Parsha Vayakhel/Pekude Discussion Questions

As we read from the Book of Shmot, every week we will be posting discussion questions that we hope families will use to discuss the Torah portion over Shabbat.

This week’s discussion questions were developed by this past summer’s Machon campers, when they were in Shoafim.   We encourage you to post any of your family’s answers to the questions in the comments section below.

Parsha Vayakhel/Pekude Discussion Questions

Developed by Eitan Simler, Erica Gelfand, Claire Shoyer, Alex Bauman, Oren Bazer, Miriam Blumenthal, Naomi Siegel, and Hadassah Riemer


Parsha Vayakhel:

  • The Parsha opens with the idea of Shabbat and rules for Shabbat, and then later talks about the construction of the Tabernacle.  Can you think of a connection between Shabbat and the Mishkan?
  • Why does God need all of those beautiful furnishings when God says he’s going to dwell in the people, and not inside those ornaments?
  • Why do you think there was an alter for burning sacrifices when the alter was surrounded by highly flammable and valuable objects like goat hair and acacia wood?  Do you think the Mishkan was practical?
  • We often talk about God being everywhere.  If this is true, why are we told to make a place that is somewhat like a central location for God?
  • In working on the Mishkan, the Israelites all came together to work and unite for a greater cause.  Can you think of a time when you worked with others to create something great and important?

Parsha Pekude:

  • When God’s presences was in the Tent of Meeting, Moses was not allowed to go in.  Why do you think this was?
  • Why do you think pomegranates were the fruit of choice for the decoration on the robes for the Kohen Gadol?
  • The Tabernacle was made of shiny, beautiful materials like gold and silver, and was decorated with lots of fancy ornaments.  Do you think such an ornate Tabernacle could distract from one’s ability to pray?  What is your ideal prayer setting?
  • The clothing for the Kohen Gadol is closely outlined.  If you were to get very close to God, what would you wear?
  • There are 39 melachot (work activities) that we cannot do on Shabbat, and all of those come from activities that were part of the building of the Mishkan.  Why do you think the Tabernacle sets the precedent of things prohibited on Shabbat?




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