Pekudei פְקוּדֵי - Accountancy
Torah Reading: Exodus 38:21-40:38
Haftarah: 1 Kings 7:51-8:21
Apostolic Reading: Luke 16:1-13
Reading #7 - Exodus 40:28–38
The Tabernacle is up and ready to serve. And the first thing that happens is Hashem’s glory FILLS the Tent of the Meeting. The place where He meets with the High Priest. All I can imagine is that there was a peaceful, powerful, overwhelming soft light of His presence. It was so amazingly strong that Moses could not enter. And it didn’t end. It continued to “hover” over the Tabernacle day and night. At night it manifested as a cloud of fire. He wanted to journey with His people to the Promised Land, and this is how He did it. I believe His presence still goes with us today, just in a different way. Maybe sometimes it is a particular sign of Him, or a feeling – but I know His Spirit travels with us – all the time.
Here is the big “take away” from today’s Parashat. When the cloud gets up and moves - you move! You don’t wait to see if He really meant it and maybe He will come back. Or you don’t take your time to decide if you want to follow Him now or wait until later. You go. He goes, you go. And that is what I am talking about for TODAY. If He is asking you to do something – simply follow His lead. Don’t hesitate, you will regret it forever. I remember one of our trips to Israel and we were in Jerusalem. It was raining and I had an umbrella but an older gentleman passed me by and was getting soaked because he did not have one. I felt like Hashem said to me, “Give him your umbrella”. I don’t know if I was scared, or didn’t really believe Hashem told me to do this. But, I hesitated and soon the man was way down the street. I have regretted that decision for years. Who knows, maybe that act of kindness would have changed his life. Or maybe he was having a really hard day and just needed to know someone cared. I missed my chance. I repented and have tried to faithfully listen to Hashem ever since. Follow the “cloud” of Hashem, and when He moves, you move.
Reading #7 - Exodus 40:28-38
28 He put up the screen of the door to the tabernacle. 29 He set the altar of burnt offering at the door of the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the meal offering, as Hashem commanded Moses. 30 He set the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water therein, with which to wash. 31 Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and their feet there. 32 When they went into the Tent of Meeting, and when they came near to the altar, they washed, as Hashem commanded Moses. 33 He raised up the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and Hashem’s glory filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses wasn’t able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud stayed on it, and Hashem’s glory filled the tabernacle. 36 When the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward, throughout all their journeys; 37 but if the cloud wasn’t taken up, then they didn’t travel until the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of Hashem was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Amazingly, centuries later the Tent of Meeting is brought to Jerusalem where Solomon has built a “house” Temple for Hashem. They bring in all the items and in verse 10 we read, “It came to pass, when the priests had come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled Hashem’s house.” Just like when Moses completed the Tabernacle and the cloud filled the holy of holies! It makes you think that Hashem must be so pleased and happy when He can dwell with His people in His house! We must keep praying that the Temple is rebuilt for Hashem so He can come back and fill His house with His glory. Imagine that!
David wanted to build a house for Hashem, but Hashem instructs him that He wants his son, Solomon, to build His house. Was David disappointed, or did He respect Hashem’s decision? Or was he just so amazed and excited that Hashem would even speak to him – and then tell him He wanted a house. Hashem chooses David to be King over Israel, and then after him, Solomon rules. The point being sometimes we don’t always get what we want. David wanted to build the house but could not. I’m sure Moses wanted to go into the Holy of Holies, but could not. Can you think of something you wanted that you never got? Maybe Hashem just wants to appreciate and care for what you have. Maybe He just wants you to be happy about knowing Him and His Torah! What do you think?
Haftarah: 1 Kings 7:51-8:21
51 Thus all the work that king Solomon did in Hashem’s house was finished. Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of Hashem’s house.
8 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, with all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers’ households of the children of Israel, to king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Hashem’s covenant out of David’s city, which is Zion. 2 All the men of Israel assembled themselves to king Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the ark. 4 They brought up Hashem’s ark, the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent. The priests and the Levites brought these up. 5 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled to him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and cattle, that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 6 The priests brought in the ark of Hashem’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, even under the cherubim’s wings. 7 For the cherubim spread their wings out over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its poles above. 8 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary; but they were not seen outside. They are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when Hashem made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 It came to pass, when the priests had come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled Hashem’s house, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for Hashem’s glory filled Hashem’s house. 12 Then Solomon said, “Hashem has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. 13 I have surely built you a house of habitation, a place for you to dwell in forever.”
14 The king turned his face around, and blessed all the assembly of Israel; and all the assembly of Israel stood. 15 He said, “Blessed is Hashem, the Elohim of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to David your father, and has with His hand fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’
17 “Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Hashem, the Elohim of Israel. 18 But Hashem said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house; but your son who shall come out of your body, he shall build the house for My name.’ 20 Hashem has established His word that He spoke; for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as Hashem promised, and have built the house for the name of Hashem, the Elohim of Israel. 21 There I have set a place for the ark, in which is Hahsem’s covenant, which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
This is a tough parable to understand. I did some research on it and so might you. The best I can say is that the manager apparently was not doing a good job. Looks like he was going to lose it so it tries to make some instant friends by diminishing their debt. Maybe the manager doesn’t know this, but the debtors begin to pay their debts. The manager did get a little “creative” about retrieving some money. Was that what he was commended for? I have no idea. But one could discern that Yeshua wants us to be “shrewd” with the gifts (money) that we have, or maybe even our talents. This has to do with getting reading for the world to come. How do you interpret this story? Talk about it with someone you know – it will make a good discussion.
Verse 10 says if you are faithful in little things you will be faithful in bigger ones. Is that true about you? Do you respect and take care of small things in your life? For example, your child asks you to play with him/her and you are too tired and make some excuse. Or do you take time and play with him/her – even though you would rather rest? In other words, you put your child above yourself. You become faithful in being a good parent with something small. This qualifies you to believe you will also be faithful when it comes to a larger challenge. Ponder on this for a minute and make sure you take heed to those small things today.
Apostolic Reading: Luke 16:1-13
16 He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
3 “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 5 Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. 9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve Elohim and Mammon.”