Thought of the Week: Vayakheil - 5779


When it comes to the observance of Shabbat, we are taught that there are 39 creative activities that are forbidden.  Interestingly, in Pareshat Vayakhel, when Moshe mentions to the nation the laws of Shabbat, he singles out "You shall kindle no fire throughout your settlements on the Sabbath day."

Some commentators note that since on Yom Tov one is permitted to cook with fire for the sake of Yom Tov food preparations, the Torah reminds us that no such allowance applies to the Shabbat.  Others state that Moshe is communicating a cautionary statement to the nation.

Shabbat is the day we gather as a community.  It is a time to connect to one another by talking and listening.  Nothing can be greater than a Kehillah coming together.  However, unfortunately, at times social gatherings create an opportunity to transmit and disseminate negative statements that can cause fights and strife within the community, known as Machloket.  Machloket is the force that destroys a community.  The Rabbis compare it to the force of fire that indeed consumes all when it is in motion.

Thus, the Torah is telling us that as we gather together on Shabbat, let us be careful not to kindle the fire of Machloket throughout our settlements.

Shabbat Shalom