This week’s Parsha is unique it is the first double portion in this year’s cycle and it is also the conclusion of the Torah’s second book Exodus. Since this week is not like the rest (oh come on like you would not have went there), and keeping with the very loose hardcore punk theme of Circle Pit The Bimah this week’s double portion is fashioned after a split 7 inch record. In the traditional split format each group is given a side of the record to showcase two songs, for our purposes each portion is allowed two paragraphs to get the message out. Man oh man I hope this does not blow up in my face.
Parsha Vayakhel (Ex. 35:1 – 38:20)
1. I’m sorry lets make up.
After directing their faith towards a less responsive candidate for godhead in Ki Tisa. The ancient Hebrews are repenting and doing what we all do when we know its our fault and not the other persons. Instead of cooking a nice dinner or sending a bouquet of flowers our ancestors gave completely and totally of themselves. The golden calf was only given a little bit of gold in order to become a physical thing, while Hashem was given everything Moses needed to build the Tabernacle and dress Aaron and the rest of the priests. They gave and gave and gave until they were told to stop.
2. All Ages Benefit Show.
The ancient Hebrews gave so much of themselves not out of fear but because they truly wanted to give unto Hashem. They were told to stop because the needs of the religious government were met and taking more or even everything would have left the rest of that society in dire need. This reiterates that Hashem is a living G~d who needs a two way relationship with us and not heartless obedience.
Parsha Pekudei (Ex. 38:21 – 40:38)
1. War Against errr For Society.
Often times when we think of nomadic peoples images of tents and caravans creep into our minds eye, we do not envision portable buildings. The ancient Hebrews while technically nomadic were unique because Egypt shares a border with the State of Israel yesterday and today. Pekudei captures the part of history when the Tabernacle is actually built, gone is Moses’ talk about building and present is the construction carried out by Bezalel and Oholiab.
2. From the Old School to the New School
As Exodus ends a new chapter is penning itself. Absent are the heroic styled accounts and morally ambiguous lessons demonstrated in the lives of our ancestors and what we do have is the first physical State of Israel. Hashem and Moses have literally created a viable self supporting nation state with codified laws, a government structure, religious culture, all while remaining partially nomadic. Yes over the course of the next few decades this state will move from here to there and then to other there but an unruly band of nomads in the desert they are not.