Sunday, February 22, 2009

Terumah-the building of the mishkan

Before I leave you with the Dvar Torah that I wrote in 2007, let me describe where I was this parshah last year. I took the parshah Shavuah class with Rabbi Feldman in Midtown East at a late lunch time. This french guy was there. That morning, I had davened in shul and the knowledge tidbit for the day was mevushal wine. I remember because I went to Rabbi Feldman's class. I come back from washing for bread and what are they talking about, but mevushal wine. So, I was like, "is this in the parshah or something?" No, of course not. I knew that, because you see this handy dvar Torah below, I had written the previous year and I looked at it before going to this class. However, I thought maybe it was one of those sneaky kabbalistic things like in Parshah Yisro, they say the Torah was offered to all the nations. Only it's not actually in the parshah, it's one of those sneaky kabbalistic things. So, I thought perhaps mevushal was somehow attached to this parshah as two separate places they were discussing... nope, just an odd coincidence.

2007 dvar Torah
At the opening of this parshah, G-d tells Moses to gather up various items from the people. These items are to be broken down so they can be used to build sanctuary, also called a tabernacle.

First the building plans for the ark are given. It was to be made of acacia wood but, covered in gold. It was to have carrying poles (acacia/gold). Also, the ark was to have cherubs carved into it in a manner that their wings would shield the cover.

Next, came instructions for a table. The table was to also have carrying poles. Also, it states that on the table will be bread forms, incense bowls, and side frames. he bread loaves will have golden dividers between them.

The lamp (menorah) was made out of one single piece of gold that was hammered into shape. It has six branches and one light in the middle. The six branches are connected at the shaft of the menorah with a sphere dividing each pair from it’s counterpart.

The next section goes into further details as to the Tabernacle itself. There were two sets of five tapestry panels. The pattern on the tapestry was of cherubs. The two set were connected by fasteners that hooked into loops that were directly on the tapestry. The tabernacle was then covered by goats wool. The wool was put together almost the same way, except that one of the groups had six sheets but, the other had only five. The extra sheet... half to hang in the front and half of a sheet trailing behind. Additionally, a roof was formed of animal hides and skins.

The beams were made of acacia wood covered in gold. There silver bases under the beams. The beams all had a spot in the middle for the crossbars to go through it. The crossbars were acacia wood covered in gold.

There was a cloth partition made of sky-blue, dark red, and crimson wools that were woven together. They had cherubs woven into them. Behind this curtain was where the Ark of Testimony was kept, making this curtain the important curtain to separate out the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies. There was also a drape for the entrance of the tent, held by five gold-covered acacia pillars.

The Altar was made from copper covered acacia. There were copper instruments like fire pans. There was also a copper screen around the Altar. The poles to carry the Altar were made of copper-covered acacia wood.

The north and south sides of the enclosure were 100 cubits long and held by 20 pillars with copper bases. The eastern and western ends were half that size. The entrance was on the eastern end. The pillars used in the enclosure would have silver hoops and hooks with copper bases. The equipment itself used to make the tabernacle was to be made of copper.

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