Parashat Pekudei (Commandments of) Exodus 38:21-40:38
Maftir: Exodus 30:11-16
Haftarah: 2 Kings 11:17-12:17
Shabbat Shekalim and Chazak!
This Shabbat is a full one, as not only do we finish the book of Exodus (Shabbat Chazak), but we also begin the first of four special readings that relate to either Spring, Passover or Purim. This first reading is called Shekalim, as it reminds us of the Biblical commandment to give a half shekel to support the work of the Tabernacle and then the Temple.
Also recorded in this week’s Torah reading is the fact that Moses set up the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a Tent that contained many of the vessels which were used for worship. It is important for one to remember that Moses was instructed to establish this new worship experience for the Children of Israel on the first month. The first month is the month of Nissan and was the same month that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt, i.e. Passover. Passover is known as the Festival of Redemption; hence Moses was commanded to set up the Tabernacle in Nissan to show the inherent relationship between redemption and worship. This relationship reveals that without experiencing redemption, one cannot worship G-d.
One reads that when all the work of the Tabernacle was completed, they brought all the vessels and materials to Moses, in order for him to inspect everything before they were set up (Exodus 39:32-41). Moses thoroughly inspected all the vessels and the following is recorded,
“And Moses saw all the work, and behold they did it just as HaShem commanded, thus they did, and Moses blessed them.” Exodus 39:43
This verse teaches that it is only when one does properly what HaShem commands, will there be a blessing. The problem is that today we tend to focus on the general things that are stated in the Bible, rather than paying close attention to all the smaller details that are also included in the Scripture. There is a strong tendency for individuals to assume that the smaller things are unimportant and can be ignored. But Messiah Yeshua taught that those who are not faithful in the least important things will in reality also be unfaithful in the greater things (See Luke 16:10).
It is most significant that in Exodus 39:43 the text reads that “Moses saw all the work….” The word all is there to emphasize that Moses paid close attention to every aspect of the work and did not just give the work a quick “once over”. It is important to remember the Biblical principle that the measure you use will be measured back to you. That is, if one is not careful with every aspect of the Word of G-d, then do not expect that HaShem will be careful and working in every aspect of this person’s life.
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