Exodus 35:1-38:20

For full text in English and Hebrew click here: Exodus 35:1-38:20

In this Torah portion, God commands the Israelites not to do any work in the Sanctuary on Shabbat. The Israelites gather gifts for God. They gather so many that they are restrained from searching for more. Moses says that Ohaliab and Bezalel, who are filled with the spirit of God, should take the gifts of the Israelites and build God’s Sanctuary.

Click here for a summary of Vayakhel.
Click here for a summary of the Haftarah
for Vayakhel.
gold gifts
The Israelites brought God gifts of gold.

Text Studies

Social Action and Environmentalism

The Loveliest Was the Unicorn
Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hillel 
Six Days Shall You Work
Sam Berrin Shonkoff, AJWS
Spirituality Never Stops
Rabbi Neal Loevinger, KOLEL
From “Other” to “Beloved”
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels, AJWS 
On Matters of the Heart
Michelle Young, Union for Reform Judaism 
Initiative & Self-Sufficiency
Rabbi Ahud Sela, AJWS 
Table For Two
Rabbi Phil Miller, 
Ecology & Shabbat
Jonathan Neril, Canfei Nesharim 

From the Denominations

Pluralism and Outreach

Clothes Are the Message
Rabbi Bradley Artson, American Jewish Unversity 
Sacred Relationships
Rabbi Shimon Felix, Bronfman Youth Fellowship 
Living Up to Our Names
Rabbi Charles Savenor, JTS 
Moving Towards Redemption
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Jewish Outreach Institute 
Holiness is Not Intrinsic
Rabbi Aaron Cohen, Orthodox Union 
The Nature of Cosmos
Rachel Adler, Women of Reform Judaism 


Family and Fun

Parashat Vayakhel Quiz
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies 
Parashat Vayakhel Challah
Julie Seltzer 
Parashat Vayakhel for Families
Torah Topics for Today 
The Power of We
Torah Topics for Today 

Return to the index of weekly Torah portions.

Discover More

Kohelet: Torah for the 21st Century

The Book of Ecclesiastes may be the section of the Hebrew Bible most relevant to the way we experience the world today.

Why The Mishnah Is the Best Jewish Book You’ve Never Read

This almost 2,000-year-old text flies under the radar -- but it's immensely important to Jewish life.

How to Choose a Siddur, or Jewish Prayer Book

It helps to know what lies behind the muted bindings and the denominational labels of today's wide array of possibilities.