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Give Us a Heart of Wisdom

Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz
Give Us A Heart of Wisdom
There’s something interesting going on in this week’s double Torah portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei. Nestled in between the meticulous detail of building the Tabernacle and its instruments, between descriptions of gold and silver, linen and wool, purple, scarlet and blue, we learn a number of things about human psychology.  Taking place not long after the unfortunate incident with the Golden Calf, the people give eagerly and generously to the building of the Mishkan. This spirit of volunteerism and fundraising is of course often cited by rabbis and lay leaders alike as a prompt for our congregations to do the same—after all, there’s no better fundraising pitch than one that comes directly from God!
Yet, this is not what I want us to take a look at today. There’s another aspect of human psychology that gets a lot of airplay during this parashah and that is the notion of ‘chochmah’, wisdom. The word wisdom, in various pe…