Parshat Pekudei: Have a Cookie

Parshat Pekudei: Have a Cookie
Exodus 39:33

וַיָּבִ֤יאוּ אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־הָאֹ֖הֶל וְאֶת־כׇּל־כֵּלָ֑יו קְרָסָ֣יו קְרָשָׁ֔יו בְּרִיחָ֖ו וְעַמֻּדָ֥יו וַאֲדָנָֽיו׃

Then they brought the Mishkan to Moses, with the Tent and all its furnishings: its clasps, its planks, its bars, its posts, and its sockets.

Imagine a table upon which are placed eggs, butter, vanilla extract, flour, sugar, and chocolate chips. Even though one’s eyes might see one thing, another thing entirely is seen in one’s mind’s eye. For someone who has never made baked goods, they would see exactly those ingredients and nothing more. For the baker, they see a chocolate chip cookie.

In this verse, the Israelites brought Moses the component parts for the Mishkan, the magnificent and portable place of worship for the Israelites in the wilderness. Even though it is only the parts that are brought to Moses, the verse curiously states that they simply brought the Mishkan. It is like someone bringing you the ingredients listed above and saying, “Here is a cookie!”

The truth  is that Moses, like the baker looking at the table, sees not the component parts but their potential to be created into something greater. Moses does not see the parts – he sees the Mishkan. The baker does not see the separate ingredients – they see a cookie. This is not something just anyone can do. It takes wisdom to see the potential in the world around us. The baker knows the method to take those ingredients and make something delicious. Moses had the knowledge of how to correctly combine the parts to create a sanctuary that can contain God’s presence. What do we see when we look out at the world? What about when we look at each other? Our eyes see what is simply there. But our mind’s eye, with knowledge and wisdom as its guide, can see the potential to create something extraordinary.