Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Pekudei - 5779
EIGHTEEN INTO NINETEEN
In Pareshat Pekudei, after Moshe provides a detailed listing of all the goods donated to the Mishkan, the construction finally begins. After every section where the Torah remarks that a specific item was completed, the Torah notes that it was made “As Hashem has commanded Moshe.”
The Talmud Yerushalmi comments that, not including the first time this sentence appears, this statement is repeated 18 times - corresponding to the Amidah that includes 18 blessings. This association is not random; rather, the Mishkan and prayer have a very strong connection: both are meant to unite the Jewish people to the creator.
However, a 19th blessing was added to the Amidah. It was instituted at the council of Yavneh sometime after the destruction of the second Temple, and was composed in response to the Messianic believers in Yeshu (J.C.).
Commentators note that the additional blessing corresponds to the first time the statement “As Hashem has commanded Moshe” appears in the Paresha.
Thus, just as the 18 turned into 19 in our Amidah, so to it occurs in Pareshat Pekudei.