The ancient sages teach us that the Torah is exceedingly careful with language. No phrase is superfluous. Each word or letter is part of the intricate unfolding mysteries concentrated in the Torah.
Some Torah portions lend themselves very easily to sermons. Yitro, which contains the giving of the Ten Commandments has lots of material about which to talk. Others are more challenging, like Tazria-Metzorah, which has extensive discussions about skin diseases, inflammations and rashes.
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." – Abraham Lincoln
>This is what happens in this week's parsha. In Parshat Pekuday, Moses gives the Israelites an accounting of how much gold, silver and copper
was contributed to build the mishkan (the Tabernacle that held the Ten Commandments).
A Portion of Parshat Vayakel-Pekuday
The personals sections in an Israeli newspaper contained the following ad:
"Jewish man seeks partner who will attend shul with him, light Shabbat candles, celebrate holidays, build sukkah together, and go with him to brit milah and bar mitzvah celebrations. Religion not important."
The absurdity, of course, makes us laugh, but the humorous story actually emphasizes an important message contained in this week's portion. The Torah underscores that not only is religion itself important, but our attitudes about it are crucial.