Shabbat Nugget: Ending the Book of Exodus

This Shabbos we conclude the Book of Exodus by reading the final two portions called, “Vayakhel” and “Pekudei”.

There is a Torah rule that there is always a connection between the beginning and the end and indeed the book of Exodus begins with the counting of the number of Jews that entered Egypt and the final portions counts and enumerates the weights of all the contributions to the Tabernacle.

However, we need to understand, the general theme of the book of Exodus is the liberation of the Jewish people from the Egyptian exile which signified freedom from limitations and constraints.  So how does that relate to the idea of counting which signifies limitations as there are only as many items as are counted and no more?

The answer to this paradox is that Judaism teaches that true freedom is not to escape reality and limitations, but rather to fuse the limited and finite with the infinite. If G-d wanted us to escape the world he wouldn’t have put us here in the first place.  The purpose is that we should be involved in the world but bring it to a state of redemption in which it’s goodness and holiness is revealed.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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