Weekly Torah Reading Commentaries
Updated Dec. 18 2013
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> CONFIRMATIONS >PARASHOT >TERUMAH
Weekly Bible Reading #19
Year 5773 (2012/2013) – Feb. 16, 2013
( Offerings )
Exodus 25:1 - 27:19
I Kings 5:12 - 6:13
Hebrew: I Kings 5:26 - 6:13
NOTE: Kol HaTor, in its commentaries on the weekly Parashot, endeavours to search for and accentuate the Torah Messages contained in the Parashot as applicable to the main Theme of Tanach of the Return of the House of Israel, i.e. the Lost Ten Tribes of Northern Israel and their Reconciliation with Judah to form the reunited 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel.
DISCLAIMER - The authors whom we quote from for this Commentary are not associated with KOL HA'TOR and need not agree with our views expressed herein or in our other publications. While we publish their views for its relative value to the interpretation of the Parashah, KOL HATOR does not necessarily agree with the views expressed by these authors.
This week's Parashah deals with a very 'dry' topic, which readers intend to just scan and then move on. It is all about the structure, contents and building of the Tabernacle which Israel were to use as the center for worship in the Wilderness until the Temple would be built in Jerusalem.
Yet, as we will show, this Parashah embodies and expresses a special Message of the highest order for His People. More so for re-identifying Ten Tribers who have been out of touch with HaShem's true Temple proceedings for nearly 3000 years now. This, after they have rebelled against the Temple system in Jerusalem and replaced it with their own system and Temple in Samaria under the spiritual guidance of anti-Torah leaders like Jeroboam, Jezebel and the likes of them.
It has to be emphasized, that Northern Israel in those times did not reject Torah. They simply insisted to interpret it the way they chose, rather than follow the spiritual guidance and interpretations of G-d's appointed lawgivers, the Tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10. Refer also our review on this judicial mandate that HaShem entrusted to Judah:
A comparison with today's to-Torah-returning re-awakening Ten Tribers, will reveal that this attitude is still widespread, as the majority of them refuse to follow Judah's Rabbinic guidance, preferring to "stick to the Word" as they seem fit.
We will follow the commentaries of Rabbi Chaim Richman (The Temple Institute, Jerusalem) and Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum who both comment on the special placing of this series of Parashot over the next five weeks, an otherwise somewhat tedious and unexciting section of Torah. This is bound to bring the serious 'lover' of HaShem some much rewarding spiritual rejuvenation.
The central theme from this week's Parashah TERUMAH through the next 5 Parashot until the end of the book of Exodus, is about the Tabernacle built by the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. This Sanctuary is a prototype of the Holy Temple which will remain eternally in Jerusalem, in the Kingdom of HaShem when Mashiach ben David comes. We have been tracing this Promise of the Ruling Body which HaShem is preparing for Himself to rule over the Nations, from Parashat Bereishit, 19 weeks back. For any soul who strives to be part of this Body therefore, Parashat Terumah and these related sections over the next 5 weeks must hold great importance.
In Mishpatim, last week, we emphasised the establishment of a re-united 12-Tribed Kingdom in the Biblical defined 'Greater Israel.' Rabbi Chaim Richman links this week's Terumah with last week's Parashat Mishpatim, and the next few Parashot about the Tabernacle and Temple, in an interesting and rational way. He questions why Moses fitted these sections in this particular sequence:
"Was Moses unsure where to include these laws, and inserted them here as a last resort? Is Parashat Mishpatim simply an editorial happenstance?
No, parashat Mishpatim doesn't just happen to be placed
here in between Yitro, (the Sinai revelation), and
Terumah, (the Commandment to build for
Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum further establishes the relationship between these Parashot and compares it to "a sandwich":
"This week's Parshah TERUMAH explains the design of the Sanctuary and its vessels, while next week's Parshah of TETZAVEH explains the garments that were to be worn by those who were to minister in that Sanctuary -- Aaron and his sons. TETZAVEH also explains the sacrificial rituals that were to inaugurate the Sanctuary and its priests.
"After TETZAVEH comes KI TISA, which continues the explanation of the form of the Sanctuary vessels and the sacrifices. When this explanation is complete, KI TISA goes on to narrate the sin of the Golden Calf and how Moses secured atonement for the people through the 13 Attributes of Mercy.
"Then come the last two Parshahs of Exodus, VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which explain how Bezalel and the other craftsmen actually constructed the Sanctuary and made the priestly clothes. VAYAKHEL and PEKUDAY repeat practically word for word some of the corresponding passages in TERUMAH and TETZAVEH. PEKUDEY then concludes the book of Exodus with the account of the inauguration of the Sanctuary and the priests on the New Moon of the first Nissan after the Exodus. This was exactly one year to the day since Moses received the first commandments while still in Egypt: the law of the New Moon and the Pesach sacrifice, prototype of Temple sacrifice."
