Parshas Vayakhel

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Vayakhel

Rishon

Chapter 35

1. Moshe assembled the entire community of the children of Israel. He said to them, “These are the things that Hashem has commanded you to do them:

2. (On) six days you may do work and on the seventh day it will be to you a Sabbath of complete rest[1] before Hashem; anyone who does work on it shall be executed.[2]

3. You shall not ignite fire in all your settlements on the Sabbath day.”

4. Moshe said to the entire community of the children of Israel, “This is the thing that Hashem has commanded, saying:

5. Take from among you a gift before Hashem. Everyone whose heart motivates him shall bring it – a gift before Hashem: gold, silver and copper;

6. blue, purple and crimson dyed wool, fine linen and goat hair;

7. reddened ram skins, multicolored skins,[3] and acacia wood;

8. oil for lighting, and spices for the elevation oil and for the spice incense;

9. beryl[4] and whole stones,[5] to insert into the apron and the breastplate.

10. Let all wise-hearted (people)[6] among you come and make all that Hashem commanded:

11. the Tabernacle, its tent and its cover, its clasps and its boards, its bars, its posts and its sockets;

12. the ark and its poles, the cover, and the curtain for the drape;

13. the table and its poles and all its utensils, and the showbread;

14. the menorah for lighting, its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for lighting;

15. the spice incense altar and its poles; the anointing oil and the spice incense; and the entrance screen for the entrance of the Tabernacle;

16. the burnt-offering altar, its copper grating, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand;

17. the curtains of the courtyard, its posts and its sockets, and the screen for the gate of the courtyard;

18. the pegs of the Tabernacle, and the pegs of the courtyard, and their cords;

19. the service[7] garments for officiating in the sanctuary, the holy garments of Aharon the priest and the garments of his sons for ministering.”

20. The entire community of the children of Israel departed from before Moshe.

Sheini

21. Every person who heart raised him came and everyone whose spirit perfected[8] him brought a gift to Hashem for the work of the Tent of Meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.

22. The men and the women brought;[9] all whose hearts motivated them brought anklets,[10] bracelets,[11] rings, and body jewelry[12] – all gold utensils – and every man who waved a wave offering of gold before Hashem.

23. And every man with whom there was found with him blue, purple and crimson dyed wool, fine linen, goat hair, reddened ram skins and multicolored skins brought them.

24. Everyone who raised an elevation[13] of silver and copper brought (them) as a gifts before Hashem, and all with whom there was found acacia wood for all work of the service brought (it).

25. And all wise-hearted women spun with her hands and brought, when spun, blue, purple and crimson dyed wool and fine linen.

26. And all the women whose hearts moved with them in wisdom spun the goat hair.

27. And the princes brought beryl and whole stones to insert in the apron and in the breastplate,

28. and the spices and the oil for lighting, and for the elevation oil, and for the spice incense.

29. Every man and woman whose hearts desired with them to bring (something) for all the work that Hashem commanded through Moshe’s hand to do, the children of Israel brought as a freewill offering[14] before Hashem.

Shlishi (Sheini)

30. Moshe said to the children of Israel, “See, Hashem has elevated by name Betzalel, son of Uri son of Chur, of the tribe of Yehuda.

31. He perfected him with a spirit from before Hashem in wisdom, understanding and knowledge, and in every work,

32. master weaving, to make in gold, in silver and in copper,

33. the craftsmanship of whole precious stones and carpentry with wood – to perform every work of craftsmanship,[15]

34. and to give teach, it was placed in his heart – he and Oholiav, son of Achisamach, of the tribe of Dan.

35. He perfected them with wisdom of the heart to do every work – carver, and craftsman, and designer[16] in blue, purple and crimson dyed wool and in fine linen, and weaver – performing all work and teaching craftsmanship.”[17]

Chapter 36

1. Betzalel and Oholiav and every man of wise heart into whom Hashem placed wisdom and understanding to know (how) to make, made[18] all the work of the holy service[19] for all that Hashem commanded.

2. Moshe called to Betzalel and to Oholiav, and to every man of wise heart into whose heart Hashem placed wisdom, all whose heart desired to approach the work to perform it.

3. They took from before Moshe all the gift(s) that the children of Israel brought, for the work of the holy service, to perform it. And they brought to them further gift(s) each morning.[20]

4. All the wise men, who were performing the holy work, came, each from his work that they were performing,

5. and they said to Moshe, saying, “The people are increasing to bring (more) than necessary for the service of the work that Hashem commanded to perform it.”

6. Moshe commanded, and they announced[21] in the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman make further work gifts for the holy gift!” The people ceased bringing.

