The “Shabbat” of Parenting (Vayakel-Pekudei)

In this parsha the mishkan (tabernacle), the home for the divine is finally built.

We are told that work on the holy mishkan is set aside for the even holier time of Shabbat.

The work of the mishkan represents our active and creative engagement with the world to make it into dwelling place for God. Shabbat, on the other hand, celebrates the godliness inherent in creation. The beauty within.

The parallel in child rearing: We creatively and actively support our children as they work towards their potential. More importantly, we celebrate them as they are and recognize the godliness that is already within them. Just as Shabbat has the power to bless and elevate the entire work week that follows, the celebration of our children’s innate holiness energizes and illuminates the more active work that needs to be done.