Parshiyot VaYakhel/Pekudei/ HaChodesh - 5761
"Va-Yakhel Moshe…," "And Moshe Assembled"
"Parshat VaYakhel begins, "VaYakhel Moshe …," "And Moshe assembled all the congregation of the Children of Israel, and said unto them, 'These are the words that the L-rd has commanded:…" (Shemot 35:1) The choice of word by the Torah, "VaYakhel…" is, as always, precise. It suggests that Moshe gathered the People into a "kehilla," a "community," before he introduced them to the Laws of Shabbat, which help define the community of Israel.
"I'd like to discuss the meaning of the word "Kehilla" as understood and implemented by three "gedolim," giants of Israel, Rabbi Shimshon Rephoel Hirsch, who molded the Jews of Frankfurt-am-Mein into a "Kehilla," his son-in-law and successor, Rabbi Shlomo Breuer and his son and successor, Rabbi Yoseph Breuer, who in Washington Heights continued their legacy on the shores of the Hudson."