Pekudei is the second parshah from this week’s double header. Vayakhel respectively being the first parshah. This parshah starts off with a listing of the amounts of gold, silver and copper that were contributed to the tabernacle.
Interestingly enough, if we compare theTabernacle to the first two Temples, Moshes Tabernacle always remained intact and was never captured or desecrated (Sota 9). There are four reasons for this; the Tabernacle featured the tablets, which were the symbols of G-d’s communion with Israel; it was built by the efforts of people like Moshe and Betzalel; the outstanding behaviour and work of the Levites (Shemot 38:21) and the others who led the work, as represented by Betzalel, were men of distinguished lineage (Berachot 55a). Also as the Jews during the era of the Tabernacle were very G-d fearing and did everything with enthusiasm and for the sake of Hashem. However during the First and Second Temple era’s, the Jews were not necessary obeying all the commandments and many Jews had ulterior motives, not being done for the sake of Hashem, along with other reasons why it was destroyed (Yoma 9b).
Many parts of the First and Second Temple were destroyed, desecrated and became worn out. In fact during the heart of the Second Temple era, when King Herod made a slight repentance, he rebuilt the Temple, fixing mass amounts of worn out parts (Bava Batra 3b/4a). The amount of ‘worn out’ parts of the Second Temple reflected the unacceptable behaviour of the Jews during that era.
The Parshah then goes on to list the various materials used for the work (Shemot 38:23).
Next up, just as we learned in Tetzaveh, the Torah once again relates the vestments that the Kohen Gadol wore and the vestments of the Kohanim (Shemot 39:1/31).
The Vestments included the breastplate; this plate, featured twelve different colored gems, each gem symbolising a different tribe. The breastplate was worn by the Kohen Gadol, as atonement for the perversion of justice that took place during the time period (Zevachim 88). A Judge always has to behave in a proper manner and follow many Torah guidelines. A Judge is in no way allowed to accept any bribes. Unfortunately though throughout Jewish history, there have been many incorrect and unfair decisions being made. Many of the laws on Judges are related in Parshat Shoftim in the book of Devarim (Devarim 16:18).
The Torah then relates the materials of the Ephod, the robe, Tunic of linen and the head plate.
Moshe then goes on to inspect all the materials featured in the Tabernacle and approves it. Hashem then commands Moshe to set up the Tabernacle. Moshe had the task of erecting a very heavy tabernacle, normally many people to do it. However Hashem performed a miracle and as Moshe started assembling the parts together, Hashem tremendously helped Moshe put everything together, defying the laws of nature (Shemot 39:33 Rashi). This teaches us that one should always make an effort in all tasks of life and if doing the task for the sake of Hashem, Hashem would potentially help out the person attempting.
Once the Tabernacle was erected a cloud covered the tent of meeting (Shemot 40:34), which proved that Hashems presence rested on the Tabernacle. As we will see in the book of Bamidbar, whenever the cloud lifted up and moved, the Jews were to also move and travel in the wilderness and when the cloud would settle stationary, the Jews were to stop travelling. This cloud was known as the ‘Clouds of glory,’ which Hashem gave in the merit of Aharon (Taanit 9a) as he was the man of peace (Sanhedrin 6a).
The natural Haftorah for Pekudei is from the first book of Kings, relating the construction of the First Temple.
Hope you all have a fantastic Shabbat, I would like to dedicate this Dvar torah to Rabi maier ben shemuel mirshokri who passed away five years ago, please do acts of kindness in his memory. Also this Dvar Torah is dedicated in memory of Mazal Bat Ashvat who sadly passed away last week, please pray for her soul.