Sitting in shul this Shabbat, you may get a sense of déjà vu.
Vayakhel and Pekudei are almost a complete repetition of Terumah and Tetzaveh. So much so, that Rashi hardly comments. He has already written about both the structures in the Mishkan in Terumah and the clothes of the Kohanim in Tetzaveh.
So, the obvious question is, why the need for the repetition?
The answer goes to the heart of what is happening over the next few days – let me explain.
Terumah and Tetzaveh are the vision of the mishkan.
As Hashem tells Moshe:
And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst. According to all that I show you, the pattern of the Mishkan and the pattern of all its vessels; and so shall you do. Shemot 25:8-9
This is what you will do, this is the goal, the potential.
Vayakhel and Pekudei report the actual building of the vision, turning the potential into actual.
That is why at the end of Pekudei we read:
He set up the courtyard all around the Mishkan and the altar, and he put up the screen at the entrance to the courtyard; and Moses completed the work. And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan.
Shemot 40 :33 -34
Hashem did not fill the Mishkan at the end of Tetzaveh. At that stage the Mishkan was still a dream, we knew what we had to do, we now had to do it.
It is not enough just to have a vision (Terumah/Tetzaveh). Our job is to transform the vision into reality (Vayakhel/Pekudei)
Seven years ago, we had a vision. Mizrachi UK was brought back to life to transform the UK community.
We had a vision to find the best and brightest of our university graduates, to sponsor them to go to Israel to be engaged in learning and the top leadership programmes of World Mizrachi, to then return to the UK as dynamic Modern Orthodox Rabbinic couples.
Seven years on we have four Rabbinic couples, Jack and Rivka Cohen in Mill Hill East, Luis and Jodie Herszaft in Hampstead Garden Suburb, Ben and Atira Baruch in Cambridge and Yossi and Channah Hambling in Birmingham – and many more to come.
Jonny Turgel and I had a vision, to create musical shows to educate and inspire about Jewish History, chagim and Israel.
Seven years on we have created five live shows including Dreams of Nation, Grief to Hope and Call of the Shofar which have been performed all over the UK and internationally. We, with the wonderful efforts of David Reuben have also produced nine films which have been viewed over 100,000 times on social media platforms.
In 2016 Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence held the first weekend of Inspiration at Kinloss with a couple of speakers from Israel and more on screen. We had a vision with him to vastly expand the offering to create a national weekend of learning – a weekend of Inspiration.
Seven years on the Weekend of Inspiration now has thirty five of the top educators in Israel coming to the UK to speak to over 3000 students in six schools on Friday, over 5000 people in sixty shuls on Shabbat and then nearly 1000 youth, students and adults at three day long conferences on Sunday in Kinloss, South Hampstead and Manchester. A total of 25 hrs of continuous learning between the three.
And finally, we had the vision to recreate the conveyor belt of leadership, to harness the collective talents of our 6th formers and students to inspire, uplift and connect to 1000’s of young Jews across the Jewish community.
A few years later we now have 236 leaders inspiring over 1000 children across our primary and secondary schools. Yehudi is all about positive Jewish experiences and has reimagined how informal education works shifting the dynamic back to peer led leadership. It is working with schools, shuls and youth movements to revolutionise the community.