Pekudei 5771

February 27, 2011

6 min read


Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:38 )

GOOD MORNING! While studying at the University of Washington in Seattle, I took a political science course from a professor who started each class with ten minutes of un-funny jokes. Un-funny is being gracious; they were real groaners. All three hundred students in the amphitheater suffered in silence to the daily torment.

One day a student brought into class a "laughing machine" - when one hits the lever a mechanical, hollow taped laugh comes forth. Upon the completion of the first joke, he hit the lever. The people in the immediate vicinity could hear it and laughed heartily at this feeble, but appropriate protest. Other students, who could not hear the taped laughter, could not believe that there was a group of students who actually found one of the professor's jokes funny. They broke into hysterical laughter at those students laughing at the machine. And the professor ... all he heard were peals of laughter from his students, something he had been waiting for 30 years! And you know what? For the next hour the professor abandoned his lecture and kept telling jokes. And that is the power of positive reinforcement! Remember it with your kids, your spouse and your co-workers ... maybe even your boss.

However, if you really want to feel good about others and help them, then the following excerpt from My Father, My King by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin (available at your local Jewish bookstore, at or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242), will really help. You might want to put this on your bulletin board or fridge.



Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you:

Love and respect all of My children. Have a deep and profound sense of respect for each person you encounter. The person to whom you are talking is created in My image. By being respectful towards every single person created in My image, you are respecting Me. The greater your respect for Me, the greater your respect for those created in My image.

Love others as yourself. The more you focus on the good qualities of each individual whom you encounter, the greater will be your positive feelings towards that person. With some of My children, doing so will be easy. Do so even when it is difficult.

Identify with other people and you will feel an increased love towards them. Realize that you and others are all souls and have one Creator.

When you experience love towards others, your feeling is reciprocated. Radiating love towards others will make you beloved. Wherever you go, you will be welcome. You will transform strangers into friends. Ultimately, by mastering the ability to love unconditionally, you will be able to transform enemies into friends.

Especially when relating to someone with whom you find it difficult to interact, hear Me telling you, "Right now you are speaking to someone created in the image of your Father. Speak with love and respect."

For more on "Respect" go to!


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Torah Portion of the Week

Pekudei includes an accounting of all the materials that went into the making of the Mishkan (the portable Tabernacle) and details of the construction of the clothing of the Cohanim. The Tabernacle is completed, Moses examines all of the components and gives his approval to the quality and exactness of construction, the Almighty commands to erect the Tabernacle, it's erected and the various vessels are placed in their proper place.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

After being told to anoint his brother Aharon (Aaron), Moshe was told in reference to Aharon's sons:

"And you shall anoint them as you anointed their father" (Exodus 40:15).

Why did the Almighty give Moses this special instruction?

Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen explains in his commentary Meshech Chochmah that when Moses was told to anoint his brother Aaron, he was able to do it with a complete heart. Moses, the younger brother, was the leader of the Israelites and was happy that his brother was the High Priest. However, in reference to Aaron's sons, the situation was different. Moses' own sons were not going to succeed him as leaders. So, when it came to anointing Aaron's sons, Moses might have felt envy. Therefore, the Almighty told Moses to anoint Aaron's sons with the same whole heartedness and joy with which he anointed their father.

Our lesson: If even a person as great as Moses needs to internalize attitudes to avoid envy, all the more so do we! Also, it IS possible to feel joy and enthusiasm for another person's success even if he has something that you do not.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And Moshe did all that the Almighty commanded him; that is what he did" (Exodus 40:16)

Why does the verse end with the seemingly repetitious restatement of what Moshe did?

Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv, comments: Moshe's motivation in all that he did for the Sanctuary was for the Almighty's honor. Even though he personally would gain from the construction of the Tabernacle, for the Almighty would communicate with him there, he was not motivated by thoughts of his own glory. Neither was he motivated by thoughts of the honor of his brother, Aharon, who was to be the High Priest. Moshe focused solely on doing the will of the Almighty.

Rabbi Yechezkail Abramsky told Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Shulsinger, "Every time I go to deliver a Torah lecture I have in mind that I am now going to serve the Almighty with the mitzvah of teaching Torah. At times, to sincerely think these thoughts is even more difficult than any other aspect of giving the lecture."

It is a very difficult task to do something from which you will have great benefit and to still have pure motivations. However, the more sacred the work you are involved in, the greater the importance of having elevated thoughts and motivations.


TAKE THE SHOT - The Only Failure is Not Trying ... a MUST SEE Charlie Harary short movie. Powerful, moving, motivating. It will help anyone in who's hesitant to take a chance in life.


(or go to

Jerusalem 5:03
Guatemala 6:02 - Hong Kong 6:10 - Honolulu 6:18
J'Burg 6:17 - London 5:27 - Los Angeles 5:33
Melbourne 7:38 - Mexico City 6:25 - Miami 6:06
New York 5:32 - Singapore 7:03 - Toronto 5:51


Forbidden fruit creates many jams.


With Deep Appreciation to

Ron & June Daniels

Des Moines, Iowa


With Special Thanks to

Jerry & Enid Green

Anchorage, Alaska


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