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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This week is Shabbat Para.
It is also Shabbat Mevarchim Rosh Chodesh Nissan which will be next Shabbat.

Chazak, Chazak Venischazake,
My mother baked a Parsha cake.
What is a Parsha cake you ask?
This sounds like it is a hard task.
It’s not too difficult you’ll see,
It’s fun for your whole family.
Friends and neighbors will be in awe,
It’s something that they never saw.
They’ll ask you when you learned to bake,
You’ll tell them it’s a “piece of cake”.
With activities you'll be able,
To learn Parsha at the Shabbat table.
Every week so much you will learn,
And all your neighbors will return.
Parsha activities are so unique,
You’ll be excited for next week…….


·  At the beginning of the parasha, Bnei Yisrael are once again commanded to keep the mitzvah of Shabbat, and are forbidden to light fires on Shabbat.

·  In parashat Vaykhel, all the commandments about the Mishkan are executed. The Torah details the articles that were donated to the building of the Mishkan by Bnei Yisrael.
·  Betzalel ben Ori is made in charge of collecting and designing the vessels of the Mishkan and Ohaliav ben Achisamach is his assistant.
Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other.
( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat and bat (daughter...) and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL ABBA ad meah veesrim!  Thank you for learning with me every week!  That is why I continue this blog!  I love learning with you.

This week's  parshah of VAYAKHEL starts by saying: "And Moshe gathered together all the Community of Israel." (Exodus 35:1). According to Rashi, Moshe gathered all of the Community  the day following Yom Kippur, when Hashem had forgiven Bnei Yisrael for the sin of the golden calf.  He gathered everyone to charge them with the building of the Tabernacle.
This gathering consisted of all of Bnei Yisrael , the entire community. The Olelos Efraim sees a homiletical lesson in the assembly of the people on the day after Yom Kippur.
It is not enough to be forgiven on Yom Kippur itself, we must be able to carry this for the entire year.
The pasuk continues and says: "These are the things that Hashem commanded to do them".  Hashem commanded the Bnei Yisrael to have achdut amongst each other.  Wake up Bnei Yisrael- where is the Achdut???

Thought of the week:
The Torah tells us that every man and woman who wanted to contribute towards the building of the Mishkan, brought their contribution as an offering to Hashem. The Alshich notes that the Torah uses the word "every" to make an important point. The Torah wants to teach us that Hashem was equally pleased with the small contributions of the poor as he was pleased with the large contributions of the wealthy. To Hashem, the most important aspect of giving was not the amount, but rather the purity of the donator's intent.

There are many Jews who give tzedaka generously but who nonetheless feel that their mitzvah is not as significant to Hashem as the large donations of their wealthy neighbors. The Torah here teaches us that we can all equally rejoice in our mitzvah, because to Hashem, it is the intent rather than the amount that is important.

·        This week the Parsha talks about Bnei Yisrael contributing their time and talents.  Discuss with your kids what they are talented in.  If your child is musical, maybe arrange going to a nursing home or hospital.  If they are good with kids they might be able to help out a mother in need.  Be creative with your kids.  Every child has strong qualities.

·        This weeks parsha talks about cooperation and working together.  The game Jenga is a lot of fun.  Jenga consists of 54 wooden rectangular pieces. You layer 3 rectangular pieces on the first row and then 3 more rectangular pieces in the opposite direction on top of that.  You continue until you finish using all the pieces.  Each player in turn pulls out a piece without knocking the tower over.  This focuses on concentration and working together.  Talk about cooperation.

·        Put a puzzle together.  Talk about how details are important and trying to fit everything together to get the whole picture.  Discuss this with this week’s parsha with building of the mishkan and everything had to be complete.


What you will need:
1. All kinds of candy that you have in your house.
2. Serving plate with dividers.
· These candies represent all the contributions that the Bnei Yisrael contributed towards the mishkan.  I particularly love this dessert because this Parsha falls out between Purim and Pesach and is a great way to get rid of leftover candy!


·  The parasha begins with an even more detailed description of the materials that dedicated to build it.

·  The garments of the Kohanim (bigdei Kehuna) are made: first the Ephod and the Choshen, then the shirts, hats, pants, belts and finally the tzitz.

·  When everything is done, the vessels are brought to Moshe. Hashem then commands Moshe to build the Mishkan, put all the vessels in their place and anoint them with the oil of anointment. Moshe finishes putting the Mishkan together on the first day of Nissan, in the second year of yetziat mitzrayim. After the Mishkan is done, the ananei hakavod (Hashem's glory) rest over the Mishkan.  

