Pikudei: The Blessing

And when Moses saw that they had performed all the tasks – as the Lord had commanded, so they had done – Moses blessed them.(Shemot 39:43)

The tabernacle is long-gone
but the imprint of holiness
is still within our hearts.
So we build our sanctuary within,
with deeds and all the skill
that we can muster:
may it be God’s will
that the Divine Presence
will rest upon the work
of our hands.


A theme to which the Sefar Emet frequently returns, is of the imprint of holiness, the unquenchable divine spark which we all carry in our hearts, and the ongoing work to make God’s presence in the world as visible now as it was when the Mishkan and the Beit Mikdash were still standing.

Rashi supplies the words of the blessing with which Moses blessed the people, “May it be God’s will that the Divine Presence will rest upon the work of your hands;” and he cites the continuation, “May the pleasantness of the Lord our G-d be upon us. Establish for us the work of our hands, O establish the work of our hands.” Rashi notes that the latter phrase is part of one of the eleven psalms in the section beginning with Tefillah LeMoshe, A Prayer of Moses. (Psalm 90).

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