Exodus 35:1-38:20

Exodus chapter 35, verse 1 to chapter 38, verse 20


Moses brings the Israelites together and reminds them to observe the Shabbat as a day of rest and not to kindle light on this day.

He then explains to the people God’s instructions about building the Tabernacle, Israel’s first House of Worship. Moses tells the people to bring gifts to be used in the construction, if “their hearts move them”. The materials include precious stones and metals, fabrics, oil and more.

He then calls for volunteers who have skills that can be used in building this sanctuary. He appoints Bezalel and Oholiab to be in charge of the work and to supervise all the craftspeople who are helping.

The Israelites respond by bringing so many gifts that Moses is overwhelmed and has to announce that enough have been donated.   The artisans begin to work on the tabernacle, making the cloth covering that will be the tent over the Tabernacle, the screen that will serve as the entrance and the walls that will surround the structure.

Bezalel makes the Ark and the table for the bread that would be displayed and the seven branched lamp that would rest on it. He also makes the altars and washbowl and stand. He also built the enclosure that would surround the Holy of Holies – where the Ark would be placed.

Torah Portion in English

1) Moses then convoked the whole Israelite community and said to them: These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do: 2) On six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3) You shall kindle no fire throughout your settlements on the sabbath day.

4) Moses said further to the whole community of Israelites: This is what the Lord has commanded: 5) Take from among you gifts to the Lord; everyone whose heart so moves him shall bring them—gifts for the Lord: gold, silver, and copper; 6) blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 7) tanned ram skins, dolphin skins, and acacia wood; 8) oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the aromatic incense; 9) lapis lazuli and other stones for setting, for the ephod and the breastpiece.

10) And let all among you who are skilled come and make all that the Lord has commanded: 11) the Tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its clasps and its planks, its bars, its posts, and its sockets; 12) the ark and its poles, the cover, and the curtain for the screen; 13) the table, and its poles and all its utensils; and the bread of display; 14) the lampstand for lighting, its furnishings and its lamps, and the oil for lighting; 15) the altar of incense and its poles; the anointing oil and the aromatic incense; and the entrance screen for the entrance of the Tabernacle; 16) the altar of burnt offering, its copper grating, its poles, and all its furnishings; the laver and its stand; 17) the hangings of the enclosure, its posts and its sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18) the pegs for the Tabernacle, the pegs for the enclosure, and their cords; 19) the service vestments for officiating in the sanctuary, the sacral vestments of Aaron the priest and the vestments of his sons for priestly service. 20) So the whole community of the Israelites left Moses’ presence.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. What is the first commandment in this Torah portion?
  2. What is the explanation of why it that commandment is so important?
  3. Is everyone forced to contribute to the building of the Tabernacle?
  4. What type of items were people offering up?
  5. Who is assigned to be in charge of the construction project?
  6. What are the characteristics that Bezalel is endowed with?
  7. What did everyone else do while the Sanctuary was being built?
  8. How was the Ark transported?
  9. What was constructed on the cover of the Ark?
  10. What was the lamp made out of? What did it look like?