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Parshas Vayakhel – Pekudei

Making Tikun

In the opening verse, “Vayakhel Moshe – Moshe assembled,” Moshe gathers the entire congregation of the Jewish people. The word “Vayakhel” gives us pause. Usually the next text reads “Moshe spoke” or “Moshe commanded.” However, “Vayakhel” was the rallying cry calling the people to fashion the Golden Calf, and now the time had come to make tikun – to rectify that grievous wrong. The very same words that enticed the nation to sin are now used to summon them to perform the sacred task of constructing the Tabernacle.  Thus, the “Vayakhel” of the Tabernacle comes to make atonement for the “Vayakhel” of the Golden Calf; that is the essence of teshuvah – to convert our sins into mitzvos and to harness all our energies in the service of G-d. For example, if one was in the habit of speaking lashon hara and has an awakening – a moment of truth – he should not retreat in silence, but rather now use the very same energy with which he formerly maligned others to convey words of Torah, chesed, kindness, and blessing. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yis