7. The work was sufficient[22] for all the work, to perform it and more.

Revii

8. All the wise-hearted of those performing the work made the tabernacle – ten curtains of twisted fine linen and blue, purple and crimson dyed wool. He made for them cherubim, a work of embroidery.

9. The length of each curtain was 28 cubits and the width four cubits for each curtain – one measure for all the curtains.

10. He attached five of the curtains one to the next,[23] and five curtains he attached one to the next.

11. He made loops of blue wool on the edge of one curtain on the end of the attaching place;[24] he did likewise on the edge of the end curtain of the second attaching place.

12. He made 50 loops on the one curtain and he made 50 loops on the edge of the end curtain that was in the second attaching place, the loops corresponded one opposite one.

13. He made 50 gold clasps and attached the curtains to one to the other with the clasps, and the tabernacle became one.

14. He made curtains of goat hair for a tent over the tabernacle; eleven curtains he made them.

15. The length of each curtain was 30 cubits, and four cubits the width of each curtain, – one measure for the eleven curtains.

16. He attached five of the curtains alone, and six curtains alone.

17. He made 50 loops on the edge of the curtain on the end of the attaching place, and he made 50 loops on the edge of the curtain of the other attaching place.

18. He made 50 copper clasps to fasten the tent to become one.

19. He made a cover for the tent of reddened ram skins, and a cover of multicolored skins above.

Chamishi

20. He made the boards for the Tabernacle of acacia wood, standing.

21. The length of the board was ten cubits; a cubit and a half was the width of each board.

22. Each board had two pegs, rung-like one opposite the other; so he made for all boards of the Tabernacle.

23. He made the boards for the Tabernacle – 20 boards for the south side

24. and he made 40 silver sockets under the 20 boards, two sockets under one board for its two pegs and two sockets under the next[25] board for its two pegs.

25. And for the second side of the Tabernacle, for the north side, he made 20 boards

26. and their 40 silver sockets, two sockets under one board and two sockets under the next board.

27. And for the back of the Tabernacle, to the west, he made six boards

28. and he made two boards for the corners of the Tabernacle in their back.

29. They matched[26] below and they matched together on top into one ring; so he did with both of them for the two corners.

30. There were eight boards and their 16 silver sockets – two sockets, two sockets (each) under one board.

31. He made bars of acacia wood, five for the boards of the one side of the Tabernacle,

32. five bars for the boards of the second side of the Tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the Tabernacle on their back, to the west.

33. He made the middle bar to run inside the boards from end to end.

34. He overlaid the boards with gold, and their rings he made of gold, as a place[27] for the bars, and he overlaid the bars with gold.

35. He made the drape of blue, purple and crimson dyed wool and twisted fine linen, the work of a craftsman he made it – the form of cherubim.[28]

36. He made for it four acacia pillars and overlaid them with gold, their hooks of gold, and he cast four silver sockets for them.

37. He made the screen for the entrance of the tent of blue, purple and crimson dyed wool and twisted fine linen, work of a designer,

38. and its five pillars and their hooks. They overlaid their tops and their bands with gold, and their five sockets were of copper.

Chapter 37

1. Betzalel made the ark of acacia wood, its length two and a half cubits, its width a cubit and a half, and its height a cubit and a half.

2. He overlaid it with pure gold inside and out and he made for it a gold rim all around.

3. He cast for it four gold rings on its four corners, two rings on one side and two rings on the second side.

4. He made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold,

5. and he brought the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.

6. He made a cover of pure gold – its length two and a half cubits and its width a cubit and a half.

7. He made two cherubim of gold; of beaten work he made them, from the two ends of the cover,

8. one cherub at one end from this end and one cherub from this end. He made the cherubim from the cover from its two ends.

9. The cherubim were spreading their wings above, covering the cover with their wings. Their faces were one to the other;[29] the faces of the cherubim were towards the cover.

10. He made the table of acacia wood, its length was two cubits, its width one cubit, and its height a cubit and a half.

11. He overlaid it with pure gold and he made a gold crown around it.

12. He made a frame of a handbreadth all around, and he made a gold crown for its frame all around.

13. He cast for it four gold rings and placed the rings on four corners that were at its four legs.

14. The rings were opposite the frame, a place for the poles to carry the table.

15. He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold to carry the table.

16. He made the utensils that were on the table – its plates, spoons, tubes, and jugs that were poured with them, of pure gold.

Shishi (Shlishi)

17. He made the menorah of pure gold. He made the menorah of beaten work; its base and its shaft, its cups, its knobs and its flowers were of it.[30]

18. Six branches went out from its sides – three branches of the menorah on one side and three branches of the menorah on the second side.

