Vayakhel and Pekudei: The Disease of Busyness

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Vayakhel and Pekudei: The Disease of Busyness

Welcome to Shabbat Moment, a text study series with Yael Shy, from our friends at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Every week we share Yael’s Torah text study, mindfulness practice tips, and discussion questions for you to reflect + share with others at your Shabbat table. Subscribe here to get the Shabbat Moment delivered straight to your inbox!

This week’s Torah portion is Vayakhel and Pekudei: The Disease of Busyness.

There was a long time where I responded to people asking me how I was doing with the phrase, “busy!” I absolutely hated it. It was so boring. And yet, it was the truest way to describe my experience of daily life for a long time. I found myself starting to enumerate deadlines and projects, life events and travel, until I somehow managed to fall asleep while I was talking.

This week’s parsha offers an antidote to the alienation of busyness: Shabbat.

This instruction on Shabbat is dropped into the text exactly at this precarious moment between the sin of the Golden Calf and the creation of the Mishkan. It is the pausing point that turns the Israelites’ anxious energy into creative, heart-swelling, devotion to what is true. In between the fires of idol worship and the fires of creating a sanctuary there is a silence that requires the Israelites to be with what is. To take a break. To kindle no fires.

About the Author

Yael ShySpecial thanks to Yael Shy and our friends at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality for joining us in creating weekly Shabbat moments for your Friday nights.

Yael Shy is the CEO of Mindfulness Consulting, LLC, where she teaches and consults on mindfulness for universities, corporations, and private clients around the world. She is the author of the award-winning book, What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond (Parallax, 2017), and the founder of Mindful NYU, the largest campus-based mindfulness initiative in the US. Yael is a graduate of the IJS Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Certification.

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

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