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Parshah Columnists

Guest Columnists
Seeing the Forest Through the Trees
Life Lessons From the Parshah - Vayakhel
From Nice to Nasty and Back
The person you shared coffee with in the morning is now competition, and you’ll cut him down at the first opportunity.
Stop Thinking and Start Doing
Sometimes, it’s time to put the self-help books aside and jump into the action.
A Blueprint for Healing
Parshat Vayakhel
To be whole is to be holy, to keep what is eternally true at the center of your world and the core of your being. But it ain’t easy.
Just Do It
The keys to the success of any significant project are capability and motivation. Potential + perseverance = success. Now between the two, which is primary?
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Parshat Vayakhel
What others think of us is relevant only if it reflects what we stand for and the way we honor their dignity. The secret is that we attain the favor of others precisely when we free ourselves of kowtowing to public opinion . . .
The Blessing of Shabbat
Our Contributions Matter
Neither family background nor social status influence G‑d.
Torah Insights
Window or Mirror
The mirror does not completely obstruct the light, as do other objects. Instead, it reflects the light that shines upon it. It symbolizes how the creation itself can reflect and express the Divine light.
Weekly Sermonette
The Day After
What happens after the honeymoon? Or the first anniversary? Do we have the commitment and the staying power to be in for the long haul?
Braveheart or Wiseheart?
"Wise-hearted" sounds contradictory. Wisdom is a faculty of the mind, but the heart is the seat of our emotions.
Life's Passages
Time to Be More Inclusive!
Vayakhel
Whether we consider ourselves low or high, righteous or wicked, someone with limited abilities or someone super talented, we are all needed.
Parshah Musings
Cedars
As the fires of assimilation threaten, and the harsh winds of history blow towards us, there is a danger that we may mistakenly leave Judaism behind in exchange for a carload of worthless junk.
Patronizing
What matters in life is not who you are, or to which gender you belong, but what you can contribute to the common cause. You have a specialized skill? Then utilize your ability to bring beauty and greatness to the world.
Halt!
Building the mishkan was the most holy and intricate task that the Jews were assigned during their sojourn in the desert. Nonetheless, every Friday night all work on this magnificent edifice would come to a grinding halt
Let It Be Done
The Torah states "work shall be done" -- the passive voice. Becoming so totally devoted to one's job, such that one's work is one's total preoccupation and obsession, is totally unhealthy and an affront to the divine system. You may have to work, but let it be done
Raising Funds and Children
Men, women and children all lined up to contribute to the cause. One would hardly imagine that the children's gift made much of a difference to a project as grand as that of the Tabernacle...
Inner Stream
The Temple of Our Home
Each of the five primary components of the Temple service has a counterpart in our homes and in our hearts.
The Inside-Out House
Betzalel, the prototype architect, objected to the order. "A person first builds a residence," he argued, "and then makes its furniture..."
Celestial Real Estate
The Midrash teaches that as Moses erected the sanctuary in this world, angels in heaven raised a parallel sanctuary
The Jewish Mother: Wisdom of the Heart
Where did these Jewish mothers find the courage? I don't know because I'm not one of them, but ask your mother and I'm sure she'll gladly tell you. When a need arises, the Jewish mother simply responds.
Unity and Monetary Purpose
Moses knew that the single most potent barrier to unity is money and therefore addressed this barrier before all others.
The Vanguard
The Jewish Woman
The secret of the Jewish woman is bound up with the secret of our survival.
Reflections on the Parshah
The Antidote
Moses' first act after receiving Divine pardon for the Golden Calf sin was to gather the Israeites and speak to them regading the observance of the Shabbat. Couldn't Moses have found something more ennobling to tell them at that moment?
Wise Emotions
The people who constructed the Tabernacle are described as being "wise-in-heart." Is not wisdom the domain of the brain?
Parshah Moment
My Grandma's Selective Memory
She built in America what architects of the land said could not be supported. But then, looking at blueprints, it can be hard to see passion.
Parshah Blog
Kindling Fire on the Sabbath
Given that the air conditioner, the CD player and elevator don't require "work," and certainly weren't considered as "fire kindling" by Moses, why does barring them make any sense today?
Living through the Parshah
Creativity Without Bounds
Creative self-expression is euphoric. But in Jewish thought, the expression of one’s talents is seen as something more—each soul has a unique mission as an agent of G‑d. The women who traveled with Moses in the desert had keen soul-awareness . . .
What the Rebbe Taught Me
The Princess and the Maidservant
Building the Tabernacle, G-d’s terrestrial residence, must have been a most sought-after contract. What was it about Bezalel and Oholiab that caused them to land this coveted assignment?
What Do You Think?
The Week-Long Shabbat
Moses was not (only) telling the Jewish nation how to observe the Sabbath, rather he was teaching them how observe Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Who Was Oholiab?
The Vice-Architect of the Tabernacle
The chief architect was Bezalel, and he was helped by many wise-hearted people. But only one of his helpers gets a special mention: Oholiab.
Torah for Now
Wise of Heart
Why does Moses issue a call for the “wise of heart”? Is this not a contradiction in terms? After all, wisdom is in the mind, while emotions are in the heart!
For Friday Night
Gathering Together
A Thought for the Week
How Is The Money Spent?
Parshah Parenting
Look Out for Those Pegs!
Vayakhel-Pekudei
Building your child’s character requires focusing on the “big” issues; but it also means not neglecting the “minor pegs” grounding his values.
Comment
A Gathering with the Rebbe
You can't build a lasting building out of half-baked bricks. You can't assemble an accurate timepiece unless each of its gears, springs and balance wheels has first been honed to precision. But people, says the Lubavitcher Rebbe, are not bricks
The 40th Labor
What is “work”? If life is synonymous with creativity, is Shabbat a time outside life? What is the deeper significance of the curious Talmudic phrase, “forty labors minus one”?
Parshah Recovery
As a Result of these Steps
The "spiritual awakening" that is the objective and culmination of our working the Steps has been described as heaven on earth.
Covenant & Conversation
Three Types of Community
A shattered people must be rebuilt. How does Moses proceed?
Team Building
Hostile factions can become a single cohesive group so long as they are faced with a shared challenge that all can achieve together but none can do alone.
Beyond Speech
We All Build a Home for G-d
We are here for a reason: to fashion this world into a dwelling place for G‑d.
On the Haftarah: Jachin and Boaz, Built by Hiram for Solomon's Temple
From the Teachings of the Rebbe
Jachin and Boaz were the great pillars of copper that were at the entrance of the Holy Temple.
Everyone Is Important
In parshat Vayakhel, we read how everyone gave donations for the construction of the Mishkan and its vessels, garments, etc.
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