February 28, 2022

Parashat Pekudei

Parashat Pekudi is the last parsha in the Book of Exodus and in fact includes within it and summarizes the entire Book of Exodus that is the journey from slavery to freedom. The root letters PKD in the name of the Parasha encode the message of the last part of the Book of Shemot.

The Zohar teaches us that the universe is networked with laws by which it operates and their purpose is to connect us to the Infinite Light. In order to draw the flow of divine abundance from the higher worlds to the lower-physical worlds, we must act according to thw Law of Affinity and become beings that share and love unconditionally. When we behave in a selfish way, that stops the flow of abundance.

The Zohar explains that the difference between the righteous and the wicked is that the the first ones are aware enough in order to identify their selfish desires and needs. They know how to overcome the instinctive urge and transform it into the Desire to Receive in order to Share. Only in this way can we reach the same true freedom we received at Mount Sinai. Parashat Pekudi teaches us that the way to achieve that freedom is through taking responsibility for ourselves and the society in which we live.

Parashat Pekudei describes counting how much gold, silver and copper was used to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle). The purpose of it is to teach us that transparency must be a condition for a functioning society. In this case, Moses who was in charge of the collection and the building project shows the numbers. Is this because we suspect Moses? Of course not, but every company must build a system of laws and regulations that will prevent suspicions and embezzlement. When we ignore injustice, then we are helping it, becoming partners in crime. Being free means being responsible for our environment, creating an environment free of suspicions, gossip and fears. An environment that will entice our friends to excel in the role we have entrusted to them. A clean atmosphere is a condition for a true spiritual environment.

Kabbalists teach that we are in an era of new awareness for the human race – an awareness of compassion, love, caring for others and taking command of ourselves, including our society and our environment. The concept of community, democracy and justice will take on a new and more effective form in this era. Indeed, little by little we see the changes happening in the world.

The secret to this is found in Moshe Rabbeinu, in Zohar, in the words of the Ari, Rabbi Ashlag and in the way of life of those great Kabbalists. Everyone has worked hard to create an infrastructure for a community setting where everyone has responsibility and command over everyone where there is transparency and accountability. Such an array gives great power and ability to control ourselves and our emotions to turn death and slavery into life and freedom, and when that awareness and worldview permeates us and our environment, we will be able to experience true freedom.

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