Parsha Talk-with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Jeremy Kalmanofsky and Barry Chesler. Parashat Va-yaqhel [Exodus 35:1-38:20] is the penultimate parashah of Sefer Sh’mot [the Book of Exodus]. In non-leap years it is paired with the last parashah [P’qudai, more on that next week] to make one of the longest parashiyot of the year. These last two parashiyot take up the actual construction of the mishkan [tabernacle], after the planning was described in the three preceding parashiyot. We spent a fair amount of time talking about Shabbat, since one of the few specific prohibitions is found in the second verse. We also discussed the meaning of the word va-yaqkel, which is often translated as “convoke” or “gather”. For those who like to look ahead, this week is also Shabbat Sheqalim, the first of the 4 special shabbatot before Passover, each with a special maftir [additional reading] and haftarah [prophetic passage]. For Sheqalim, the maftir is from the beginning of last week’s parashah, Ki Tissa [Exodus 30:11-16]. For those keeping track, we have about seven weeks until Passover! Shabbat Shalom!