Text Only

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, 5761

Adar 28, 5761
March 23, 2001

Visit TruePeace.org
Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe


The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry in the Table of Contents and you will move to the information selected.



Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12


Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio) - Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos
[talks] which are relevant to the particular day.


We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this week's issue, we focus on Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh, the forth of four special Torah readings read in the synagogue on the Sabbaths before the month of Nissan--Shekolim, Zachor, Parah and HaChodesh.


This Tuesday, the 25th of Adar (March 20), marks the 100th year since the birth of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe's wife. On this day in 5748/1988, in connection with her 87th birthday (about a month after her passing, on 22 Shevat), the Rebbe spoke about the significance of birthdays and the importance of celebrating them in the traditional Jewish manner, which will be discussed, G-d willing, in our next issue.


Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing us to use their material.

Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb Mordechai Staiman, for his tireless efforts.


It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!

Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind

23 Adar, 5761
Brooklyn, New York

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei

In the first Torah portion we read this week, Vayakel, Moses gathered the Jews together and relayed G-d's command to build the Sanctuary, in the second Torah portion, Pekudei, lists Moses' accounts of the precious metals used to make the Sanctuary's vessels, and details how the offerings were made. Finally, it relates how these actions brought G-d's Divine Presence to rest in the Sanctuary.

Usually, when a person builds a new house, he waits until it has been completed to fill it with furniture and implements. The dedication of the Sanctuary, however, was done in the exact opposite manner. "And he placed the golden altar in the Sanctuary before the veil, and he burnt upon it the incense of spices... and he set up the court around the Sanctuary and the altar." The Sanctuary was not yet fully erected when Moses offered the incense on the golden altar.

The Sanctuary, G-d's dwelling place on earth, contained a holiness so great that it existed above and beyond the laws of nature. Its sanctity (and that of the Holy Temples that followed) is eternal, not subject to the concept of time, and continues today, though we no longer have a physical edifice in which to bring offerings. The unusual manner in which the Sanctuary was erected, therefore, reflected this.

The Torah's command, "And you shall make Me a dwelling place," applied not only to the Sanctuary, but includes the obligation to erect the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Moses' offering of incense on the golden altar dedicated not only the Sanctuary that traveled with the Jews in the desert, but the Temples that were yet to be built, including the Third Holy Temple when Moshiach comes.

According to Jewish law, offerings may be brought even in the absence of the Temple's physical structure if one knows the exact location of the altar. When Moses burnt the incense, before the Sanctuary was completely built, he caused a measure of holiness to be brought down into the world that is not dependent on physical limitations. This holiness is eternal and exists forever.

This holds particular relevance for our generation, the last generation of exile before the Messianic Era. No longer may we be satisfied with the measured norms of behavior that sufficed for previous generations; our times demand an extra measure of self-sacrifice on our part. Our service of G-d must therefore also breach all limitations, so that we may merit the ultimate and Final Redemption with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our day.


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"

The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.

Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.


51 years ago, on Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, 5710/1950, the Rebbe said the following:

"In the last series of Chasidic discourses that the [Previous] Rebbe wrote, he anticipated everything and hinted at everything. [According to the unauthenticated notes of a listener, the Rebbe said: "I search among the subjects explained in these discourses for the answers to all the questions beings asked."]...

"The [Previous] Rebbe says this of our present time--the final era before the Redemption, the era in which the task of separating the sparks of G-dliness in this world and returning them to their source comes to an end. As the Rebbe wrote, now is the era preceding the Redemption, and the mode of spiritual service now required is a mode of victory, with an unquestioning acceptance of the yoke of heaven.

"In order that victory be secured in the current battle, 'secret treasures, which have been locked away for generations,' have been squandered--i.e., all the teachings and episodes which the Rebbe revealed in recent times, and which had been hidden and sealed from generation to generation, until the generation of the Baal Shem Tov and his mentor.

"Because no one adequately took all these treasures to heart, their revelation is a veritable squandering, all for the sake of victory."

In another of his earliest talks, the Rebbe suggests that we pour over the latter talks of the Previous Rebbe from his final years in order to find guidance and our orders on how to proceed.

