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Pekudei / Shabbat Shekalim ~ 5774 ~ פקודי
The total weights of the precious metals used in the construction of the sanctuary are rendered: Gold – 29 talents, 730 Shekels; Silver – 100 talents, 1775 Shekels. Each of the 603,550 men over the age of 20 gave half a Shekel as ordered. A further accounting of the acquired and used materials is given. The Ephod, breastplate, was made according to the dimensions and descriptions given previously in Exodus 28:6-12 (pg. 340). As G-d instructed Moshe, the Kohen’s Robe is made and adorned with gold bells and pomegranates. The shirts, hats (turbans) as well as the High Priest’s unique mitre and head band were all made per specifications. The entire work for the Sanctuary is now completed and the products are brought to Moshe. The list of items are enumerated: the tent, its furniture, the complicated curtains and veils, the Ark, the table, the two altars, the menorah, all the tools, and the Kohens’ clothing.
G-d now commands Moshe to properly assemble the structure, place the Holy utensils in their places, and then anoint the entire edifice. Afterwards, Moshe is to anoint Aaron and his sons. Thy shall be Kohanim forever. These verses confirm that Moshe set up the Sanctuary Tent as commanded in the immediate previous verses. He did so on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, in the 2nd year of the Exodus. The Courtyard and its “furniture” are set up complete with the “Laver”, a water tank used by Priests to wash their hands and feet before officiating. When totally completed, the presence of G-d descended into the Tabernacle in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night.
MAFTIR Shabbat Shekalim/Exodus 30:11-16 -page 352
HARTARAH Kings: II 12:1-17 page 992
This Haftarah relates how the young King Yeho’ash (3084 – 677 BCE ) collected the funds for the rededication of the Holy Temple. He strengthened and redecorated the 155 year old Temple and instituted a simple system of collection, known today as the “Pushka.” A special box was designated next to the Altar where all collected moneIs were deposited. The money was counted and dispersed as needed to workmen in the Temple. The Prophet specifically states that no accounting was made with the contractors, because they were men of integrity. Yeho’ash was the sole survivor from the House of King David. Most were massacred by Queen Athalya, the daughter of Achav and Ezevel. The young prince was saved by his aunt, Yehosheva, the wife of Yehoyada, the Kohein Gadol, who hid him in the Temple for six years. At the age of seven, Yehoyada revealed Yeho’ash’s existence, and coronated him the King of Yehudah. Yehoyada was the disciple of Elisha the Prophet.
Parashah Study Questions
1. Why is there a special haftarah reading for a Shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Chodesh?
2. The Tribe of Dan’s symbol was the Scales of Justice. The tribesmen were supposed to be judges and enforcers of law. How is that Ohaliav was a skilled craftsman (38:23)?
3. For propriety reasons, why didn’t the Kohanim’s clothing have pockets? Why did they serve their duties and enter the “Holies” barefooted (39:1)?
4. What is the paragraph under the word ÷æç (CHAZAK) on page 391? What is its function?
5. Purim is in exactly two weeks, what should individuals do to prepare for the holiday? What should the community be doing?