good and evil are somewhat blurred. This makes it very easy to slip into the trap of materialism and egocentricity, so one must be constantly on guard, as opposed to Shabbat, when the Opponent is held at a distance. Since Malchut (our physical dimension) ascends by itself on Shabbat, it is not necessary for us to engage actively in the process of elevating sparks of Light on the Sabbath as we do during the work week. Instead, our spiritual work is to leave aside certain types of physical work that could create separation from this higher level of Light (Binah).”
2. The importance of sharing for the greater good.
We learn this lesson from the Torah, through Moses inviting anyone whose heart moved them to give charity being asked to bring donations for the new building (the original building fund).
The Zohar explains in Vayakhel 5:71:
He opened and said, “Take from among you an offering to God; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it…” (Exodus35:5). Come and see, when a man wills himself to worship his Master, the will first reaches the heart, which is the basis and foundation of the entire body. Then that goodwill is diffused in all the members of the body and the will of the heart combine, and draw to themselves the splendor of the Shechinah to rest on them. Such a man becomes the portion of the Holy One, blessed is He. This is implied in “Take from among you an offering,” which is the Shechinah, so that this man would be a portion to God.
When we tithe or give charity, it is vital to do so with a pure and generous heart; otherwise, the act of giving won’t impart any spiritual benefit. When our heart is glad and when we are conscious that the act of sharing brings more into both our own lives and the world by revealing Light, then the power of our donation becomes activated.
The Torah is teaching us that through this story we can access a greater energy of inner peace through our greater understanding of spiritual law and acting according to its precepts. It’s a win win for everyone.
Have a great week!