Moses gathers the People of Israel and repeats to them all the things G‑d has told him in the previous three Parshiot. So a lot of this Parshah repeats things we've read before.
First: the commandment to keep the Sabbath: For six days of the week, Jews can work, and the seventh day is a special day of rest called Shabbat.
Next: G‑d's command to donate materials for the construction of the Mishkan. All kinds of material were required for the Mishkan's construction: metals (gold, silver and copper); fabrics and materials, (wool, linen, and skins); wood, oil, spices and precious stones.
As soon as Moses finished talking, the people went to bring things to donate to the Mishkan. The people were so happy to contribute that they brought everything they had: jewelry and material and skins and fabrics. They brought so much, that Moses had to tell them to stop, and still there were extra stuff.
Once again we hear about the master craftsmen Bezalel and Oholiab, two very talented men who were in charge of the building of the Mishkan.
Now we read about the actual building of the Mishkan. Again, all this was described at great length in the previous Parshiot, but here we talk about them actually doing it. We read how they made the:
- curtains (from twisted linen, and blue, purple, and crimson wool)
- coverings (ram and tachash skins)
- walls (acacia wood ),
- vessels: the ark (gold and wood with a golden crown encircling its rim), and the cherubim (carved from pure gold), and the Menorah (also pure gold), and the golden altar for the Ketoret [remember what that is from last week?] and the table (wood covered with gold) and the copper washstand (made from mirrors donated by the Jewish women)
- anything else that belonged in the Mishkan that we may have missed (assorted accessories like poles to carry the vessels, sockets for the planks that made up the walls, a screen for the courtyard, and more...)
Parshat Pekudei is the last of the five Parshiot that discuss the Mishkan.
The Parshah begins by giving us an accounting the gold, silver, and copper
that were donated to the Mishkan. Then is described how Bezalel and Oholiab made
the eight special garments that the Kohanim (priests) had to wear: The shirt,
pants, hat, sash, apron, breastplate, and crown. See the Tetzaveh Roundup for
more on this.
Now that building of the Mishkan was complete, they set it up and put everything in
its proper place. Then a cloud came down upon the Mishkan, and this showed
everybody that G‑d's presence had come to dwell within it.