Parshat Vayakhel Summary

Parshat Vayakhel is the 10th parsha in Sefer Shemot (also known as Exodus).

This parsha is verses Exodus 35:1 – 38:20, or a total of 122 verses.

Here is a brief summary for each aliyah.

Aliyah 1: Exodus 35:1 – 35:20, 20 verses

Moses gathers the people together. He explains to them God’s commandments about observing the Shabbat and building the Tabernacle. He lists for them what items are needed for the construction project. He also details everything that needs to be made.

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Aliyah 2: Exodus 35:21 – 35:29, 9 verses

The men and women respond by bringing and donating all of the items Moses told them about.

Aliyah 3: Exodus 35:30 – 36:7, 13 verses

Moses points out that God has chosen Bezalel and Oholiab. He has given them all of the skills they need to build the Tabernacle. They are assisted by other men and women who have the wisdom and skill to participate in the building project.

Aliyah 4: Exodus 36:8 – 36:19, 12 verses

The building of the Tabernacle begins. They start with the curtains to cover the Tent. Then they make the other coverings of ram’s skins and tachash hides.

Aliyah 5: Exodus 36:20 – 37:16, 35 verses

Next they make the boards for the Tent and the silver sockets that the boards stand in. Then they complete the curtain that goes between the Holy and Holy of Holies. Last they make the screen that stands at the entrance of the Tent.

Now that they have built the Tent, they proceed to build the furniture of the Tabernacle: the Ark and its cover, and the Table.

Aliyah 6: Exodus 37:17 – 37:29, 13 verses

The next pieces of furniture for the Tabernacle to be built are the Menorah and the Incense Altar. At this point they have completed the Tent and everything that is to be placed inside of it.

The photo below shows a full-size model of the Tent surrounded by the curtains that mark the border of the Tabernacle.

Tabernacle in Timna Park

Aliyah 7: Exodus 38:1 – 38:20, 20 verses

Now they make the items that are outside of the Tent. They make the Copper Altar where offering will be burnt. Near it is the Laver used by the priests to wash their hands and feet.

Then they build the pillars and curtains that are used to surround the Tent and mark the borders of the Tabernacle.

Bezalel, Oholiab, and their helpers have completed the construction of the Tabernacle.

Haftarah Summary

According to the Ashkenazi tradition the haftarah for Parshat Vayakhel is 1 Kings 7:40-50.

According to the Sephardic tradition the haftarah for Parshat Vayakhel is 1 Kings 7:13-26.

1 Kings 7 is about King Solomon building the First Temple in Jerusalem. The verses in the two traditions focus on different aspects of the building project.

Further Reading

You will find more details about building the Tabernacle is my post “Motivating the People to Build the Tabernacle.”

A Note on the Translations
The translation of Bible verses is based on the Judaica Press Tanach.
The translation of Gemara is based on the Soncino Talmud.
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