Parshiot Vayakhel and Pekudei (And he assembled / commandments of)
Exodus 35:1-38:20 and 38:21-40:38, Shabbat Parah and Chazak!
Maftir: Numbers 19:1-22, Haftarah: Ezekiel 36:16-38
This week we have two Torah portions and it is also a special Shabbat for two reasons. First, we conclude the reading of the second book of Moses— Exodus (Shabbat Chazak) and secondly it is Shabbat Parah. This word parah means “cow” and it relates to the commandment concerning the Red Heifer. This Shabbat it is traditional to study the significance of the Red Heifer.
In Parashat Pekudei one reads,
“…The work of the Levites was under the authority of Itamar, the son of Aharon the Priest.” Exodus 38:21b
Both the Levites and the Priests (Kohanim) were from the same tribe, namely the tribe of Levi. So why were the Priests over the Levites? The answer is simply because HaShem commanded it to be so. It was not that the Kohanim were smarter or could do the job better than those who were suppose to assist them (the Levites). In any community there has to be leaders and those who submit to the leaders’ authority. Only then can HaShem’s order be maintained. The outcome of G-d’s order is that His power is released. In the verse which I quoted, it is stated that the work of the Levites was under the authority of Itamar. The Hebrew text uses an idiom which actually states, “The work of the Levites in the hand of Itamar, the son of Aharon the Priest.” The Hebrew word “hand” can also relate to power. The idea is here is that it was only when the Levites submitted to the authority of Itamar, did HaShem release His power so that the work of the Tabernacle could be accomplished. Never can a person complete the will of G-d without HaShem supplying His power and resources to His servants.
You may expect me to tell you how important it is to submit to authority, I am not! What is important is to submit to G-dly authority. I say this because I hear so many people who are in congregations where the leadership is not teaching the Bible. Nor is the leadership supportive of Israel. But because secondary factors, such as children’s programs, the family remains under the authority of those who are not themselves submitting to the Word of G-d. My point is this, we are rapidly approaching the last days and now more than ever it is important that people hear the revelation of Scripture. Find a congregation where the leadership teaches the Bible rather than human insights. A congregation which believes there is a necessity to understand all the counsel of G-d instead of using the pulpit as a platform for counseling. More and more those who are called to instruct others by Scripture are simply using Scripture to convey a type of human centered religion that emphasizes the power to accomplish one’s own desires, rather than the will of G-d. Likewise there is a growing theological illiteracy among believers. Biblical doctrines are most important. Such doctrines provide a framework for the believer to sift out improper teachings enabling one to submit to that which is from G-d and in line with the Person and Work of Messiah Yeshua.
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