Jewish teachings explain that when a great Sage makes a statement about another great teacher he is, in reality, saying the same about himself. Thus, we must take the Rebbe's advice and pour over his most recent teachings, those from the years of 5750, 5751 and 5752 (1990-1992). In these most recent talks, the Rebbe's declaration that "The time of our Redemption has arrived," shows clearly that we have entered a new stage in the pre-Redemption era. And the Rebbe's instructions to publicize this and other statements and messages are also contained in these talks.

May we very soon no longer have to review the Rebbe's talks, but hear Torah from the Rebbe himself.


This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevorchim, the Shabbat before the new Jewish month. Literally translated, it means a Shabbat in which we bless the upcoming Jewish month. This Shabbat Mevorchim is special because it is the Shabbat before the month of Nissan, which is often referred to as "the month of Redemption."

On the surface, calling Nissan the month of Redemption is explained by the fact that Nissan is the month in which we celebrate Passover,(1) the holiday that commemorates the Jews' redemption from Egyptian slavery. But the month of Nissan is also connected to the Final Redemption, as our Sages say, "In Nissan, our people were redeemed, and in Nissan, they will be redeemed in the future."

This Shabbat represents the transition from the month of Adar to the month of Nissan. Both months contain within them commemorations of miraculous events. In Adar we celebrate the downfall of Haman and the victory of the Jewish people, and in Nissan we celebrate our freedom from slavery.

The difference between the events is that the miracles of Purim occurred within the natural order of the world, while the miracles of Passover transcended the natural order. The story of Purim can be traced through a natural sequence of events. But by cloaking miracles in the natural order of the world, we are actually elevating the natural order.

That is our true purpose on this earth, to elevate the physical to the spiritual and have G-dliness revealed on this plane.

Another concept that the two months have in common is redemption. Adar celebrates redemption from Haman's wicked decree, and Nissan celebrates the redemption from Egypt. Shabbat is also a kind of redemption, a weekly redemption from mundane cares and worries to a place of light, joy, song and Torah-study.

May all of these redemption's be stepping-stones to our complete, final, and ultimate Redemption, the coming of Moshiach.


1. This year, Passover begins on Saturday night, April 7. Ed.


This Shabbat is one of the four special Shabbats preceding the Yom Tov of Pesach. It is called Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh. We read a special Torah portion from the book of Exodus which states: "This month shall be the head month for you. It shall be the first month of the year."

Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh always falls either on the Sabbath when we bless the month of Nissan or on the first day of Nissan itself.

The month of Nissan is special in that it is a month of miracles--not the everyday miracles of human existence, or hidden miracles such as those that took place on Purim. But, rather, Nissan contains revealed miracles that are higher than nature itself.

With the command that the month of Nissan, a month of revealed miracles, be designated as the first and "head" of the months, the Torah emphasizes that in all the months of the year, whether we see open miracles, miracles in the cloak of natural events, unusual success or a seemingly unchangeable cycle of nature, we must realize that G-d is the Creator of the Universe, the sole Master of the world, who directs and cares about even the smallest detail of the world and each individual person.

If each and everyone of us would sit down for only a brief few moments and pay close attention to what has happened to us personally, we will detect minor and major miracles that happen in our personal lives.

Many times we are just too busy to stop for a moment and take stock of what has happened. But we shouldn't pass it off as another "natural" happening. It is a miracle of G-d, whether it has occurred in the month of miracles, or in an average day.


The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present from the Rebbe's talks suggestions what we can do to complete his work of bringing the Redemption.

Make Others Happy:

As we are in the midst of the 30 days of happiness comprised of the month of Adar, we should endeavor to make others happy.

The Rebbe explained, "We should proceed to spread joy and happiness in the most literal sense, making efforts to assure that the members of one's household and similarly, all of those with whom one comes in contact, experience great joy. And this will lead to the ultimate joy, the coming of the Redemption. May it take place in the immediate future."


Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat Candles

For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
or: http://www.candlelightingtimes.org/shabbos

For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.

For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).

Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ

Friday, March 23, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 5:51 p.m.

Saturday, March 24, Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei:

  • Parshat HaChodesh
  • Blessing of the New Month, Nissan.(3)
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:53 p.m.


2. The Shabbat candles must be lit 18 minutes before sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat to light the candles after sunset.

3. Rosh Chodesh Nissan is on Sunday, March 25.

Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind

Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing

"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.

Back to "Living With Moshiach" Home Page