From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/pkudei
P’kudei (פְקוּדֵי — [The] Records [of the Tabernacle]) – Exodus 38:21-40:38
These are the records of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of the Pact, which were drawn up at Moses’ bidding—the work of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. – Exodus 38:21
- A statistical summary of the materials used for the Tabernacle and an account of producing the priestly vestments are recorded. Moses blesses the Israelites for the work they did. (38:21-39:42)
- Upon God’s instruction, Moses sets up the Mishkan and the priests are anointed and consecrated. (40:1-33)
- A description is given of a cloud that covers the Mishkan by day and a fire that burns by night, indicating God’s Presence therein. (40:33-38) [The Book of Exodus ends here.]
Upon completing a book of Torah Ashkenazi Jews shout “Chazak! Chazak! Venit-chazëk” which is translated as “Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!” The Sephardic custom is to say “Chazak U’baruch” (“strength and blessing”) at the end of every single individual Torah reading; the response is “Chazak Ve’ematz” (“be strong and have courage” from Deut. 31:23) or “Baruch Tihiye” (“may you be blessed.”)
Ashkenazim and Sefardim: I Kings 7:40-50 [Ashkenazim historic: I Kings 7:51-8:21]
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
You can read this week’s full Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.38.21-40.38
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pekudei
Pekudëi (פְקוּדֵי — Hebrew for “amounts of”) – Exodus 38:21-40:38
Moses directs Aaron’s son Ithamar to oversee the accounts of the Tabernacle. The text sets forth the amounts of gold, silver and copper that Bezalel, Oholiab (אָהֳלִיאָב, of the Tribe of Dan) and their coworkers used. The silver comes from the half-shekel for each man 20 years old and older counted in the census. The artisans make the priests’ garments, the ephod and the breastpiece — just as God commanded.
In Modern Interpretation – Tent of Meeting (Ohel Mo’ed) or Tabernacle (Mishkan)
Noting the juxtaposition of the two terms “Tabernacle” (מִשְׁכַּן, Mishkan) and [the] “Tent of Meeting” (אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, Ohel Mo’ed) in Exodus 39:32, 40; 40:2, 6, 29; Umberto Cassuto wrote that the two synonymous expressions stand in juxtaposition to stress the formal solemnity of the statement of the formal ending of the account of the Tabernacle’s construction. Nahum Sarna wrote that the combination of the two distinct terms for the sanctuary together expresses its dual function as the symbol of the indwelling of the Divine Presence in the camp of Israel and as the site of communication between God and Moses. Gunther Plaut concluded that the two terms probably reflect two traditions, one using the term “Tabernacle” (מִשְׁכַּן, Mishkan) and the other the term “Tent” (אֹהֶל, Ohel).
Plaut reported that the school of Julius Wellhausen considered the “Tent” tradition the older and the “Tabernacle” passages as retrojections of the Priestly source and therefore as largely unhistorical. Plaut reported that another theory assigned the Ark and Tabernacle to a northern and the Tent of Meeting to a southern source and held that David, by putting the Ark into the Tent in 2 Samuel 6:17, united the tribes and traditions and that thereafter the term “Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting” (מִשְׁכַּן אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, Mishkan Ohel Mo-ed) was coined.
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
פקודי P’kudei – Exodus 38:21-40:38
Completing and Consecrating the Tabernacle by Carol Meyers, pp.545-546
Parashat P’kudei (“records [of]”) brings to a conclusion the long Tabernacle narrative and the book of Exodus. In this book, the Israelites have been transformed from slaves building store cities for Pharaoh (1:11–14) into a free people building a “home” for the God who will now dwell among them (25:8). Once the Tabernacle is completed, God’s presence fills the sacred space. Just as God’s cloud and fire led the Israelites from the Sea of Reeds to Sinai and then hovered over the holy mountain, God will now be with them when the wilderness journey resumes, as recounted in the book of Numbers.
