It is not just a climactic week in the reading for this Shabbat but also a period of drama around us all in these coming days.
What we would have read together would have been the double Sedras of Vayakhel and Pekudei, the final chapters of the Book of Exodus. We end by saying:
Hazak, hazak, venit-hazek
Be strong, be strong, and we will take strength from you.
We have built the Mishkan and all the decorations and implements are in place. The word “vayikahel” at the beginning of the reading is symbolic of the “kahal”, the community.
Until further notice the Shul will be suspending activities but our community goes on. Our building is important, but it is the people and the community who matter. The way that we support one another defines us.
It is also Shabbat Ha Chodesh, the last of the special Shabbatot before Pesach and the beginning of the month of Nisan.
On the Hebrew calendar, months are counted from Nissan in the spring It is the first month. However, the year numbers change in Tishri, the seventh month. By the time we reach 5781 in the autumn hopefully we will all be back in good health and good spirits and once again gathered together.