TEEmail_January 2014_Yomtov

This Week in Torah

Our torah portion this Shabbat is Pekude, Exodus 38:21-40:30. It continues the theme of the previous portion in describing our ancestors’ enthusiasm for building the Mishkan (tabernacle) and their exacting commitment to its great detail. After transmitting God‘s detailed instructions for building the Mishkan, the Torah could have simply concluded with the words Vayasu ken, “and so they did.” Instead, it describes how the Mishkan was actually made, repeating all the details. We learn several things from this. First, that whatever we do, we should try to do it right and not just half-heartedly. In Parshat Pekude, it is pointed out how Betzalel and the others who worked to make the Mishkan, the portable Tabernacle and its special furnishings, made the extra effort to do it right – just the way God and Moses had asked them. They didn’t try to cut any corners. We can learn from this good trait and remember that anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Another lesson to be learned from our torah portion is the importance of following through. A person can have the greatest ideas and make the best plans, but they really don’t count for very much until he or she follows through and puts them into action. As mentioned earlier, God gives instructions to Moses regarding what steps to take in setting up the Tabernacle and preparing it for use. Then, the Torah almost seems to repeat itself, telling us that Moses indeed took each of these steps. So, what we can learn from here is the value of following through and actually doing the good and worthwhile things that we become inspired to do. This is one of the most important secrets of how to become a more productive and fulfilled person.

As Parshat Pekude concludes the Book of Exodus, we say, Chazak Chazak v’nitchazek” because we realize that through the lessons of the Torah, together we become a stronger Jewish community!

Shabbat Shalom.

Cantor Diane Yomtov