1st Aliya:The Parasha begins with the Mitzvah of Shabbos and the penalty for her transgression. Note that Pasuk 35:5 is classic proof of the Oral Law. Those who deny the Oral Law must explain the literal translation of this verse to prohibit having any burning flame on Shabbos. This would forbid the use of lights, heat, and even Shabbos candles! It is the Oral Law which teaches us that the G-d's prohibition was directed at lighting a fire, not having a fire. Moshe asked the Bneii Yisrael to donate the time, talents, and materials for the construction of the Mishkan. The Bnei Yisrael responded with unbridled enthusiasm.
2nd Aliya:Talents and materials were donated and Betzallel and Oholiav were appointed as chief architects and artists. The response to Moshe's appeal was so great that Moshe had to command the people to stop their donations! (see, miracles do happen!) The outer coverings of the Mishkan and the inner tapestries are detailed. The beams of the Mishkan, the Aron Hakodesh, and the Shulchan – Table are described.
3rd & 4th Aliyot:The Menorah and the inner Golden Altar are described. The outer ramped Altar, the Washstand, and the Mishkan's surrounding enclosure are detailed. Pekudei begins with an accounting of the materials used in the construction of the Mishkan. (gold = 4,386.5 lb./ silver = 15,088.75 lb./ copper = 10,620 lb.)
5th & 6th Aliyot:The Kohen Gadol's breastplate and vest are described. The remaining garments of the Kohen Gadol and the other Kohanim are detailed, and Moshe inspects the completed Mishkan. Moshe certifies that the entire project followed the exact details of Hashem's instructions. Moshe blesses the workers.
7th Aliya:On the 1st day of Nissan, 2449, the Mishkan was assembled. After every vessel was properly in place, the presence of Hashem, the Shechina, descended in a cloud and filled the Mishkan.
HAFTARAH PARASHAT HACHODESH
The Jews are told to bring tithes of a certain quantities of wheat, barley and oil, and sheep for offerings. The people will bring this offering on behalf of themselves and the ruler. The obligation of the sacrifices on Sabbath and holidays falls on the ruler. (Rashi says that this refers to the High Priest, although he acknowledges the opinion that it refers to the king.)
G-d says that on the first day of the month of Nisan, they should dedicate the altar of the third Temple by offering a bull, whose blood the High Priest should place on the corners of the altar and the doorposts. They should do this for seven days in order to cleanse the Temple of the deeds of mistaken and simple-minded people. On the fourteenth day of the month, they will begin Passover, to last for seven days. The ruler will bring a bull on that day, corresponding to the calf that Aaron brought as part of his inauguration. For seven days, he shall offer daily bulls and rams as a burnt offering and goats as a sin offering, along with the usual meal and oil. He shall do likewise on the holiday of Succos.
G-d said that the eastern gate of the inner courtyard would remain closed on regular weekdays, but be opened on Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh ("New Moon"). The ruler would enter through the hall of the outer gate and stand by the doorway while the kohen (priest) offers his sacrifices. He will bow and exit, but the gate would not be closed until evening so that the people of the nation might also use this gate on these special days.
The burnt offering of the ruler on holidays would be six lambs and a ram. (Rashi points out that really it should be seven lambs and two rams, but this verse shows us that missing one does invalidate the service altogether.) On Rosh Chodesh, he should offer a bull in addition to the lambs and the ram. (Same as before: it really should be two, but one still works.) These animals should have the requisite amounts of meal and oil brought with them.
The ruler enters and leaves by the same gate on Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh (although not on festivals). When the people come for the festivals, they should enter by the north gate and exit by the south gate, or vice versa, but not exit the way they came in, and the ruler should do likewise. (He cannot enter through the eastern gate on festivals because there was no western gate across from it by which to exit.)
When the ruler brings a voluntary sacrifice on a regular weekday, they should open the east gate specially for him. In this case, they are to close it when he leaves.
The chapter then describes the daily sacrifices: a yearling lamb every morning, with the requisite meal and oil. (The afternoon sacrifice is not mentioned; the Radak takes this to mean that it will not be offered in the third Temple.)
If the ruler gives real estate to one of his sons, that son may keep it, since he would inherit it anyway. If the ruler gives land to one of his subjects, that is only until the Jubilee year, when land reverts to its Tribal owners. The ruler may not confiscate land from his subjects to give his sons; he may only give his own.