In this week’s torah portion Vayakhel many ideas are discussed: Sabbath, materials for the moveable temple (mishkan), the architects and making of the temple (beams, ark, table, lamp, sacrificial alter, washstand, enclosure).

What does it mean that the Jewish people were given the opportunity to donate for the temple?

Shouldn’t all have the material been provided by G-d if it is in deed utilized for his temple?

A: The entire Jewish people were asked to donate of themselves through gifts and time. Moses asked for volunteers to assist in the construction of the temple and its materials. He asked for those who were talented in many different fields. A mother is given 9 (some less some more) months to watch/ feel her fetus grow. The Jewish people were asked to be involved with the process of the temple. We were given the opportunity to see it from start. Each day the talents of the craftsman were utilized. These talents spanned from the making of a Menorah to the spinning of fine wools. They had left Egypt with gold, silver, jewelery and talents of construction. The Jewish people while under servitude in Egypt had constructed all kinds of pyramids with various resources. We were given an opportunity to utilize our talents to be involved in the construction of the holy temple. We had to feel the involvement of our hands in the construction of holiness. A blue prints was given to Moses and the Jewish people had to fill it with all kinds of materials.

What kind of materials were needed?

Moses gave explicit instructions of what materials were needed.

A: Moses said to all of the Jewish people that collections will be made. But, it is their choice if a person feels like giving an offering of material: silver, gold, copper, wool (certain specific kinds), linen, processed hides (certain specific kinds), oil for the menorah, precious stones for the breastplate, ram’s skins (certain specific kinds), and fragrances for the incense and anointing oil. The Torah specifically mentions that any individual who is talented should make themselves available to assist in the construction of the temple and over – tent items: menorah lamp along with its utensils, lights and illuminating oil, incense alter with it’s carrying poles, tabernacle with its roof, fasteners, beams, pillars and bars (cross bars), ark with its carrying poles, ark cover, cloth partition, table and its carrying poles, table and all of the utensils ( on this table rested the special breads, lecham hapanim, that would last from week to week the priests ate from these breads), anointing oil, drape for the tabernacle’s entrance, perfumed incense, sacrificial alter with its carrying poles and utensils, washstand and base, sacred vestments for Aaron and his sons, tying ropes, stakes for the tent, stakes for the enclosure, hangings for the enclosure, a drape for the enclosure’s entrance and enclosure’s pillars and bases. The entire community listened to the needs of the tabernacle and who ever was ready to assist came forward.

Did woman get involved in the materials needed for the temple?

A. The skilled woman put their hands to spinning and had brought the materials mentioned above as well. They also donated jewelry like earrings and rings made of gold.

What did the prince’s of each tribe donate?

A. The tribal leaders each brought the stones needed for the ephod and breast plate, fragrances and olive oil for the lamp, anointing oil and the perfumed incense.