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Parashat Pekudei

General Overview: In this portion, Pekudei, describes the manufacture of the vestments of the priests and high priests — which were already described in the portion of Tetzaveh, where G‑d instructs Moses how these garments are to be assembled. The Tabernacle is erected, and G‑d’s presence dwells therein.

First Aliyah: This aliyah gives an exact accounting of the amounts of gold, silver and copper donated for the construction of the Tabernacle, as well as the vessels and building materials constructed with these supplies.

Second Aliyah: The high priest’s ephod — a reversed apron which covered the back — and its precious-stone-studded shoulder straps were made. The High Priest’s Choshen Mishpat (“Breastplate of Judgment”) was assembled. It contained four rows of precious stones, each row containing three stones. Artisans engraved the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel upon these twelve stones. The Choshen Misphat was then secured by straps which connected it to the ephod.

Third Aliyah: The rest of the priestly garments were completed: The high priest’s me’il (blue robe adorned with golden bells and cloth “pomegranates”) and tzitz (a golden band worn on the forehead, which was engraved with the words “Holy to G‑d”); and the four garments worn by both the high priest and the regular priests: tunics, turbans, sashes and pants. With this, the construction of the Tabernacle and all its vessels and accoutrement were finished.

Fourth Aliyah: The craftspeople brought their finished products to Moses. Moses saw that all the work had been done exactly to G‑d’s specifications, and he blessed the workers.

Fifth Aliyah: G‑d instructed Moses to erect the Tabernacle on the first of Nissan. G‑d also instructed Moses to place all the Tabernacle’s vessels in their proper places, and to anoint all of the items with the anointing oil, thus sanctifying them. Moses is also directed to dress Aaron and his sons in the priestly garments, and to anoint them, too.

Sixth Aliyah: This aliyah describes Moses’ fulfillment of the abovementioned directives.

Seventh Aliyah: Moses completed the proper placement of the Tabernacle vessels. When Moses finished this task a Cloud of Glory and the Divine Presence filled the Tabernacle. This cloud also served as the Jews’ guide throughout their desert sojourn: when the cloud lifted, the people would travel, following the cloud until it rested, where they would set up camp until the cloud would lift again.

The content on this page is produced by and courtesy of  chabad.org.

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