Shabbat Shalom Dear Readers Parshat Pekudei 5776

March 11, 2016

Mishkan

besyata

 

This Shabbat, Parshat Pekudei, candle lighting will be at 5:41 PM in Brooklyn New York. The parsha is the final reading in the book of Shemot, also known as the book of Exodus. Usually it is doubled up with parshat Vayakhel, except for leap years like this year, 5776. Jewish leap years, unlike secular leap years, have an extra month rather than an extra day. The leap month of Adar II, in which Purim occurs was blessed last Shabbat. One of the practices on Shabbat is to bless the new month on Shabbat morning if it occurs in the upcoming week. This week, Rosh Chodesh Adar was  two days and fell out on Sunday and Monday.

Candle lighting, which is 18 minutes before sunset, differs from one locality to another. Chabad.org has the candle lighting time for your locality, as well as articles on the parsha and other topics of interest. These articles can be printed out to be read on Shabbat. In addition, Aish.com similarly has a wide assortment of educational and entertaining materials in written and in multimedia format.

Chabad.org has an article about a speech given by a 91 year old Auschwitz survivor. Unfortunately, that generation is leaving us, making it important to record their memories.

Aish.com has an article about Dustin Hoffman’s discovery of his Jewish roots. Mention is made in the article of the Soviet Civil War from 1918 to 1921, a traumatic chapter in Soviet history that had a major impact on Jews.

This parsha deals with the completion of the Mishkan, which was the forerunner of the Temple. It also provides an inventory of its components.

The Haftarah, which deals with the Temple of King Solomon, is I Kings 7:51-8:21.

Every garment, worn by priests (Kohanim) and every fixture in the Mishkon, and later the Temple, has deep meaning and significance. Chabad.org has an article this week about the Tzitz, a headband worn by the high priest. Aish.com has two particularly good articles. One article is about someone who reconnected with an estranged father. Another article is about a case where a father realised that he had just set a bad example for his child and set about to correct the situation.

It is important to realise that the Mishkon, and later the Temple, do not exist separately from the people who came there. The Temple is a means to connect with G-d, and ultimately strengthens us in our own obligations as human beings. May the temple be speedily rebuilt, and may we and the world connect to it in the ways that most strengthen us spiritually.

 

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