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Wednesday, Adar1 29, 5779 / March 6, 2019


This week’s Parsha, Pekudei, is the last Parsha in the book of Exodus. Parshat Pekudei describes in detail the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and all of it’s contents. It also describes the clothing of the priests who serve in the Mishkan. We also read in this Parsha that all the items were brought to Moshe and he himself was the one who put up the Mishkan.


It was a great miracle as the weight of it all was beyond the capability for one person to put up. The weight of the beams of the Mishkan was beyond the capability of a person to lift.


Q.   Why did G-d perform this special miracle that Moshe should erect the Mishkan all by himself?


A.   The Midrash says: Each one of the Jewish people contributed or was involved in the construction of the Mishkan, except for Moshe.  G-d wanted Moshe to have a part in the Mishkan so He left the assembly of the Mishkan to Moshe. 


Our sages tell us that Moshe said to G-d, “How could a human being possibly erect it?” G-d replied, “You work with your hands and it will appear as if you are erecting it, but it will actually go up by itself.” 


Q. Every word in the Torah is precise, yet the details of the Mishkan are told and repeated in such great length in four Parshiot of the Book of Shemot; Terumah, Tetzaveh, Vayakhel and Pekudei?


A.  The building of the Mishkan was a sign of G-d’s forgiveness for the gravest sin committed by the Jewish people - the sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. The Mishkan, in which G-d’s presence rested, served as testimony that G-d forgave the Jewish people the sin of the Golden Calf. In order to prove that G-d’s love for the Jewish people did not waver, G-d wrote about the Mishkan in such great length.


Q.  In the Parsha we read that Moshe’s nephew, Betzalel, was in charge of the building of the Mishkan. How old was Betzalel when he built the Mishkan and its contents? 


A.   Betzalel was only thirteen years when he built the Mishkan!


Q.   Throughout the Parsha, the Torah describes the work of the Mishkan, and adds that they did it, “As G-d has commanded Moshe.” This phrase appears 18 times!  What is the significance of this number?


A.  The Midrash says that when the Rabbis of the Great Assembly instituted the Shmone Esrei (Amida) payer, they established in it 18 blessings. Hence, the name Shmone Esrei, which is 18 in Hebrew. Just as G-d’s name is mentioned 18 times in the Parsha in connection with the building of the Mishkan, so too, G-d’s name is mentioned in the 18 blessings of the Amida prayer.


The two days Rosh Chodesh Adar 2 will begin Wednesday night, through Thursday & Friday.