This week we read two portions in The Torah and the corresponding Zohar. These are the last readings in The Book of Exodus. Passover marks the transition from Phase One and in-to Phase Two.
The twenty-second reading from the Torah and the second-to-last reading from the book of Exodus is called Vayakhel (ויקהל), which means “and he assembled.” The name comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which could be literally translated to read, “And Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel …” (Exodus 35:1). This portion from the Torah describes how the assembly of Israel worked together to build the Tabernacle. In most years, synagogues read Vayakhel together with the following portion, Pekudei.
The twenty-third reading from the Torah and last reading from the book of Exodus is called Pekudei (פקודי), which means “Accounts.” The first words of the first verse of the reading could be literally translated to read, “These are the accounts (pekudei) of the Tabernacle” (Exodus 38:21). The last reading from Exodus begins with an audit of how the contributions for the Tabernacle were used. The portion goes on to describe the completion of the Tabernacle and its assembly and concludes by depicting the glory of the LORD entering it. In most years, synagogues read Pekudei together with the previous portion, Vayakhel.
I found this short video clip that was created last year right after the shutdown from the Covid hit us. I thought it appropriate today as we are in a totally different position, or so it seems. The book of Exodus is the story of escaping bondage. Bondage from what? Egypt represent “narrowness.” From a Vipassana viewpoint it is the recognition of the bondage of Sankhara (Formation of Reaction). We seek freedom from The Reactive Mind.