Monday, February 29, 2016

Shabbat Shekalim: Vayakhel - Reconstructionist

Exodus 35:1–38:20

Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Shabbat and Holiness

This week's parashah is the first parashah in the Torah, Bereshit. We are all familiar with the story of the creation that we read in these chapters of the Torah. However, the narrative still raised many questions for our rabbis and scholars. One of the many issues debated by the rabbis is the timing of humanity's creation in relationship to Shabbat. Rashi (12th century France) believed that God created Adam right before Shabbat so that he could immediately enter the holy and peaceful realm of Shabbat. And yet we also read in the same source that God created Adam a few hours before Shabbat so that he could first participate in the everyday activities of the world and thereby be better able to appreciate the peace of Shabbat.

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