סדר פקודי

אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדת

This is the sum of the things of the tabernacle, of the tabernacle of Testimony

Exodus 38:21

See Rashi’s explanation of why the word “משכן” (tabernacle) is written twice, the repetition of “משכן” being an allusion to the Holy Temple that was taken twice in pledge and destroyed twice for Israel’s transgressions. The Midrash Rabbah (Exodus 51:1) says: When R. Tanhuma began his lecture [on this chapter] he cited (Proverbs 28:20): “איש אמונות רב־ברכות ואץ להעשיר לא ינקה” (A dependable man will receive many blessings, but one in a hurry to get rich will not go unpunished). “A dependable man” refers to Moses who was the confidant of God, as it says (Numbers 12:7), “לא כן עבדּי משה בכל בּיתי נאמן הוא” (My servant Moses is not so; he is trusted in all My house). This is why [Solomon] said: “A faithful man will receive many blessings,” everything over which Moses was appointed custodian having been blessed because he was trustworthy.

Our master suggested that this Midrash also was attempting to explain the repetition of the word “מּשכן,” explaining that the presence of the Eternal dwelling in the midst of Israel is the source of blessing to them. The Scripture therefore says that upon the completion of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:43), “ויברך אותם משה” (Moses blessed them). Rashi records the text of the blessing: “יהי רצון שתשרה שכינה במעשה ידיכם” (May it be the will of God that His Divine Presence rest upon the work of your hands). The resting of the Divine Presence is testimony that those who built the Tabernacle did their work honestly, for the Sages of the Talmud teach that a thief is one who acts as if his actions are not seen on high, thereby causing distress to the Divine Presence and the departure of the Divine Presence from him. The Scripture therefore says that a faithful man, i.e., one who deals honestly, receives many blessings, because he draws the Divine Presence — the source of blessings – near to himself. This verse referred to Moses, who faithfully supervised the building of the tabernacle and all its vessels. This is the meaning of the verse “אלה פקודי המשכן” (These are the records of the tabernacle): that Moses meticulously kept the records to ensure an exact accounting. Accordingly, the tabernacle itself was a “משכן העדת” (a tabernacle of testimony) that the accounts of Moses were just and exact, because God caused his Divine Presence to dwell inside the Tabernacle. (שביבי אש)

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