The next time we read this Torah portion is February 29, 2020
Moses receives God's tablets and is commanded to create a Mishkan (Tabernacle) that can serve as a dwelling place for God. The Parsha details the intricate architecture, furniture, and design of the Mishkan.
Terumah Torah Portion: Exodus 25:1–Exodus 27:19
We have just learned that Moses ascended Mount Sinai and disappeared into a cloud where he communed with God, on the mountain's summit, for forty days and forty nights. Beginning in Parshat Terumah, we start to learn about what it is that God and Moses discussed up there on the mountaintop. We learn about the building instructions for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. What is astonishing is that the discussion of the Mishkan is about to take up the following five
Before going any further, we highly recommend Rabbi Fohrman's video, "What Does It Mean To Be Created In the Image of God?" which explores the deep significance of the Mishkan. It was originally created for Parshat Vayakhel but it is relevant-watching now, in Parshat Terumah, as we read about God's first commands to build it. But be forewarned: once you understand, conceptually, what the Mishkan is all about, you may still be bothered by all of the laws and details in this
God begins the building instructions with a most inspiring request: that Moses should collect contributions for the Mishkan from "every person whose heart inspires him to generosity." In other words, God doesn't obligate the people, strictly speaking, to provide the building materials for construction.
He invites people to volunteer, to step up to the plate to help: those who are feeling willing, whose hearts overflow with the desire to give to their Creator and to build a Mishkan in which He can dwell amongst them. (Does the plan work? Do people step up to the plate? You bet they do. Spoiler alert: the people bring more than is needed, far more, such that Moses needs to call them off.)
After giving Moses a brief list of the building materials which will be needed (e.g. gold, silver, dyed wool, linen, wood, oil, spices, stones, etc.), God begins to describe the parameters of the
The remainder of the