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Terumah ~ 5773 ~ תרומה
G-d instructs Moshe how to arrange for the donations of gold, silver, brass, dyes, spices as well as “textile” materials needed for building the Tabernacle. Furthermore, the dimensions and plans for the Sanctuary’s Ark are given here. The Ark’s goldsmithery included the forms of two Cherubim (childlike angels with wings) upon the Ark cover. G-d’s voice shall emanate from the point where Cherubim’s wings nearly meet. The Showbread table was wood covered with gold, with staves for transporting it. Likewise, pans, jars, dishes for the sacrifice rituals were to be made. The intricate design requirements for the Menorah candelabrum are given here as well.
The intricate directions for the manufacturing of the curtains that would surround the Tabernacle are given here. A novel coupling mechanism of loops knobs, and clasps will hold the curtains together. An external wall surrounding the Tabernacle will be made of wood pillars, each with two “feet” that sit in silver sockets. The boards shall be sheathed in gold, with golden sockets and rings.
The innermost Sanctum is to be divided in half by a special veil into the “Holies” and the “Holy of Holies” areas. The Showbread table and the Menorah, were to be placed in the “Holy” area on the North and South respectively, with the Incense Altar between them. The “Altar of Sacrifices” is made of wood covered with brass. The utensils for sacrificing (pots, flesh hooks, fire pans, shovels, basins etc.) were all brass. Two staves were used to carry the Altar when traveling. The intricate details of creating a courtyard surrounding the actual Tabernacle are enumerated here. Weavings, connectors, sockets and all the necessities are explained as well.
MAFTIR Exodus 27:17 – 19 ~ page 336
HAFTORAH I Kings 5:26 – 6:13 ~ page 336-338
This Haftarah relates how Solomon employs forced labor to prepare the materials for building the Temple, and that the work began during his reign. The Temple was rectangular (90 x 30 feet x 45 high). The Temple’s entrance hall was 15′ long, with rooms built into the walls. The stones were quarried without iron tools. Solomon is warned: “Obedience to G-d’s Mitzvot will result in G-d’s dwelling in Israel”.
Parashah Study Questions
1. Starting with gold, silver and brass, through the “textiles” and the 12 stones of the Ephod, these items were listed in a descending order of holiness. Why were the 12 stones (diamond, emeralds, sapphire, jade, etc.) considered the least “holy” of all the donations (v. 25: 7)?
2. What explanations can you think of to explain why a ‘golden calf’ was forbidden, but ‘golden cherubs’ were ok (25:19)?
3. What is the difference between, “Terumah” ( äîåøú) and”Tzedaka” (ä÷ãö)?
4. The mystical “Book of Formation” (Sefer Yetzira) teaches that the month of Adar (like each month) has a mazel (Pisces), a symbolic letter (Kuf- ק), a tribe (Naftali), a behavior (laughter) and body organ (spleen). Why these?!
5. There are four mitzvot of Purim: What do they all have in common?
a. Hear the megilah read twice
b. Give gifts to the poor
c. Give gifts of food to friends
d. Have festive meal