The Tabernacle and the community

Today’s “parasha” {פרשה} (weekly Torah portion) is “Va-yak’hel” {ויקהל} (and he assembled) – which is the tenth  “parasha” in the Book of Exodus and is found in Exodus 35:1–38:20.

The meaning of the Hebrew word ‘Va-yak’hel’ {ויקהל}  is ‘ and he assembled’ or ‘and he gathered’ as is written in the first verse of the “parasha”:

“Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do.” (Exodus 35:1)

The Hebrew root K-H-L {ק-ה-ל} which forms the word ‘yak’hel’ {יקהל} is also found in the following Hebrew words: ‘community’ and ‘congregation’ (‘Kehilah’ {קהילה}), ‘audience’ and ‘public’ (‘Kahal’ {קהל}) and even ‘ choir’ (‘Make’lah’ {מקהלה}).

One of the biblical interpretations pointed out the strong connection between the building of the Tabernacle – which EVERYONE took part in it – and the importance of a community.