שְׁמוֹת / shemos / shemot / Exodus 35:1-38:20
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Parsha narrative overview here. Copywork and parsha activities available here.
“Come one, come all,” our Moshe cried,
“Who’s for Hashem? Come to my side!
Bring gold, bring jewels, fabrics more,
About a gazillion and fourty-four!”
What’s with all that building stuff?
And how could he hope to get enough?
It was to build the Mishkan home
To help the Jews wherever they’d roam.
The princes, arrogant as they were,
Said, “we guess that he’d prefer
If we brought our donation last of all,
And bring in the rest upon his call.”
But all the people jumped right up
Bringing their golden goblets and cups.
Bringing their goat skins and their wool
Until the collection bins were full!
“Oh, no!” the woeful princes cried.
“We wanted to help – we really tried!”
Hashem said, “What did you anticipate?
Doing a mitzvah should never wait!”
Moshe explained what they’d done wrong;
They should have known it all along.
If building a shul, a clinic or a school,
Giving generously must be the rule.
If the issue was the money at stake,
Their offer would be the best one to make!
Sure; bring all the money left at the end;
What a great way to save up and spend!
But Hashem doesn’t need gold, or silver, too;
The only donation He wants is YOU.
“You princes, nesi’im, don’t hold yourself back –
Your missing neshama is our Mishkan’s lack.”
“We’ve learned our lesson,” as one came their chime,
“We’ll certainly do much better next time.”
“In that case,” Moshe said with a smile,
“There are a few things you can bring in a while.”
What were those small gifts the nesi’im brought?
Things not too valuable, if they were bought.
Some jewels, some oil, some very fine spices,
Things that you wouldn’t think had high prices.
Nothing too costly, but that was just fine,
Each of those gifts would soon come to shine.
Every Jew helping out was what Hashem meant,
So He could be with us, wherever we went.
(images from Chabad.org - Vayakhel Coloring Pages)
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