September 23, 2019

Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei with Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen

Our guest this week is Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen. Rabbi Sachs-Kohen has served for 14 years as one of the rabbis at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.  She is the Director of BHC Cares and advises the Social Justice Team, concentrating in recent years on racial justice, immigration, poverty, and environmental issues.

Rabbi Sachs-Kohen annually leads Rosh Hashana Under the Stars at Oregon Ridge Park, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Erev Rosh Hashana service which is free and open to the public. For the past 11 years the service has attracted as many as 6000 participants and has continued to grow.

Before coming to Baltimore, Rabbi Sachs-Kohen served for 5 years at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT. She was ordained in 1999 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati. She earned her BA in theater and drama at University of Michigan. She currently learns with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in the Clergy Leadership Program.

We read two parashot this week: The reading of Vayakhel-Pekudei – (Exodus 35:1-40:38) – begins with Moses commanding the people of Israel to observe the Shabbat and continues to tell us in great detail about the building of the Tabernacle. Pekudei, the last reading from Exodus begins with an audit of how the contributions for the Tabernacle (the Mishkan) were used. The portion goes on to describe the completion of the Tabernacle and its assembly and concludes by depicting the glory of the lord entering it. Our discussion focuses on the similarities and differences between the Mishkan and the temples of today.


Previous Torah-Talks on Vayakhel-Pekudei

Rabbi James Ponet

Rabbi Jaquline Mates-Muchin

Rabbi Dan Orenstein

Rabbi Richard Steinberg

Rabbi David Singer

Rabbi Tom Heyn