January 22, 2018 ~ Shabbat SHIRAH. Maqam AJAM.

Shabbat Vayaqhel

Time and Place

ויקהל משה את כל עדת בני ישראל - It may have been God's original intention for the people to relate to Him in a purely spiritual manner without the use of any shrines, symbols or rituals. The Golden Calf story, however, was an indicator that Israel, like many other nations, needed more physical and practical ways to worship. For this reason, Moses gathers (ויקהל משה) everyone to teach them how to appropriately connect with the Almighty. By discussing the Sabbath, sacred time is set each week to be free from work and recall God's central role in the world. By discussing the Tabernacle, a place to assemble is designated to perform worship rituals of sacrifice, prayer, and song. Ideally, God's presence should be acknowledged every minute and every place, but in order for the religion to resonate with all the people (כל עדת בני ישראל), the institutions of sacred time and sacred place were deemed necessary. Beth Torah 3/25/17.