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Shabbos and Bringing G-d into the World

Letters and Numbers of Torah - Vayakhel

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Shabbos and Bringing G-d into the World: Letters and Numbers of Torah - Vayakhel

In the beginning of this week's portion, Moses gathers the Jews together and tells them (Exodus 35:1): "These are the things that G-d commands to do." In this verse, the word "to do" (la'asot) is missing the letter vav. How does our labor during the work week "fill in" this missing vav?
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Dwelling for G-d in the Physical World, Prohibition of Work on Shabbat, Shabbat, Parshah, Vayak'hel

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Sherri Brooklyn March 8, 2013

Dear Rabbi Raskin. I never thought about speech as a "labor," but of course, as you pointed out, from Hashem's perspective it is. Thankfully, it is a labor we are permitted to do on shabbos! Reply

Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin Brooklyn, NY March 23, 2012


First and foremost being the people of the book,we need to follow the book. The book being the code of Jewish law. In that book it states that on Shabbos we cannot drive a car etc. to the synagogue. Only in the holy temple when it stood (may it be rebuilt speedily-amen) were we able to do certain thing on the Shabbos.

However, even in synagogues which are called miniature holy temples, we may not violate the law.

You write that you are alone on Shabbos, I suggest that you contact your local Chabad house and ask them to find you a place to stay for Shabbos.

And by the way you are never alone; we the Jewish people know that we are never alone. Wherever we are, G-d is there too! Reply

shlomo woodridge, il March 22, 2012

it is a journey go to shul Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA March 15, 2012

Dear Rabbi Raskin,
If we can do the labor on the Shabbat for the sake of G-d, why then can we not go to the shul on Shabbat? I want to go to the shul on Shabbat. That is the only day I can be around my brethren. Usually I am very alone where I live. There is a Chabad center 9 miles from where I live, and there is another that is 4.5 miles from where I live. What would you suggest? I am a woman who is alone in this state of Arizona. No family, and also no Jewish friends. Would traveling this far be a sin? Thank you for you kind response. Reply

Rabbi Raskin looks at the hidden meanings of the sizes and numerical values (gematria) of the Hebrew letters in the weekly Torah portion.