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  • Terumah 2020

    “They shall make for Me a Tabernacle, and I shall dwell within them”.

    This week’s Sedra concentrates on the Mishkan (the portable Tabernacle containing the Ark and the tablets with the 10 Commandments). The Sedra lays down in fine detail the design of the Mishkan, including all the materials, the design of the 7 branched Menorah, and the Ark with the 2 gold Cherubs on top (from between which Moses and Aaron would hear God’s voice, and where the diving presence - Shechina - was said to rest).

  • Terumah 2019

    Terumah is a 96 verse instruction manual explaining how to build the Mishkan, God’s ‘temporary dwelling place’ in the desert, and all of its contents.

    It begins ‘The Lord spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and have them take for me an offering’ (Shemot 25:1-2). Actually they are all being asked to give something to help make the Mishkan, so the question is why does God say ‘take’?

  • Terumah 2018

    In this week’s sedra there is give and take. The second pasuk of the sedra relates Hashem’s instructions to Moshe for raising funds for the Mishkan; “Take for Me an offering from everyone whose heart impels him to give" (Exodus 25:2). Why is the word ‘take’ used; would it not be more appropriate to say ‘and they shall give to Me a donation…’?

  • Terumah 2017

    Today’s Torah reading begins with the gifts that the people will offer in order to beautify the mishkan – the sanctuary.  Veyikhu li terumah, “Let them take a terumah to me”.Tikhu et terumati is in the plural. Not Moses, but the community, is to take the gift.

    Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch(1808-88), the forefather of modern orthodox Judaism, comments “Each individual’s gifts for divine purposes must be given through the community, since it is not the individual, but the community that must build for and protect the Jewish people”.

  • Terumah 2015

    In this week’s sidrah we learn about the building of the mishkan (portable sanctuary) and it’s components, built by Betzalel.
    Our sages teach that the Mishkan was built as an atonement for the sin of the golden calf. However, reading the sidrot in order, the episode of the golden calf has yet to occur!

    We learn from this that before any malady or calamity occurs, G-d always provides the cure. The purpose of the Mishkan was to bring the Jewish people close to G-d by building a ‘home’ for G-d on this earth. The result of the golden calf was a distancing from G-d.

  • Terumah 5774

    The name of the Sidra, T’rumah, means contribution. The entire Sidra is devoted to the construction of the Tabernacle which required generous contributions from the entire nation. The Hebrew word ‘T’rumah’ comes from the root RUM, which means ‘to raise’. This term is used because, when the people made their contributions, they lifted them up and separated them from the rest of the  ir possessions. The opening verses contain the sentence VE’IKCHU LI T’RUMAH, which means: “Let them take a contribution for my sake”.

  • Terumah 2014

    “Every child who comes to our Children’s Service knows that ‘Hashem is here, Hashem is there, Hashem is truly everywhere’!

    In this week’s parashah, Terumah (Shemot 25:8) we read: 'They shall make for me a Mishkan so that I may dwell among them’, an idea which gives rise to much puzzlement and cuts to the heart of the creation of the Mishkan.

  • Terumah 5773

    The Sidra of Terumah is devoted, in its entirety, to the building of the Tabernacle and the furniture that stood in it.  It existed for 647 years. After travelling in the desert with the Israelites for almost 40 years it continued to be the centre of worship until King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem. The building of the Tabernacle was to be a constant reminder for the revelation at Mount Sinai. Franz Rosensweig, the famous German philosopher who died in nineteen twenty-nine, writes that its construction was the high point in the story of the Exodus.

  • Terumah 2013

    This week's parashah and haftarah are an exercise in counterpoint. Superficially, the common theme is the construction of a sacred space.  The Torah portion takes up the erection of the Mishkan in the wilderness, whilst the Book of Kings recounts the building of the First Temple by Solomon in Jerusalem some 480 years later.


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