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Parshas Pekudei

Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Yerushalayim
Parshas Pekudei #13, 5763
(in translation)

With the help of Heaven


(The Parsha begins,) “These are the Pekudei (accountings) of the (donations) for the Mishkan. Here the Torah counts the amount of gold, silver and copper, which the Bnai Yisroel donated to the Mishkan. Pekudei means a number and an accounting.

We need to understand, for it is well known that Chazal say that a Bracha (blessing) does not dwell on something that is counted or numbered. How can the Torah here make an accounting of the donations to the Mishkan; a Bracha does not dwell on a counted thing?

First, we need to understand, what is the definition of a Bracha? The idea is as follows. A Bracha always represents an increase and an addition. Likewise, we find in the Act of Creation that a Bracha (was said) with regard to three things: 1. By (the creation of) fish, it is written, “And Elokim blessed… and Elokim said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” 2. By man (the complete person of the male and female soul-mates), it is also written, “Be fruitful and multiply, and Elokim blessed them.” 3. Also by Shabbos (the Sabbath), it is written, “And Elokim blessed the seventh day.”

The meaning of a Bracha is that not only is man blessed, but from him also emanates the emanation to others. This is (the meaning of) “Be fruitful and multiply.” One (complete) person, which is composed of the male and female (soul-mates), produces many people, and so too with fish. Likewise, with regard to Shabbos, it is written that not only is the day of Shabbos blessed, but also all six days of the week are blessed from Shabbos. This is as it is written in Mishlei (Proverbs), “(A person with a good eye), a generous person will be blessed.” The reason being is that when a person generously and happily gives a gift or loan to another person, that recipient will succeed in their business, from the money that they received from the generous person. However, if they would take money from a stingy person, who does not have a generous “good eye”, all business dealings that they will do will not succeed, as it is written, “Do not eat of the bread of a stingy person.”

The (tenth) Sefirah (called) Malchus (Kingship, Sovereignty) is (also) called Cheshbone (an accounting), as is written in the Zohar on Parshas Pinchus. This is because Malchus receives the lights from the first nine sefiros, and emanates them to the lower worlds. Therefore, Malchus is also called the “palace of blessing”, since Malchus includes all of the emanation, and from Malchus all are blessed. Furthermore, since Malchus unites all of the sefiros, Malchus is also called the “Crown of Malchus”, just as a king worries not for himself, but rather only worries about emanating to his people and his kingdom.

Through this it can be understood what was written (above), that a Bracha does not dwell on a counted or numbered thing. This is only when a person counts and numbers, in order to know how much they possess of their own, for the purpose of increasing their own physical desires and aspirations. However, if all of the abundance (of money) is for the purpose of giving to others, then on the contrary, a Bracha will dwell on the counted thing, for the more it is given, the more it is increased.

In addition, we differentiate (this year) in that Pekudei comes (as its own Parsha, the week) after Vayakhel. There are years when Vayakhel and Pekudei are combined (to be read on the same Shabbos). The difference being is that Vayakhel represents a general inclusiveness (the whole), since Moshe assembled all of the people together, in order to unite them with one desire. This means to say that the unity was amongst the people.

But Pekudei (lists) the particular details, (the parts) of gold, silver and copper, of which they donated. When they are all in a unified state and the giving was for the “whole”, then, on the contrary, in the physical “parts” it is possible to count them and to enumerate them, since each type of metal had a different purpose. For example, from the gold was made the Ark, from which comes the Torah and teaching. So too the Table and the Menorah (were made) of gold, since from them comes the emanation of physical light and food. Likewise, from the copper was made the Altar, to atone for a person who sinned. Therefore, the “Evil Eye” (Ayin Hara) has no control over them, since they came from a united community, for the sake of emanating to others. This would not be the case if the counting and numbering were done for one’s own self, then the Bracha would not dwell there.

May it be the Will of Hashem that we merit to have unity, and then the spiritual pipelines of emanation will emanate all goodness to the Nation of Israel, and we will merit the complete deliverance, speedily in our days, Amen.


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