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In this week’s parsha, Moses gathers the people of Israel to remind them of the commandment to observe Shabbat. He explains to the nation the rules of observing Shabbat and that a person should not light fire or work. Moses then goes on to tell the nation of G-d’s instructions of building the Mishkan - the Tabernacle. The people of Israel begin to donate materials required for the making of the Mishkan. These materials range from metals such as gold, silver and copper, to wool, wood, olive oil, herbs and precious stones.

Eventually, there was a plentiful amount of materials for the making of the Mishkan. Moses had to tell the nation to stop donating as it was too much. A team of artisans then began to make the Mishkan and its furnishings. 

This parsha conveys the unity of the people of Israel as one nation. After hearing Moses’ command, they have not hesitated to give up their personal belongings for the making of the Mishkan. The people of Israel sacrificed their own valuables in order to contribute towards benefiting and aiding the nation as a whole. 

From this, we can learn that at times, it’s necessary to head out of our routine or comfort zone to help others in need and perform an act of kindness. As students who are living in Hong Kong, a secure, sheltered and convenient city, it’s easy to forget that we are able to help others who are in need. This parsha teaches us that we as individuals need to remind ourselves to never turn down an offer to help people in need, even if it’s the smallest acts of kindness.

Shabbat Shalom

Tal, Grade 11