Weekly Torah Reading - John J. Parsons -The Altar

Hebrew for Christians
Parashat Hashavuah - Torah for this Week
Weekly Torah Reading
Parashat Vayakhel ("and he assembled")
detailed aliyot readings
Click on the Parashah name to read the summary:
Shabbat Parashah Torah Haftarah Brit Chadashah
Feb.22, 2014
Adar 22, 5774
2 Cor. 9:6-11;
1 Cor. 3:11-18

Friday     February 21, 2014     21 AdarI 5774
Read the Summary
Constructing the Tabernacle...
According to tradition, Moses descended from Sinai (with the second set of tablets) on Yom Kippur, and on the following morning he convened the people to explain God's instructions regarding building the Mishkan (i.e., Tabernacle). Before he did so, however, he again reminded them to observe the Sabbath as a day of complete rest, with the added provision that they may not kindle any fire on this day. Moses then asked for contributions of gold, silver, bronze, and other materials for the construction of the sanctuary and its furnishings. This was to be a free-will offering (נְדָבָה זֶבַח) made by those "whose heart so moved him." As a sign of their complete teshuvah (repentance) for the sin of the Golden Calf, the people gave with such generosity that Moses finally had to ask them to stop giving!

Betzalel and Oholiav were appointed to be the chief artisans of the Mishkan, and they led a team of others that created the roof coverings, frame, wall panels, and foundation sockets for the tent. They also created the parochet (veil) that separated the Holy Place (ha'kodesh) from the Holy of Holies (kodesh ha'kodeshim). Both the roof and the veil were designed with embroidered cherubim (winged angelic beings).  Betzalel then created the Ark of the Covenant and its cover called the mercy seat (kapporet), which was the sole object that would occupy the innermost chamber of the Holy of Holies. Betzalel also made the three sacred furnishings for the Holy Place – the Table of Bread (shulchan), the lamp (menorah), and the Altar of Incense (mizbe'ach ha'katoret) – as well as the anointing oil that would consecrate these furnishings.

Betzalel then created the Copper Altar for burnt offerings (along with its implements) and the Copper Basin from the mirrors of women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting. He then formed the courtyard by installing the hangings, posts and foundation sockets, and created the three-colored gate that was used to access the courtyard.
Blessing before Torah Study:
Click for the blessing

Some terms:
  • Parashah is the weekly Scripture portion taken from the Torah. Each parashah is given a name and is usually referred to as "parashat - name" (e.g., parashat Noach). For more information about weekly readings, click here. 
  • Aliyot refer to a smaller sections of the weekly parashah that are assigned to people of the congregation for public reading during the Torah Reading service. In most congregations it is customary for the person "called up" to recite a blessing for the Torah before and after the assigned section is recited by the cantor. For Shabbat services, there are seven aliyot (and a concluding portion called a maftir). The person who is called to make aliyah is referred to as an oleh (olah, if female).
  • Maftir refers to the last Torah aliyah of the Torah chanting service (normally a brief repetition of the 7th aliyah, though on holidays the Maftir portion usually focuses on the Holiday as described in the Torah).  The person who recites the Maftir blessing also recites the blessing over the Haftarah portion.
  • Haftarah refers to an additional portion from the Nevi'im (Prophets) read after the weekly Torah portion. The person who made the maftir blessing also recites the blessing for the Haftarah, and may even read the Haftarah before the congregation.
  • Brit Chadashah refers to New Testament readings which are added to the traditional Torah Reading cycle. Often blessings over the Brit Chadashah are recited before and after the readings.
  • Mei Ketuvim refers to a portion read from the Ketuvim, or writings in the Tanakh. Readings from the Ketuvim are usually reserved for Jewish holidays at the synagogue.
  • Perek Yomi Tehillim refers to the daily portion of psalms (mizmorim) recited so that the entire book of Psalms (Tehillim) is read through in a month. For a schedule, of daily Psalm readings, click here.
  • Gelilah refers to the tying up and covering the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) as an honor in the synagogue.
  • Divrei Torah ("words of Torah") refers to a commentary, a sermon, or devotional on the Torah portion of the week.
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