April 19, 2024
Parashat Pekudei 5784

When you Choose Shabbat, you choose to learn that every Shabbat is different and special. This week I learned about Parashat Pekudei (פְקוּדֵי‎), the 23rd weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah readings as well as the last reading from the Book of Exodus.

According to Wikipedia, Pekudei (פְקוּדֵי‎), Exodus 38:21–40:38, contains 4,432 Hebrew letters, 1,182 words, 92 verses and 159 lines of the Torah scroll. Pekudei (translated as “Accountings Of”) includes a description of the making of priestly garments worn in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the completion of its construction. At G-d’s command, Moses erects the Mishkan and puts its vessels in place, then G-d’s presence fills the Mishkan.

Rabbi Michael D Klein of Temple Torat Emet offers his insights on this week’s Torah reading, Pekudei for Shabbat, March 16, 2024 aka 6 Adar II 5784:

“This Shabbat we are honored to share the Simcha with the Kominsky family who are celebrating the bat mitzvah of their daughter Ruth. Very appropriately, we will read the final chapter of the Book of Exodus and intone the words Chazak, Chazak, Venitchazek. What are the major themes of Pekude?

  • Accounting- we are given a total account of all the precious materials and all the labor that will be used in the construction of the Mishkan in preparation for the beginning of the process of performing the Karbanot- the sacrifices which will enumerated and described in the opening chapters of Leviticus.
  • Functionality- the articles to be utilized in the sacrifices are given final assembly and placed inside the Mishkan in preparation for their use.

The description above almost sounds like tax season and preparation for launch. For a successful launch at Cape Canaveral, all systems must be assembled and then checked in order for “Go for Launch”.

The same scenario also applies for our daily lives. We must constantly check and recheck that our physical and spiritual resources are counted and ready to face the challenges of each day. If even one element is missing or out of proportion, we run the risk that our entire life becoming unbalanced and then not be able to achieve our full potential. Before we say Chazak, let us check ourselves each day by beginning with thanks to G-d who gives us the opportunity to organize our lives in meaningful ways.

We are like that Mishkan than can maximize its potential only by assuring that we are also physically and spiritually balanced and mindful of all the blessings we receive each day.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How was the order of the completion of the holy articles differently conveyed to Moshe and Betzalel?
  2. Why was the Shulchan placed in the north and the menorah placed in the south of the Mishkan?
  3. Why was Moses unable to enter the Mishkan when G-d’s Shechina was manifest there?
  4. Who was in charge of directing the Levites to do their work?”
Rabbi Michael D. Klein

Rabbi Michael D. Klein attended Yeshiva College of South Florida and served as Torah Reader, Hebrew teacher, Chazzan and spiritual leader of various synagogues throughout South Florida. In January 2015 he became Ritual Director, Bnai/Bnot Mitzvah instructor and 7th grade Hebrew instructor for Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach. In October 2019 he was accepted into an accelerated track and received his shicha from Yeshiva Adath Wolkowisk and has been the Rabbinic leadership of Temple Torat Emet since August 2020. In September of 2022 he was appointed Rabbinic and Spiritual Advisor of the Florida Region of FJMC.

Choose Shabbat; choose to celebrate, to light candles, sing songs and learn a little Torah.

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