Shabbat Pekudei 5784

The Thursday lunch-and-learn group started a new course last week–a look at the weekly haftarah. For the next year, I’ll use this space to share something that didn’t make it into our class discussion.

The architectural details of the Torah reading, Pekudei can numb us to a moment of profound excitement in the Torah reading. On the first day of the first month of the second year from the Exodus–a first anniversary–Moshe actually erects the Mishkan. All that work in gathering materials and fashioning them into something functional culminates in a magical moment. It shouldn’t get lost in the details. When the ohel mo’ed, the Tent of Meeting, stands up, it was all worth it.

The haftarah that we read tells of the completion of the Temple building project in the days of Shlomo, King Solomon. The big deal is the ceremony of bringing the Ark into the Temple. Included in the new permanent edifice was, according to rabbinic tradition, the selfsame ohel mo’ed that Moshe made. Tosefta Sotah (13:1) claims that it was too “pre-owned” to use in the Temple, and that it was stored away. Only the table and candelabra that Moshe made remained in use. Nevertheless, there’s deep symbolism in Shlomo’s incorporation of the Tent of Meeting in the new Temple.

On Shabbat morning, just before we chant the haftarah, we’ll explore the power of that symbolism as we compare and contrast mishkan/mikdash, Tabernacle/Temple.

Shabbat Shalom and Shalom al Yisrael,

Rabbi David Wise

Candle lighting: 6:44 PM
Torah Reading: Exodus 38:21-40:38
Haftarah: I Kings 7:51-8:21