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Here, as often throughout the Torah readings, the law of the Sabbath is repeated. Though these readings from Exodus are about holy objects, it is well to remember that the first designation of the word holy in the Bible in Genesis 2:3 is not given to an article, or even to a person: it is given to time—the Sabbath.
Everyone is involved in bringing the gifts for the Tabernacle. There is frequent use of terms such as those whose “hearts were stirred” and “spirits were willing.”
Moses repeats what the Lord gave to him in 31:2-6. This is among the earliest references in the Bible to the Holy Spirit filling someone. The Spirit gives Bezalel the anointing to gather all the gifts into the unity of the Tabernacle. God fills you with the Holy Spirit so that you may transform the gifts of others into a time and a place where God dwells.
What are these?
Sabbath resting in You, Lord 35:2
My talents offered to You 35:10
Fill my skill with Your Spirit. 35:31
Here and now is holiness. 36:19
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.