19. There were three decorative cups[31] on one branch, a knob and a flower, and three decorative cups on the next[32] branch, a knob and a flower – thus for the six branches that came out from the menorah.

20. And on the menorah, four decorative cups, its knobs and its flowers –

21. a knob under two branches of it, a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, for the six branches that came out from it.

22. Their knobs and their branches were of it,[33] one beaten (piece) of pure gold.

23. He made its seven lamps, its tongs and its fire pans of pure gold.

24. (From) a talent of pure gold he made it and all its utensils.

25. He made the spice incense altar of acacia wood, its length a cubit and its width a cubit wide – square – and its height two cubits. Its horns were of it.

26. He overlaid it with pure gold: its roof, its sides all around and its horns. He made for it a gold crown all around.

27. He made two gold rings for it under its crown on its two corners,[34] on its two sides, as a place for the poles to carry it with them.

28. He made the poles of acacia wood and he overlaid them with gold.

29. He made the holy anointing oil and the pure spice incense, a work of a perfumery.[35]

Chapter 38

Shevii (Revii)

1. He made the burnt-offering altar of acacia wood, its length five cubits and its width five cubits – square – and its height three cubits.

2. He made its horns on its four corners, its horns were of it and he overlaid it with copper.

3. He made all the utensils of the altar – the pails, and the shovels, and the basins, and the flesh hooks, and the fire pans – all its utensils he made of copper.

4. He made for the altar a grating of copper meshwork, under its ledge below until its center.

5. He cast four rings on the four corners of the copper grating, a place for the poles.

6. He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with copper,

7. and he brought the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar to carry it with them. He made it hollow, of boards.

8. He made the basin of copper and its stand of copper, from the mirrors of the legion of women who came to pray[36] at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

9. He made the courtyard. On the south side, the hangings of the courtyard, 100 cubits of twisted fine linen

10. their 20 pillars and their 20 copper sockets, the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

11. On the north side, 100 cubits, their 20 pillars and their 20 copper sockets, the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

12. On the west side, 50 cubits of hangings, their ten pillars and their ten sockets, the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

13. And on the front side, to the east, 50 cubits –

14. hangings 15 cubits on the side,[37] their three posts and their three sockets,

15. and on the second side, from this (side) and from this (side) of the gate of the courtyard, 15 cubits of hangings, their three pillars and their three sockets.

16. All the hangings of the courtyard all around were of twisted fine linen.

17. The sockets for the pillars were copper, the hooks of the pillars and their bands were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver. And they were banded with silver, all the pillars of the courtyard.

18. The screen of the courtyard’s gate of the enclosure was the work of a designer – blue, purple and crimson dyed wool and twisted fine linen, and 20 cubits long. And its height in width was five cubits, just like the hangings of the courtyard.

19. Their pillars were four and their sockets four, copper, their hooks silver and the overlay of their tops and their bands silver.

20. All the pegs of the Tabernacle and of the courtyard all around were copper.

[1] “A Sabbath of Sabbaths.”

[2] As opposed to “die.”

[3] See note on Shemos 25:5.

[4] Rather than lapis lazuli – both blue stones.

[5] As opposed to “stones for setting.”

[6] Onkelos changes the adjective from singular to plural; the noun is understood.

[7] Rather than “mesh.”

[8] Rather than “motivated.”

[9] Rather than “came.”

[10] Rather than “bracelets.”

[11] Rather than “earrings” or “noserings.”

[12] Presumably worn like a chastity belt.

[13] As opposed to “set aside a gift.”

[14] Or, a gift.

[15] Chumash: “thoughtful craft.”

[16] As opposed to “embroiderer.”

[17] Rather than “master weavers.”

[18] Onkelos renders this verb in the past tense rather than in the imperative.

[19] Or, “the Sanctuary service.”

[20] Literally, “in the morning, in the morning.”

[21] Literally, “they passed a voice.”

[22] Onkelos ignores the Hebrew suffix meaning “for them.”

[23] Literally, “one to one.”

[24] Rather than “grouping.”

[25] Literally, “one.”

[26] As opposed to “were twins.”

[27] Rather than “housings” (literally, houses).

[28] As opposed to “(of) embroidered work he made cherubim for it.”

[29] Literally, “a man towards his brother.”

[30] i.e., of one piece of gold with it.

[31] Possibly almond-shaped.

[32] Literally, one.

[33] Again, of one piece with it.

[34] Literally, ribs.

[35] Rather than “the work of a perfumer.”

[36] Rather than “gathered.”

[37] Chumash: “shoulder.”

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz