Commentary on Parashat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 - 40:38
All that the Lord commanded Moses was created for the sanctuary under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest, Bezalel of the tribe of Judah, and Oholiab of the tribe of Dan.
They made garments of distinction for those officiating in the Sanctuary and sacral vestments for Aaron, the High Priest. Aaron’s breastplate had 12 stones corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel. His robe was woven with the color of pure blue and had bells of pure gold.
They made tunics and headdresses and decorated turbans of embroidered fine linen for Aaron and his sons. They made the head-plate of pure gold, and inscribed upon it: “Holy to God.”
The Completion of the Tabernacle
Thus all the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was completed. Then the Israelites brought the Tabernacle and all that was within it to Moses. When Moses saw that they had performed all the tasks as the Lord had commanded, Moses blessed them.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: On the first day of the month you shall set up the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, and all that is within it. You shall take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its contents so that it shall be holy.
You shall bring Aaron and his sons forward to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and wash them with the water. Put the sacral vestments on Aaron and anoint him so that he may serve Me as priest. Then anoint his sons so that they may serve Me as priests. This anointing shall serve them in their everlasting priesthood throughout the generations. This Moses did, just as the Lord had commanded him.
When Moses finished, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.
When the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their journeys. If the cloud did not lift, they would not set out. For over the Tabernacle a cloud of the Lord rested by day and fire would appear in it by night, before the eyes of all the House of Israel throughout their journeys.
Parashat Pekudei Discussion Questions
1) The Israelites perform all the work for building the Sanctuary as the Lord commanded Moses. What kind of work does the Lord command of you in building today’s Sanctuaries?
2) A cloud covers the Tent of Appointed Meeting and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. How do you know when the Presence of the Lord fills a Sanctuary?
3) When you look at clouds does it remind you of God? Why or why not?
Reprinted with permission from Jewish Family & Life!