Thought of the week:
The Gemara in Brachot tells us that Torah is one of four activities that require chizuk. According to Rashi, this means that success in these activities requires a person to constantly channel all of his energy into them. This important message is reinforced by our minhag of saying Chazak Chazak Venitchazek when we finish reading each of the five Seforim in the Torah.

After completing a task, the natural tendency for a person is to want to move on to new frontiers and challenges. While it is important for a person to cover new ground in the Torah, it is also critical to review what was already learned. Regarding the learning of Torah, the Gemara in Chagiga teaches us that you can’t compare a person who learned something one hundred times to a person who learned it one hundred and one times. The Gemara in Sanhedrin teaches us that a person who learns and doesn’t review is like someone who plants but does not harvest. Each time we review something in the Torah, not only do we commit it more to memory, but we very often uncover something new and exciting that we never noticed before.

·        You need a bar of chocolate, knife and forks, a dice, and a bag with items of clothing that the kohen needed to wear. The first person rolls the die followed by each person in turn. When someone rolls a six he then opens the bag of clothing are and starts putting them on. Once he is completely dressed he can then start trying to eat the bar of chocolate, with the knife and fork of course, cutting one square at a time. While this is happening, the next player continues rolling the die until someone else throws a six.  The person who is eating the chocolate has to stop and get undressed while the next person tries to get dressed and start eating the chocolate etc... The game obviously ends once the chocolate has been eaten.

·        Count out and fill a glass jar with gold, silver and copper candy. Each child should try to guess how many candies are in the jar. The child with the closest guess is the winner of the candy.

·        Go around and collect items on a tray. Lay them all out and pass the tray around. Remove the tray and have everyone list what was on tray. The one that lists the most objects is the winner. Discuss how Moshe had to inspect everything in the mishkan and make sure everything was all right.

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe asked the Bnei Yisrael to donate their time, their talents, and materials for the construction of the Mishkan. The Bnei Yisrael responded with a lot of enthusiasm.

Hashem created every one of His children with special talents. Every person is unique. Go around the Shabbat table and have everyone think about one of their talents and how they could help another person.  For example, if someone is musical, have them think about going to an old age home and performing there.

Then everyone should take a turn and say something good that they did for someone this past week.  It could be helping out a friend, your parents etc…

Our family does this activity every Shabbat.  We all try to think of how we could help people all through the week.  You should have as much enthusiasm helping one another as the Bnei Yisrael did!

You cannot plow, reap, gather, knead,
Winnow, grind, sift or plant a seed.
Bad from good you can’t separate,
You cannot bake, so please just wait.
You can’t shear, bleach, comb, spin or dye,
You can’t sew, weave, tie or untie,
Thread a loom, arrange thread, prepare,
Remove material or tear.
Slaughter, skin, salt, smooth- almost done,
We learn all these from the mishkan.
Making ruled lines, cutting or a trap,
There will be so much time to take a nap.
One cannot build, carry or destroy,
Follow Mitzvot, you will have such joy.
Blow out a fire or ignite,
Melachot you should do them right.
You cannot add the final touch,
Can you guess???  You learned so much!!

The Shechinah descended in a cloud:

What you will need:
1.   Chocolate cake
2.   Chocolate cream
3.   Rich’s whip

Use 3 separate bowls.

Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 cup sugar
1 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup non dairy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients together and beat with an electrical mixer.  Pour into a round 8 inch pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate cream:
100 grams margarine
¾ cup sugar
6 tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. vanilla
Place all these ingredients in a bowl.  Mix in a mixer for about 1 minute.  Put in 2 eggs one at a time.

Rich’s whip:
Use 4 small containers of Rich’s whip or 2 large one.  Pour them into a bowl and mix  in a mixer until it becomes stiff- about 5 minutes.
· Place the cooled chocolate cake on the bottom of a trifle bowl.
·  Spread the chocolate cream on top.
· Whip the Rich’s whip and spread  it on top. 
This resembles the Shechina in a cloud. This is a “heavenly" dessert!

Enjoy!  Have a great Shabbat!
Looking forward to seeing you next week!


  1. You’ve said it all beautiful.
    Great Job!

    1. Thank you so much and thank you for taking the time to write, it means a lot to me! Have a great Shabbat!

  2. Hi This web site is fantastic. I live in England and run many different prog I always go to your web site first. Hashem should keep inspiring you with wonderful ideas,to inspire others.
    Sarah Silkin.