Adar I 29, 5776 · March 9, 2016
Vayakhel Aliya Summary
General Overview: In this week's portion, Vayakhel, Moses gathers the Jews and relays to them all the details regarding the construction of the Tabernacle and its vessels. The actual construction is also described. This portion repeats many of the details described in the portion of Terumah, wherein G‑d instructed Moses how the Tabernacle and its vessels were to be constructed.
First Aliyah: On the day after Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Second Tablets, after successfully securing atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, he gathered all the Jewish people. The primary purpose of this assembly was to inform the Jews of G‑d's desire for a Sanctuary to be constructed. He began, however, with a brief reminder regarding the observance of the Shabbat. This was followed by a description of the materials needed to construct the Tabernacle, and a list of the vessels, Tabernacle parts, and priestly garments which were to be produced.
Second Aliyah: The men and women came forward and generously donated all the materials which Moses enumerated.
Third Aliyah: Moses announces G‑d's choice of Bezalel and Oholiab to serve as foremen of the Tabernacle construction project, and he transfers to them all the donated materials. The people, however, continued donating generously, until the craftspeople report to Moses that they have more than enough materials to complete their task, causing Moses to issue a proclamation requesting everyone to cease donating materials.
Fourth Aliyah: The craftspeople began their work. In this aliyah, the tapestries which covered the Tabernacle were assembled.
Fifth Aliyah: The construction continued. In this aliyah, the craftspeople construct the Tabernacle wall panels, their sockets, the curtains which covered the entrance to the sanctuary and which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary, the Ark, and the Showbread Table.
Sixth Aliyah: This aliyah describes the construction of the menorah (candelabra) and the Incense Altar. The anointing oil and the incense are also prepared.
Seventh Aliyah: The Tabernacle's construction is capped off with the construction of the Outer Altar, the copper wash stand, the mesh curtains which surrounded the Tabernacle courtyard, and the beams and hooks which anchored them.