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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Someone Dreamed

Before we finish the book of Exodus in the combined parshiyot of Vayakhel and Pekudei and

we leave behind the many chapters devoted to instructions on building he Mishkan, I'd like to share a thought I learned earlier this week, that the beauty of the Mishkan is not in the materals from which it was constructed, but that it was built by voluntary donations of materials and skills. The items donated were precious and highly valued by the Hebrews but the people donated these items willingly and so the Mishkan became a house made by people for God. People's hearts were in the construction of this portable space.

From the long description of what was needed for construction and those who helped to make it we can learn about the value of having an idea to bring a community together and executing it through the generosity of the community at large. This generosity can be defined not just by monetary contributions, but the many ways that individuals contribute toward building and maintaining important space for the community.

I will no longer look at these chapters on the Mishkan as sets of repeated detailed instructions but will see it for what it was at the core, a complex project begun and completed with the participation of the many for the benefit of the many. And, looking forward centuries, I will look at community inspired building projects differently, with dreamers and doers at the helm.

Shabbat Shalom,


Someone Dreamed

Someone dreamed a dream

and someone saw a need

Someone added optimism

and someone created a plan.

Some connected fragments from the past

and some envisioned the future.

Some brought talent

and some brought artistry.

Some gave of their time

and some gave of their money.

Some were naysayers

and some were prophets.

Some planned for light

and some planned for darkness.

Some gave to raise themselves up.

Some gave to raise others up.

Most gave with their all their hearts

and their hearts filled as the space grew.


After a long


sometimes magical


there was a space;

a real space.

No longer a dream.

A dedicated space

with walls and ceilings and floors.

With corners and corridors,

Stairs and windows and doors.

A space to be filled.

Space for laughing and crying,

for discussion and planning.

Space for celebrating and mourning,

For song and for prayer,

for hope.

Spaces for children,

for the old, for the young;

for those who walk through the doors.

A space to embrace

and be embraced.

Space for

a celebration of the mundane,

the everyday

and occasionally

the extraordinary.

The sighs and laughter and tears of so many

each who gifted a small blessing.


Time Passes.


Walls gently sag.

Ceilings crack.

Buildings grow old.

People pass from place to place.

Needs keep changing

but dreamers are born each day

and new ideas never die.


Someone dreamed a dream

and someone saw a need.

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