This week’s Shabbat is Shabbat HaChodesh (Shabbat of the Month, שבת החודש the last Shabbat before the month of Nisan starts, in which Passover will occur.
There are two parshas for this week: Vayakhel ( וַיַּקְהֵל) and Pekude (פְקוּדֵי), translated as “and he assembled” and “amounts of”, respectivley. Vayakhel covers Exodus 35:1- 38:20, with Pekude continuing to cover Exodus 38:21- 40:38.
Vayakhel continues the tale of building the Tabernacle, with Moses inviting anyone moved to donate items to do so, opening up the process of building, furnishing, and making priestly garments to anyone with the skills to do so. Of course, there needs to be a chief architect for such an ambitious project; luckily G-d clues Moses in to where he can find such leadership and instructs him to appoint Bezalel (from the tribe of Judah) to be Project Manager/Chief Artisan and Aholiab (from the tribe of Dan) to be lead carpenter, weaver, and embroiderer). There is only one commandment in Vayakhel, a negative one, stating that the courts must not inflict any punishments on Shabbat.
In Pekude, the work on the Tabernacle continues, this time with furnishing and final set-up. The Tabernacle complete, it is written that G-ds presence entered the Tabernacle through a cloud and that when ” the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set out, and when the cloud did not lift, they would not set out”. Pekude contains no commandments.
Translations from JTS:
Rabbi Ted Falcon: http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/