This week’s Torah portion (Va’yaqhel – Exo 35:1 – 38:20) shows us something important in the Hebrew. Verse one says: “Then Moshe gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, “These are the words which YHVH has commanded you to do:”
The Hebrew used here for “all the congregation of the children of Isreal” is “et-kol-aydat b’nei Yisrael”. Why is this important? We will get to that, but here are three more witnesses of the same, in the same chapter. Look at verse 4.
Verse 4 reads: “And Moshe spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which YHVH commanded, saying:”
The Hebrew for “all the congregation of the children of Israel” says: “el-kol-aydat b’nei Yisrael”. Almost identical.
Verse 20 is a little different but basically the same. The verse in English reads: “And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moshe.”
The Hebrew for “all the congregation of the children of Israel” is “kol aydat b’nei Yisrael”.
THEN in verse 29 Moses clinches it. He ties it off nice and neat so no one can question what “b’nei Yisrael” (children of Israel) entails. Verse 29 in my NKJV reads: “The children of Israel (b’nei Yisrael) brought a freewill offering to YHVH, all the men AND women (eesh V‘eesha) whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which YHVH, by the hand of Moshe, had commanded to be done.”
The point is this: B’nei Yisrael (בני ישראל) can mean men AND women. Why all the fuss? For the answer to that, turn in your bibles or search engine to Numbers 15:37-41. Where it says in verse 37, Again YHVH spoke to Moshe, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39) And you shall have the tassel , that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of YHVH and do them, and that you not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40) and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy to Elohechem. 41) Ani YHVH Elohechem, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be to you Eloheim: Ani YHVH Elohechem.
Many times it has been told to me that women are not required to wear tassels, or tzitzit, as we call them, but these verses clear up any doubt. Plus, don’t you think that women need reminding to do His commandments too? Of course we do! 😇