Parashat Pekudei

Team Effort

Building global community, like the construction of the mishkan, requires everyone to participate.

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We may not be able to provide medical care to refugees from Darfur, but we can commit to keeping the crisis at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. We may not be able to stop the AIDS pandemic, but we can advocate for better legislation to meet the needs of those suffering from the disease.

The mishkan was completed a year following the exodus from Egypt, leaving 39 more years in the desert (Exodus 40:17). The Israelites did not wake up the morning following its completion with nothing left to do. For them, and for us, the task of making the universe a worthy dwelling place for God continues, requiring us to repair and renovate the many situations that are broken.

Like the holy community that erected the mishkan, a holy global community must be centered around an ethical core. It must be a place where neighbors treat each other with respect, where disputes are settled in justice and where everyone beneath his vine and fig tree can live in peace and unafraid (Isaiah 2:4).

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Carol Towarnicky

Carol Towarnicky is a freelance writer in Philadelphia.