"From this overview of the remaining five Parshahs of Exodus, we see that the subject of the Sanctuary -- central to the Torah and to the whole world -- is introduced in "sandwich" form. TERUMAH and TETZAVEH explain the intended form of the Sanctuary and priestly garments BEFORE they were executed, when they were in the "mind" and will of G-d. In the middle of the "sandwich" is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf and it's atonement through the 13 Attributes of Mercy. Then on the other side of the "sandwich" come VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which tell how the Sanctuary IDEA was brought from POTENTIAL TO ACTUAL through the thirty-nine labors of the craftsmen who made it.
"At the very center of this "sandwich" structure is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf -- which changed everything for the Children of Israel. In the heady days of the Exodus and the Giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel were elevated to the greatest heights. Then suddenly, forty days after hearing the Voice of G-d at Sinai, in one single orgy they sank to the lowest depths of degradation. From then on they had to learn the terrible pain of retribution, suffering and contrition. This was a loss of innocence parallel to the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
"But God had already prepared the remedy before the illness. Indeed, we might even say that the illness was sent with the very purpose of revealing the great power of the remedy. The remedy for sin is repentance, which saves man from himself and brings him back to the One G-d, bringing him atonement -- AT-ONE-MENT. The penitential "system" of the Torah is contained within the Sanctuary and its sacrificial rituals, which are a teaching to mankind about how man draws close (KaRoV) to G-d through his KORBAN ("sacrifice") -- literally, his "coming close". As the way of repentance for having elevated wealth to the status of a god, man is commanded to take gold, silver, copper and the richest fabrics in order to glorify and magnify the One True G-d. Man is taught how to configure the materials of this world so that instead of separating him from G-d through idolatrous uses and configurations, they will serve to draw him ever closer, until G-d Himself "dwells" with man.
"TERUMAH and TETZAVEH present us the Sanctuary and sacrificial IDEA before we have even learned about sin. The lesson of the Golden Calf in KI TISA is harsh. But it is sweetened, because immediately after Moses secured atonement for Israel through the 13 Attributes of Mercy, the very next day he assembled the people and told them to bring gifts of materials and to get busy making the ACTUAL sanctuary, as told in VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY. Thus the bitterness of sin in KI TISA is "sandwiched" between the sweetness of TERUMAH & TETZAVEH (the Teshuvah IDEA in all its innocent purity) and VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY (the ACTUALIZATION of Teshuvah in the Sanctuary in this world.)."
Let us return to Rabbi
Richman's reminder that "The
world belongs to
Let us consider Rabbi Richman's reminder of our responsibilities as a result: "This is not a phenomenon which can be taken for granted. In many societies, ancient and modern, it is the government, or monarch, or political party or military or tyrant which enjoys exclusive ownership of property and access to wealth, not the individual subjects or citizens.
"It is clear, then,
that parashat Mishpatim is no anomaly, clumsily placed
between Sinai and the Tabernacle. On the contrary, without the
principle of ownership laid down in Mishpatim, the
building of the Tabernacle could not have taken place. If
The answer is that
offers us an opportunity to reflect upon all the good that
Re-identifying Ten Tribers generally fail to recognize their responsibilities to build the Land of Israel with Judah through their financial support. The general inclination seems to be a conditional willingness, a stalling process, waiting on Judah to accept them first on easier terms before they will assist in the building process.
In reality, it may well be that 10-Israel simply fails to realize the full implications of the Message and Directives of Parashat Terumah. It is therefore significant, that this Parashah is named "Terumah", after the opening paragraph theme word which means 'Offering' - NOT Offering as in 'sacrificial offering', but offering as in 'donation'.
Exodus 25:1 "HaShem said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze ...", followed by a list of valuable, exotic and lasting items required for the grandeur and sanctity of the Sanctuary.
Perhaps we should see these requirements and offerings as also required for the 'Greater Temple' that HaShem is building, of which His elect will be part - as our conclusions from previous Parashot has been hinting at.
There can NOT be a Temple without a Re-united Israel, i.e. two Houses reconciled in Peace and national, brotherly Unity.
There can NOT be Unity without co-operation and acceptance of each other.
There can NOT be Redemption and a Kingdom without 10-Israel!
The Haftarah emphasizes the BUILDING activities of King Solomon with thousands of workers.
1 Kings 6:11 "The word of HaShem came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
We close with an inspiring observation by Rabbi Greenbaum:
"At the close of TETZAVEH and Exodus, we read how G-d's Cloud of Glory dwelled constantly over the Sanctuary. Leviticus opens immediately with the Voice of G-d emanating to Moses from between the mouths of the Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, giving him the detailed laws of the Temple sacrifices."
How inspiringly the bold letters of the Torah come to awe-inspiring excelling LIFE!
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Our Mandate -
"The word of HaShem came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
"When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?' say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: 'I am going to take the stick of Joseph - which is in Ephraim's hand - and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in My Hand.' Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: 'I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be My People, and I will be their G-d. My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one Shepherd. They will follow My Laws and be careful to keep My Decrees. They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David My servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put My Sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their G-d, and they will be My People. Then the nations will know that I, HaShem, make Israel holy, when My Sanctuary is among them forever.' "
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