Parasha for the Week: Pikudei: Exodus 38:21 – 40:38
Aftarah for the Week: 1 Kings 7:51 – 8:21
Besorat Yeshua: Mark 16:7 - 20
The Book of Shemot (Exodus) concludes with this Parsha. After finishing all the different parts, vessels and garments used in the Mishkan, Moshe gives a complete accounting and enumeration of all the contributions and of the various clothing and vessels which had been fashioned.
Bnei Yisrael bring everything to Moshe. He inspects the handiwork and notes that everything was made according to G-d's specifications.
"Moshe blesses the people."
Hashem tells Moshe that the Mishkan is to be set up on the first day of the first month, Nissan.
He also tells Moshe the order of assembly for the Mishkan and its vessels.
When the Mishkan was completed a cloud stood over it, indicating that G-d's glory rested there.
Whenever the cloud moved away from the Mishkan, Bnei Yisrael would follow it. At night a pillar of fire replaced the cloud.
"Ordination with Heart & Joy"
After being told to anoint his brother Aharon (Aaron), Moshe was told in reference to Aharon's sons, "And you shall anoint them as you anointed their father" (Exodus 40:15). Why did the Almighty give Moses this special instruction? Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen suggests that when Moses was told to anoint his brother Aaron, he was able to do it with a complete heart. Moses, the younger brother, was the leader of the Israelites and was happy that his brother was the High Priest. However, in reference to Aaron's sons, the situation was different. Moses' own sons were not going to succeed him as leaders. So, when it came to anointing Aaron's sons, Moses might have felt envy. Therefore, the Almighty told Moses to anoint Aaron's sons with the same whole heart and joy with which he anointed their father. If even a person such as Moses needed to internalize attitudes to avoid envy, all the more so do we! Also, it is possible to feel joy and enthusiasm for another person's success even if he has something that you do not.
"Moses Followed All the Instructions Given by God"
The Torah states: "Moshe did all that the Almighty commanded him; that is what he did." (Exodus 40:16) Why does the verse end with the seemingly repetitious restatement of what Moshe did? Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, comments: Moshe's motivation in all that he did for the Sanctuary was for the Almighty's honor. Moshe was not motivated by thoughts of his own glory. Neither was he motivated by thoughts of the honor of his brother, Aharon, who was to be the High Priest. Moshe focused solely on doing the will of the Almighty.
Rabbi Yechezkail Abramsky said, "Every time I go to deliver a Torah lecture I have in mind that I am now going to serve the Almighty with the mitzvah of teaching Torah. At times, to sincerely think these thoughts is even more difficult than any other aspect of giving the lecture."
Rabbi Kalman Packouz says: "It is a very difficult task to do something from which you will have great benefit and to still have pure motivations. However, the more sacred the work you are involved in, the greater the importance of having elevated thoughts and motivations."
"The Wise and the Foolish"
A father had two sons. One was clever while the other was foolish. The foolish son thought that he was the smartest person on earth and that everyone else was foolish. One day, the father said to the smart son, "Take your brother to the big city and show him around. Perhaps he will realize that he does not know everything." They came to the big city and passed by a store that made furniture. The silly brother said, "Look how people are taking good and expensive wood, piercing holes through them and cutting them into pieces! I told you everyone was foolish!" The brother didn't say anything but continued on. They came to another store that made clothing and again the foolish one exclaimed, "Look! Here, too, the people are taking beautiful pieces of cloth and cutting them up!" "Wait here a while," answered the intelligent brother, "and you will see who is the fool." Before long, they saw that the cut pieces were sewn together and, in time, beautiful garments were produced. "Now lets go back to the furniture store." There too, they saw that carpenters were using the pieces of wood to create beautiful furniture. "Now I see," said the silly son. "Perhaps it is I who is the fool and not everyone else!"
The fact that we know that everything is from G-d, regardless of the uncertainty and confusion the world is going through, should give us good reason to have faith and trust in G-d that, in the end, things will turn out for the best."
"A Golden Leg"
Rabbi Chanina Ben Dosa' wife said Once to him, "How long do we have to go on suffering so much?" "What shall I do?" replied Rabbi Chanina. She said, "Pray that some of what is stored up for the righteous in the World-to-come shall be given you in this world now." Rabbi Chanina prayed and a hand descended from heaven which gave him a table leg made of gold. That night in a dream Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa saw each of the other righteous men in the World-to-Come, dining at a table with three legs, but he and his wife were dining at a table with only two legs. In the morning he told his wife about the dream. He said to his wife, "Are you content that all the righteous will dine at three legged tables for all eternity, while you and I will be dining at a table with one of its legs missing?" "What shall we do?" she asked. "You must pray that the leg be taken from us!" Rabbi Chanina prayed and it was taken back. Are we willing to wait for heaven to receive our rewards for all eternity or do we prefer to enjoy them now for a short season. Would you prefer to have a shinny dime now or wait for $10,000 at the end of the year. Only an ignorant child would choose the dime now. Wait upon the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Haftara: 1 Kings 7:51 – 8:21
Parasha: When we study this parasha we see that three men are glorified in this text, first Moses, his name is given 26 times in this short text of two chapters. But also Ithamar son of Aaron, and Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. Even though their names are only at the beginning of our parasha it is repeated 19 times that they have done everything "as the LORD had commanded Moses" (Exodus 38:21-40:25).
Haftara: In the Haftara, the one who is on the top for what he has done is King Solomon. His name is given 7 (perfect number) times in this short text. (1Kings 7:51 - 8:12). Other parallels between the Parasha and the Haftara are that in the parasha it is written, So Moses finished the work. (Exodus 40:33) and in the haftara it is written, Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished. (1Kings 7:51). Both of them finished the work.
What did Moses do after finishing the work? "When Moses saw that they had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded, he blessed them" (Exodus. 39:43). And what did Solomon do after finishing the work? He blessed twice, first the assembly and second the Lord. "Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. He said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel," (1Kings 8:14-15)
Then if we continue to read together the parasha and the haftara, we notice that the Lord was satisfied, He blessed the sanctuary and the temple by his presence. At the time of Moses, "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:34). At the time of Solomon, "So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD." (1Kings 8:11). Moses and Solomon are both working for the Lord and according to his spirit.
Besorat Yeshua: Mark 16:7 - 20
Parasha: This parasha ends the book of Exodus.
Besorah: This Besorah ends the book of Mark.
Parasha: In this parasha the sanctuary is filled by the glory of the Lord "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:34)
Besorah: The besorah shows us the glory of the Mashiach who has been raised from death and appeared to many people. First to Miriam, "Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Miriam of Magdalene" (Mark 16:9). After this he appeared to two of His disciples, as they were walking on the way to Emmaus. (Mark 16:12). Later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were sitting at the table; (Mark 16:14). The Mashiach wants to fill all the earth with the Glory of the Lord, that's why he gave them a great mission: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is immersed will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15)