As the parashah begins, the Israelites have fabricated all the components of the tent and its enclosure, interior, and courtyard furnishings (see parashat Vayak’heil); now they inventory the collected materials (38:21–31). Only the instructions for the priestly vestments given in parashat T’tzaveh (28:1–43) have not yet been fulfilled. Thus, before the Israelites erect and dedicate the Tabernacle, they must make the garments for Aaron and his descendants (39:1–31). The description of the vestments here is quite similar to that of the earlier instructions. However, there are differences, most notably the virtual absence of Aaron’s name, even though he serves as the chief priestly official (the “high priest”). Instead, the final part of Exodus returns to highlighting Aaron’s brother, Moses, and his special relationship with God.
After reporting that the vestments are completed, the text presents a final summation of the construction work (39:33–43), after which the actual assembly of the shrine can begin. God gives Moses the orders to set up the Tabernacle and install its furnishings (40:1–8) and then to consecrate them and also the priests (40:9–16). All the pieces now come together under the leadership of Moses, who carries out God’s commandments to erect the shrine and place its furnishings in the proper place (40:17–33). With the Tabernacle complete, God’s presence enters this sumptuous earthly abode (40:34–38). Some of the language here evokes the creation of the world in Genesis 1, reflecting the momentous significance that the text bestows upon this event.
Once everything is complete, Moses reviews the work and blesses the Israelites (39:43). Finally, God’s invisible presence fills the Mishkan (40:34–35). In contrast to the prior Torah portion, where women (and men) are mentioned explicitly as contributors to the Tabernacle and as participants in essential aspects of its construction and service, here neither women nor men are directly visible as such, apart from three specified leaders. Rather, those women (and men) remain in view while their gender recedes into the background. Indirectly–as previously mentioned donors, fabricators, and members of the collective Israelite community–they are included in the final account of the sacred portable structure erected so that God “may dwell among them” (25:8; 29:46).
Another View – by Lisbeth S. Fried, p. 560
This parashah describes the priestly vestments: the ephod and breastpiece of gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns of fine twisted linen, the pure blue women robe with its pomegranates of blue, purple, and twisted crimson yarns on the hem, the tunics of fine linen woven work to be worn by Aaron and his sons, their headdress and decorated turbans of fine line, and their sashes of fine embroidered blue, purple, and crimson linen yarns. Besides the priests’ vestments, the text also mentions the hangings and curtains used to decorate the Tabernacle and to separate the rooms.
Producing textiles like these required a series of steps–carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving the cotton, linen, or wool–tasks typically performed by women in the ancient Near East. Graves of women and girls often include weaving equipment such as bobbins and loom weights, whereas men’s and boy’s graves lack such equipment. Likewise, 4000-year-old graves of women in Turkmenia include specialized knives similar to those used by carpet weavers who live there today. An ancient Egyptian wooden model of a weaver’s house shows women at work weaving, spinning, and winding the yarns. A relief found at Susa, dated to circa 1000 B.C.E., shows a woman sitting on a stool as she spins.
The objects described in this parashah were for use in the Tabernacle and later in the Jerusalem Temple. What kind of staff maintained those facilities? Consider that Mesopotamian and Egyptian temples were large estates that employed thousands of workers. Female workers associated with these large temples cared for the sick and served as midwives, cooks and pastry chefs, menial cleaners, and janitors, as well as spinners and weavers.
According to Exodus, women performed the skilled work involved in preparing the yarn and weaving the fabrics for the Tabernacle (35:25–26). Although women are not mentioned explicitly in this parashah, archeological evidence and biblical references to women spinning and weaving (Proverbs 31:19; II Kings 23:7; compare Isaiah 19:9) allow us to reconstruct the vital role that Exodus presumes that women played in the construction of the Tabernacle and its elaborate objects.
PURIM/ פּוּרִים – from https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/purim
Celebration of Jewish deliverance as told by Megilat Esther
Purim for Hebrew Year 5782 begins at sundown on Wednesday, 16 March 2022 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 17 March 2022. [14 Adar II]
Purim (Hebrew: פּוּרִים, Pûrîm “lots”, from the wordפור pur, also called the Festival of Lots) is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in the ancient Persian Empire, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther).
We will have a Purim spiel and celebration on Zoom starting at 7 PM that evening. An email with a link and specific meeting id-passcode for this “Pazoom” event will be sent out before then.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 2 Adar II through 8 Adar II, we lovingly remember:
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, March 4, 2022.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Pekudëi (triennial part) Ex 39:22-40:38
Time: Mar 4, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Mar 4, 2022 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!