This week we read the final portion of Exodus, a book which began with the Jewish people enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt and now ends with the completion of the construction of the Mishkan in the desert. Exodus is known as ‘The Book of Redemption’; redemption was achieved not only through our escape from slavery, but also through receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai which gave purpose to that freedom. The climax of that salvation was when G-d rested His presence among the Jewish nation when the Mishkan was completed.
Parshas Pekudei begins with a complete accounting of the gold, silver and copper contributed by the people for use in the Mishkan. Following an inspection and approval of the many utensils and unassembled parts, Moses sets up the Mishkan on Rosh Chodesh Nissan as each part is anointed and arranged in its proper location. When the Mishkan is finally complete with every vessel in place, a cloud descends upon it, indicating that G-d’s glory was resting there. Whenever the cloud moved away from the Mishkan, the Jewish people would follow it. At night the cloud was replaced by a pillar of fire.
Torah Portion: Pekudei Exodus 38:21-40:38 Chumash pages 530-541
Haftorah: 1 Kings 7:51 – 8:21 Chumash pages 1164-1165