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The Weekly Aliyot
Providing a short summary of the Torah portion read
in the Synagogue on Shabbat.
You are encouraged to read the complete Torah portion of the week,
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Pekudei

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  VayakhelVayakhel-Pekudai  


The construction of the Mishkan began in the previous parsha, Vayakhel. Vayakhel and this week's parsha, Pekudei, are often combined into a double parsha, but not this year.


The first aliyah credits Betzalel and Ohiliab with the building of the Mishkan. Also given here is an accounting of all the precious material used in the construction of the mishkan, its vessels, and the clothes of the Kohanim. The count of men over 20 years old is also given and is 603,550.


In the second aliyah Betzalel makes the ephod (an apron for the Kohain) out of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen. He also makes the breastplate of judgment (Choshen Mishpat) of the same materials and 12 precious stones set in gold; each stone corresponding to one of the twelve tribes. Betzalel binds the breastplate to the ephod.


In the third aliyah Betzalel makes the robe for the ephod with pomegranate shapes and bells on its skirt as G-d commanded Moshe, as well as other garments for Aharon and his sons to minister in the Mishkan.

The Mishkan is completed, according to the Midrash, on the 25th of Kislev (later to become the first day of the holiday of Chanukah).


In the fourth aliyah the workmen bring all the pieces of the Mishkan to Moshe, and when Moshe saw that all the work had been done exactly as G-d had commanded, he blessed the workers.


In the fifth aliyah G-d instructs Moshe to set up the Mishkan. G-d also instructs Moshe to place all the equipment in their proper places, and anoint all of the items, as well as Aharon and his sons, with the anointing oil, to make them holy. (This latter anointing of Aharon's sons made the Kohanim the priesthood for all generations.)


In the sixth aliyah Moshe sets up the Mishkan on the 1st of Nissan -- almost a year after they left Egypt. According to Rashi in a previous aliyah, no one else had the strength to erect the Mishkan because of the heaviness of the boards. Since Moshe hadn't participated in the building of the Mishkan, he was given the opportunity to set it up. Moshe asked G-d how it was humanly possible to set it up, and G-d said that Moshe should just touch it, and G-d caused the Mishkan to set itself up.


In the seventh aliyah Moshe completes the placing of articles in the Mishkan, including the altar and the lavers. Moshe offered an offering on the altar. The Torah says that Moshe finished the work. Finally, the Cloud of Glory fills the Mishkan. It remained there every day, and became fire every night. Whenever the cloud lifted up, the people would travel, whenever the cloud rested, they would camp. Everyone would see this in all their travels.


This is the end of the book of Shemos. Before the last pussok we stand, and after the last words of the parsha are read we say: "Chazak Chazak V'Nitchazaik."


  VayakhelVayakhel-Pekudai  

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