Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pekudei 5776

The Torah Portion of "Pekudei"  

Excerpted and Translated from the the Teachings of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l

"These are the accountings of the Mishkan...which were counted at the word of Moshe."  (Shemot 38:21)

The Holy Zohar asks, isn't it so that the blessing is not to be found except in something which is hidden from the eye, so why did they count all the silver?  And the answer is that regarding the silver which was counted by Moshe Rabbeinu, that the blessing rests upon it even if it is counted and not hidden from the eye.  And that is the explanation of the verse "these are the accountings of the Mishkan...which were counted at the word of Moshe" --  because they were counted by Moshe there was no damage or lack caused by the counting of the sum of the donations for the Mishkan, and on the contrary because of the power of Moshe's greatness and righteousness, there was no reason to prevent the blessing.

"...a hundred sockets (in Hebrew: "Adanim") for a hundred kikar..."  (Shemot 38:27)

The Baal HaTurim wrote that in parallel to the hundred sockets they established to say a hundred blessings every day.  And the Chidushei HaRim says that just as the sockets are the basis of the Mishkan, so also the blessings are the basis of the holiness of every man of Israel, and by means of the blessings he testifies that Hashem, may He be blessed, is the Master of all of Creation.    The Kli Yakar says that a Socket (in Hebrew: Aden) is from the same root as Master  (in Hebrew: Adon), and he says that someone holds himself to be lowly like a Socket, is a  Master, and as in the language of the Zohar, someone who regards himself as lowly, is great.

"...and Moshe blessed them." (Shemot 39:43)

Rashi states that Moshe said to them "May it be Hashem's will that the Shechina (the Divine Presence) should dwell within the work of your hands".  And the explanation of this is, that in all the activities that a person is occupied with, also in matters of physicality and earning a livelihood, it needs to be recognizable within that activity that he is serving the Creator and that the Shechina is present.  And that is the meaning of saying that "the Shechina should dwell within the work of your hands."

" Hashem had commanded Moshe."  (Shemot 40:19 and other places)

There are 18 times in this Torah Portion that it is mentioned "as Hashem had commanded Moshe", and it is brought in the Talmud Yerushalmi that in parallel to this there were 18 blessings established in the Shemoneh Esrei prayer.  And this is also to show us that in every act that a person does, he needs to know if that is in accord with the commandment of Hashem.

Why is the Torah repetitive?

Why did the Torah repeat separately the service in the Mishkan, and the commandments about the Mishkan, and the making of the Mishkan, and the setting up of the Mishkan, with all the details each and every time?  It is because the Holy One Blessed Be He desires very much to have His Shechina dwell within Israel.

The Mishkan was finished on the 25th of Kislev.

The Mishkan was finished on the 25th of Kislev, but Hashem said to set it up on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, since that is the month in which Yitzchak Avinu was born, and he was a Korban (sacrificial offering), and the Mishkan was the place to bring sacrificial offerings.  The month of Kislev came with a complaint, "why are they waiting till the month of Nissan?" So Hashem said, it is incumbent upon me to "pay" Kislev with the holiday of Chanukah.  (from the Sages)

The Siman (Mnemonic Sign) at the end of every Torah Portion.

At the end of every Torah Portion appears the sum of the number of verses in the Torah Portion, together with a corresponding mnemonic sign, except for the Torah Portion of Pekudei.  There is no mnemonic sign for the sum of the number of verses.  And it has been explained in the name of one of the Tzaddikim (Righteous Men), that in his opinion, that was just an omission of the printer.  And it is possible that it was written "Bli Kol Siman" (In English: "without any mnemonic sign") --- that is to say, the "Siman" (in Engish: "mnemomic sign" ) was "Bli Kol" (in English: "without any")  which has the Gematia (numerical value of the letters) of 92, which is the number of verses in the Torah Portion.   And the printer came and understood it in a simple manner, that there was no mnemomic sign, and therefore left it out...(from Otzar HaChaim, as brought in the book "Torat HaParshah"). 

M'shenichnas Adar Marbim B'Simcha (When Adar enters, we increase in happiness)

We bless "Chazak" at the end of the Torah Portion of Pekudei, which is the end of the book of Shemot.

The Torah Portion of "Pekudei" has 92 verses. There are 4 positive commandments and 5 negative commandments.The Haftorah is "Vatishlam Kol HaMelacha" (Malachim Aleph 7 8)

This week is a break in the midst of the "Four Parshiot"
We say Borchi Nafshi

May you have a light-filled and happy Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom

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