This week's Parshah continues the theme from the previous Parsha in describing our ancestors' enthusiasm for building the Mishkan (tabernacle) and their exacting commitment to its great detail. After transmitting G‑d's detailed instructions for building the Mishkan the Torah could have simply concluded with the words Vayasu ken, "and so they did." Instead, it describes how the Mishkan was actually made, repeating all the details. Why does the Torah do this when it is usually so economical with its words?

Every teacher strives not only to transmit his lesson but also to spark the student's curiosity, to engender within him a desire to follow the instruction. The Torah is no different. Torah is a book of instruction. Thus it endeavors to inculcate within us, its students, affection for its tradition.

It is not enough for us to learn the letter of its law — it is imperative that we also develop an appetite for its spirit. Torah wants to nurture within us a thirst for its information, a hunger for its heritage, a yearning for its compelling atmosphere and an appreciation for its sanctity.

Thus, the Torah dedicates two full portions to describe the atmosphere of yesteryear. To give us a feel for the ambiance that prevailed in the home of our ancestors, to convey their enthusiasm for the Torah and their adherence to its laws. To teach us not only that they obeyed G‑d’s commandments but also why. Why they found it so compelling.

I have talked to many Jewish adults who remember their Talmud Torah years. Those youthful memories are often unpleasant. Teachers frequently used the stick more than the carrot. They were taught to study the Torah but not to love it. It was assumed that with time they would develop this love on their own but for many that expectation fell short; their parents and teachers failed them.

When we set out to teach our children let us remember that commitment is not enough; we must also aspire for conviction.