Thursday, March 03, 2011

Parshat Pekudei, er, P'kudei, Pekuday . . .

. . . "Pekudei, Pekude, Pekudey, P’kude, or P’qude," per Wikipedia. For Pikudei, you can take your pick. :)

The parsha begins here and continues through chapter 40, verse 38, bringing us to the end of Exodus/Sh'mot. And it's yet another one of those "vocabulary parshiot." So I might just as well take the opportunity to learn some new vocabulary.

כג וְאִתּוֹ, אָהֳלִיאָב בֶּן-אֲחִיסָמָךְ לְמַטֵּה-דָן--חָרָשׁ וְחֹשֵׁב; וְרֹקֵם, בַּתְּכֵלֶת וּבָאַרְגָּמָן, וּבְתוֹלַעַת הַשָּׁנִי, וּבַשֵּׁשׁ. {ס}

23 And with him was Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, a craftsman, and a skilful workman, and a weaver in colours, in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen.-- {S}

Finally, I get all--well, most--of those words in the same sentence, so maybe now I can remember which one means what!

  • charash = craftsman
  • chosheiv = skilled workman
  • rokeim =weaver
And, from previous parshiot

  • rokeiach = perfumer

(Wild guess on the grammar, if the party is female:

  • chareshet
  • choshevet
  • rokemet
  • rokeichah.

Please provide corrections, if necessary!)

More goodies to add to the collection this year: yitdot = pins; masach = screen; veiv = hook; k'laim = hangings (made of cloth).

Here's the good part, courtesy of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in his The Home We Build Together: The reason for all these boring "vocabulary parshiot" is that the newly-liberated Hebrews needed a group project to unite them. This makes sense, in light of the Golden-Calf incident, which proved that this disparate band could be united if they had a common project to which each individual could contribute--what we needed was a group project that would serve HaShem. So HaShem gave us one, commanding us to build the Mishkan.


From Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks:

"Pekudei has sometimes been called the accountant’s parsha, because that is how it begins, with the audited accounts of the money and materials donated to the Sanctuary. It is the Torah’s way of teaching us the need for financial transparency."

Read the rest here.

(More links later, if I have time.)


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