Double Torah Portion
This week's DOUBLE Torah Portion:
Our parashah starts out with some familiar instructions. Actually, the contribution (Hebrew: t’rumah) taken in verses 4-29 is a repeat of the instructions of Sh’mot chapter 25. However, this time, we learn that the t’rumah was so great that Moshe had to instruct the people to stop giving (see 36:3-7)! The major difference between the two accounts is that the former (Parash’ot T’rumah, Tetzaveh, and Ki Tissa) signifies the instructions (as can be observed by the fact that the verb tenses are in the future), whereas the latter (i.e. our current portion as well as the final portion) is in the past tense, signifying the work that was completed according to instructions. It is unfortunate that the awful golden calf incident had to even mar the historical narrative at all! Moreover, we learned last week that the temptation to sin is never so great that we cannot escape. But despite the fact that 25, 000 died as a result of the punishment, isn’t it fantastic to know that the remaining people gave so abundantly!
With Parashat P’kudei (say “P-koo-day”) we have reached our final parashah of the book of Sh’mot (Exodus). Remember that I’ve explained to you that the word “sh’mot” is the plural form of the Hebrew word “shem,” which means, “name.” We’ve discussed some pretty significant names in the book of Sh’mot. The parashah is relatively short, like it’s previous portion, and is read with Parashat Vayak’hel in regular years.It is interesting that the name of our final portion is translated “accounts.” Although the portion centers on the accounts of the building of the Mishkan, I want to make a play on words, and conduct an account of the entire book of Exodus, a sort of final summary if you will. I shall use selected statements from each of the ten previous portions to accomplish this. However, prior to this, I want to reexamine a feature of the Mishkan that I centered on in a portion from the book of B’resheet. Because like me, you might sometimes need reminders of important, spiritual truths, I feel that both of these formats will be highly beneficial to our readers, both old and new.