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Parshas Vayakhel

Written by Rabbi Dovid Sipper

“The entire assembly of the children of Israel left Moses’ presence” (Sh’mos 35:20).

Why does the Torah use its precious words to tell us that the people exited? The Torah tells of many people interacting, but rarely mentions when they walk away. Therefore, when it does, you can be sure it is for a reason. The Alter of Kelm explains the reason in this instance.

When a man learns in yeshiva in the presence of his Rabbi, you can be certain he behaves well; he’s a model citizen indeed! But the true litmus test of a ben Torah is how he behaves outside the beis medresh.

By adding that “the children of Israel” – not just stating “the entire assembly” – left from before Moshe, the passuk is telling us that the people left with noticeable change. It was visible that they were Bnei Yisroel, and not similar to the other nations.

Most secular Jews know that a yeshiva person is supposed to act differently. It seems that Charedi Jews make the news for relatively small infractions. Why is it that religious Jews have been in the news for rock throwing and spray painting? If other groups were mentioned every time they did such things, then the newspapers would be dictionary thick!

The world looks at the religious Jew and expects him to act better. He must always imagine himself as before his Rabbi and act consistently.

Gut Shabbos!

Rabbi Sipper is a close friend of Further divrei Torah from the Rov can be found on his yeshiva\’s website at

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