July 18, 2024 ~ Shabbat BALAQ. Maqam MAHOUR.

Shabbat Pequdei - שבת פקודי


Like God Commanded Moses

כאשר צוה ה' את משה - One of the most important themes in this week's Torah portion, Perashat Pequdei, is that the people followed the directions of building the Tabernacle "exactly how God commanded Moses" (Exodus 39:1). Unlike other portions in the Torah where the Israelites failed to do so, God expresses his approval here by endorsing the Tabernacle by dwelling there and having His cloud rest over it. In order to further emphasize this theme, the Syrian Jewish custom has it that every Shabbat Aliyah of this perasha stops with words similar to "like God commanded Moses" (כאשר צוה ה׳ את משה). Following this custom, the following would be the locations of the Aliyot Stops: Rishon until Exodus 39:1, Sheni until 39:7, Shelishi until 39:21, Rebi'i until 39:26, Hamishi until 39:32, Shishi until 39:43, Extra until 40:16, Extra until 40:21, Extra until 40:25, Extra until 40:29, Mashlim until the end of the perasha. Tiqqun Highlights, Beth Torah Bulletin 3/9/19.


ובהעלות הענן מעל המשכן יסעו בני ישראל - When we are first born, we are infants, and we do not have the ability to make our own decisions. Our parents are instrumental in guiding us to become adults who are capable of playing this same role. Eventually as we earned our parents trust, they allow us to make our own decisions. In Exodus 40, we read of the Divine presence filling the Tabernacle. On top of it, there was a cloud resting, and this cloud was there to guide the nation forward. According to Exodus 40:36, when the cloud rose above the Tabernacle and moved forward, then the Israelites travelled, and if the cloud did not move forward, then the Israelites did not travel. When the Israelites are in the desert, they, as a nation, are considered in their infancy. As infants, they had God, their parent, guiding them and taking care of every decision. With the passage of time, more autonomy is given to the people to make their own decisions. Beth Torah Bulletin, 3/9/19.