The Parashah begins with the words, אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת, these are the reckonings of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of Testimony. Literally translated the word פְקוּדֵי means counting or reckoning. However, we find elsewhere that the word פקוד means lack or deficiency. How would that definition apply here?
Let us understand the accounting that occurred here. Essentially, the Jewish People were giving צדקה, charity, towards the construction of the Mishkan. It is noteworthy that the word פקודי equals in gematria the word צדקה. Furthermore, it is said (Daniel 4:24) וַחֲטָאָךְ בְּצִדְקָה פְרֻק, redeem your sins through righteousness, which the Gemara (Bava Basra 4a) interprets to mean that Daniel was informing Nevuchadnezzar that he could gain atonement from his sins by giving charity. The word פרוק means to redeem. It is noteworthy that the word פרוק in א”ת ב”ש is וגפד, and when we substitute the ג for the letter ק (which are similar in pronunciation) we have the word פקוד. Furthermore, the word צדקה equals in gematria the words פדה עם, He redeems the nation.
This concept of פקודי associated with צדקה, i.e. charity is a catalyst for redemption, is reflected in the Purim story. Haman sought to annihilate the Jewish People and towards that aim he offered Achashverosh ten thousand talents of silver. Tosfos (Megillah 16a) makes a calculation how the ten thousand talents of sliver corresponded to the half-shekel that the Jewish People gave towards the construction of the Mishkan. The commentators raise difficulties with Tosfos’ explanation, and one of the resolutions is that Haman sought to offer charity to deflect the merit of the Jewish People’s shekalim. It is said (Esther 3:9) אִם עַל הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב יִכָּתֵב לְאַבְּדָם וַעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים כִּכַּר כֶּסֶף אֶשְׁקוֹל עַל יְדֵי עֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה לְהָבִיא אֶל גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, if it pleases the king, let it be recorded that they be destroyed; and I will pay ten thousand silver talents into the hands of those who perform the duties, for deposit in the king’s treasuries. The words אֶל גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ with adding 3 for the words themselves equals in gematria the word צדקה.
Thus, we see that the battle between Haman, Amalek and his cohorts against the Jews centers around צדקה. HaShem informed Haman that the Jewish People’s Shekalim already prefaced his ten thousand talents of silver and once again we witnessed the miracle of the verse that states (Mishlei 10:2) וּצְדָקָה תַּצִּיל מִמָּוֶת, charity saves from death.
Have a REDEEMING and CHARITABLE Shabbos!
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