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Parshat Vayakhel

The past parshiot, Terumah and Tetzaveh, talked about the instructions for how to build the Mishkan. But, this week’s parsha, parshat Vayakhel, discusses the actual building of it. The Menorah, made from solid gold, had a very specific blueprint for how it should be built and designed. Rashi explains that Hashem Himself melted the gold and the Menorah miraculously built itself with all of its intricate details, such as cups and flowers. Later, when it talks about the Aron, it explains that it consisted of a box of gold inside a box of wood and another box of gold. On top of it, sat a sculpture of two angel with faces of children, known as the Keruvim. There, it doesn't mention that it was made by itself even though it was also made of solid gold and needed to be hammered like the Menorah. They physically had to mold and sculpt it themselves. Why was the Menorah built by itself but the craftsmen had to sculpt the Keruvim?

The Keruvim had the faces of children. We learn that the miracle was that when Hashem was happy with Bnei Yisrael the faces faced each other and when He wasn't happy with them, they turned away from each other. This reflects the idea that it is our responsibility to teach our children; it cannot be done through a miracle. We have to put in the effort and do the carving. When it came to the Menorah, which reflects the light of Torah, Hashem helped. But the responsibility of children's' education can not happen by itself.

Shabbat Shalom!

By: Hadassah Reich (12th)

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