Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pekudei Shemot/Exodus 38:21 – 40:38

Pekudei          38:21 – 40:38

            This week’s selection is somewhat similar to last week’s reading - Vayak’hel.  Similar, but not exact.  While Vayak’hel seems to have been written describing the work as it had been assigned and as it was being done, Pekudei is an accounting of what had been accomplished – a final inventory if you will.
            As we inventory the parashah, we discover an inventory of all that had been made.  Along with this accounting is another one that is just as important.  No less than seventeen times is it mentioned “as the Lord commanded Moses”, and the other two references of an accomplishment according to the command of the Lord are directly referencing Moses (see 39:43 and 40:16).
            Moshe has shown himself faithful in the construction of the mishkan. 
The beginning of the manufacture of the parts of the mishkan could not have begun less than 40 days after Shavuot since Moshe went back up on the mount for that length of time following the golden calf incident.  Erection of the mishkan occurred on the 1st day of the 1st month of the second year, a mere fourteen days before Pesach.  Ergo, a mere 311 days was the maximum amount of time between the commencement and completion of the project.  From that we must also subtract forty-four or forty-five days for shabbatot (shabbats), so this whole project took 267 or 268 days to complete. 
            Upon further investigation I discovered that the gestation period for humans is 268 days according to “research published in Human Reproduction”.  As reported in the research,
                        “the researchers were able to determine the exact
                        moment of ovulation and implantation in the womb. 
                        From these dates, they were able to determine that
                        the time from ovulation to birth is 268 days.  Even with
                        that knowledge, the researchers found that there is
                        STILL a potential five week variability in the gestation
                        period.”  (http://www.newhealthguide.org/Gestation-Period-For-Humans.html)

            HaShem chose to dwell with His people, and it presumably took a full gestation period of working days for the mishkan to be built.  Between fourteen and fifteen centuries later, Yeshua would endure a gestation period as His earthly tabernacle was developed.
            As interesting as that is, I am still drawn to the number of times we are told that Moshe did as the Lord commanded.  What a special spirit that HaShem gave that man!
            Much has been attributed to many great leaders as Eisenhower, Churchill, Lincoln, Washington, and Alexander the Great, but none had the temerity, the chutzpah of Moshe over so great a number of people for so lengthy a period of time.  In my mind, Moshe has been unequalled in his ability to lead, and he has only been surpassed by the One of Whom he was a shadow.
            Our reading closes with a cloud over the tent and the glory of the Lord having filled the tabernacle.  When HaShem moves, the people move; when HaShem is stationary, so are His people.  In this, let it be said that for the present time of our reading, the people did as their leader, they did as the Lord commanded.  May that be said of each of us also.

            With the encouragement received from this parashah, may we with vigor join together and say, “Chazak!  Chazak!  Venischazeik!  (Be strong!  Be strong!  And may we be strengthened”!)

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