Vol 1.32 - Vayakhel Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash-Shmot|
Par 1) "Moses assembled etc These are the things that the L-rd commanded to make etc Work may be done six days, but the seventh day must be holy to you, it is a Shabbos of Shabbos": "it was on the day following Yom Kippur"
The connection between all of these subjects; Dealing with livelihood in an outward manner.
Par 9) The connection between thirty-nine categories of work in the secular world with the work of the Mishkan
Work may be done for six days: The use of the passive voice (“work shall be done”) to describe weekday work teaches us that we must not invest all our energies in doing it; we should, so to speak, almost allow it to happen “by itself.”
In other words, notwithstanding the importance of our weekday work—especially if we are engaged in refining the world and making it into God’s home—we must not allow ourselves to let it inundate us and overtake our minds and hearts. Our work must not be allowed to encroach on our set times for prayer, Torah study, charitable pursuits, educating our children, and so forth.
If we devote all our energies to work, it will prove very difficult to divorce ourselves from it when the Sabbath comes—thoughts and worries of work will haunt us. But if we preserve a sense of balance throughout the week, we will be able to focus properly on the holiness of the Sabbath when it comes.
In this context, it is significant that this command was given immediately after Moses descended from Mount Sinai, after having secured God’s forgiveness for the incident of the Golden Calf. As we have seen,12 idolatry originates in the error of ascribing autonomy to the created beings God designated as the conduits for His beneficence. Work is one such conduit, which is why we are enjoined to work for our livelihood. But ascribing our sustenance solely to our own efforts is a subtle form of bowing down to an idol. It is God who blesses our efforts with success; our job is simply to make a vessel into which He can pour His blessings.
By taking care not to invest inordinate amounts of time, energy, and thought in weekday work, we ensure that we will not fall into the error of idolatry, even in a subtle form.13
This week we read two Torah portions, Vayakhel and Pekudei. In the beginning Vayakhel, Moshe relates G-d's command to the Jewish people: "Six days shall work be done, and the seventh day shall be holy, a Sabbath of rest to G-d."
In order to observe Shabbat properly, in accordance with G-d's command, the groundwork must first be laid by the six days of the work week: "Six days shall work be done."
Significantly, the commandment is not "Six days shall you do work." The verse does not instruct us to toil laboriously. "Six days shall work be done" - as if the work is being done by itself. You needn't exert undue effort or invest too much of your energy, the Torah tells us. Rather, your work will be accomplished with a minimal amount of exertion.
This is a special blessing which G-d has bestowed on the Jewish people. Our Sages state, "When Israel does the work of G-d when they serve Him properly, their work will be done by others." Not "Six days shall you do work," but "Six days shall work be done." Their work will already be completed.
This contains a lesson for every Jew to apply in their daily life. Yes, a Jew is obligated to work for a living, to provide for the members of his family, but only his most external powers and abilities should be invested toward this end.
It states in Psalms (128:2): "You shall eat the labor of your hands; happy shall you be, and it shall be good for you." When is it good for man? When only his "hands" are involved in his work; when his head and his heart, his thoughts and emotions, are reserved for higher matters: the study of Torah and the performance of mitzvot (commandments).
A Jew must never invest himself totally in his business affairs. For it is "the blessing of G-d that makes a man rich." A person's success is not determined by the amount of effort he puts into it. His efforts only create the vessel through which G-d bestows blessings. Thus a Jew must reserve his intellect and energy for spiritual matters, while his business must be viewed as if it is taking care of itself.
Approaching work in such a manner ensures that the Shabbat will be observed properly, that the Jew will be able to put aside his material concerns on the day of rest. If a Jew is overly preoccupied with his livelihood during the work week, his Shabbat will be disturbed by worry and anxiety: How can he earn more money? What should he buy and sell? On Shabbat he will find it difficult to disconnect from worldly matters. Thus "Six days shall work be done" is the most appropriate preparation for "the seventh day shall be holy."
In this manner all the days of the week will acquire a Shabbat-like quality, and the Shabbat itself will have an increased measure of holiness, as implied by the Torah's repetition, "Shabbat shabbaton - a Shabbat of rest."
http://www.lchaimweekly.org/lchaim/5769/1063.htm. Adapted for Maayan Chai from Likutei Sichot, vol. 1
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|