This weeks Parsha completes Sefer Shemot. In Parshat Vayakhel all the vessels of the Mishkan were fashioned.”Pekudei” means counting, this is referring to the calculations and accounting done by Moshe for the materials that were gathered. The Parsha ends with Hashem resting his Shchina in the Mishkan.
Rashi points out that the word Mishkan is mentioned twice in the Pasuk of “Eleh Pekuda HaMishkan.” This is an allusion to the destruction of the two Temples due to the sins of the Jews. The Kli Yakar comments on this and says that the Mishkan was an atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf. We sinned by saying, “Eleh Elokecha Yisroel,” “these are your gods Israel.” The atonement of our sins came in the form of the phrase, “Eleh Pekudei,” “These are your counting, ” “Eleh” atoned for “Eleh.” Hashem was willing to accept a Mashkon, collateral, for our sins in place of us having erased. On the day of “Pakdei U’pkadti,” “I’ll account for their sins,” Hashem will demand the payment of “Pekudei ha’Mishkan” – the Mishkan itself.
When we tried to erect the Mishkan the weight of the Krashim made this job physically impossible: The Jews went to Moshe and Moshe went to Hashem and asked what to do. Hashem told Moshe that every person should try as hard as they could to do their job. It appeared as if they were lifting it but really the Krashim stood on their own. This is a beautiful lesson. In the physical realm, the effort we put towards something is only worthwhile if our end goal is obtained. It is the opposite in the spiritual realm. The struggle is an end, in and of itself. Hashem just wants us to push ourselves and to the best of our abilities. He will always help us through the end.
Our atonement for the Eigel Ha’Zahav, the golden calf, doesn’t stop at the building of the Mishkan rather it is something we are atoning for every day. We must all always be putting our best foot forward in every aspect of our Avodat Hashem, serving G-d. Every battle or struggle we face should lead towards the ongoing process of redeeming ourselves as a people and redeeming the land of Israel.