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Parshat Terumah

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL
.

Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

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PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 3
2
MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
1 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES):96

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1145

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 4692

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Melachim I / I Kings 5:26-6:13


פרשת תְּרומה
THE
PARSHA

In our last episode Hashem gave the Bnei Yisroel a load of laws that keep the peace between man and his neighbor, from punishment to damages, to the laws of a Jew who becomes a slave. Just when you thought the month of Sivan went from the fourth day to the sixth, we learned of the events that took place on the fifth day of Sivan as the Parsha came to an end.

A PLACE
FOR THE
SHECHINA

As our Parsha opens, Hashem tells Moshe, "If you think I was close to Bnei Yisroel at Matan (the giving of the) Torah, pitch me a tent, 'cause I'm dwelling among Bnei Yisroel from now on." Here's what Hashem has in mind: While the Jews travel through the desert, living in temporary dwellings, Hashem, too, will travel the same way, dwelling in a temporary, travelling Mishkan, which will be packed up every time the Jews move on to a different camping ground. When the Jews are settled in Eretz Yisroel and build permanent homes, they will build a permanent dwelling for Hashem's Shechina (divine presence), the Bait Hamikdosh.

Moshe is up at the summit of Har (Mt.) Sinai. He doesn't know it, but all heck is about to break loose down below. There's major sinning sneaking up on the desert Sinai. Sinning that could destroy the bond between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel. Hashem knows He has to strengthen the bond now, before it is too late! The Mishkan is the solution. Hashem tells Moshe all about this travelling Holy Temple that keeps Hashem's Shechina right smack in the middle of the Bnei Yisroel. With the Shechina resting among the people, no nation will be able to say that Hashem abandoned Bnei Yisroel after their terrible sin.


WHO CAN PLAY?

The Mishkan project is a project for all the people. Hashem wants everyone to feel like they've got a hand in it. So the rule is, that anyone who wants to donate materials will be welcome. And there's lots of material needed to do the job. Of course, your standard gold, silver and copper will be needed as well as two "shoham" gems and twelve other kinds of gems. Then you've got your linens, wool (some dyed blue and some dyed purple), goat hair and "tachash" skins. Finally, you've got your Shittim wood, olive oil, spices for annointing oil and spices to make incense.

Where would all these materials come from? After all, this nation may be a holy one but they're just a bunch of ex-slaves living in a desert economy. Well, goat hair isn't much of a problem. But what about gold, silver and copper? What is Bnei Yisroel, - a mining company? The answer is that Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim with a lot of wealth. Remember that the Egyptians handed over their riches to bribe the Jews to leave faster after the ten devastating plagues. If that wasn't enough, remember when those horses of Pharoh's army were drowned in the Yam Suf? Well, they were adorned with precious jewels and metals. These riches floated to the banks of the sea where Bnei Yisroel gathered them up. There were also Tzadikkim (righteous people) who found precious gems as gifts from Hashem, when they received their portions of Mann in the morning.

Hashem tells Moshe to assign fundraisers to collect donations. The response is terrific. The Jews donate lots of materials to the Mishkan, proving that their hearts yearn to be part of this holy endeavor.


HE'S GOT THE
MISHKAN
BLUES

Chatzair HamishkanHashem provides Moshe with blueprints for the Mishkan. According to the diagram, the Mishkan is made up of three sections:
  • the Chatzair, (Outer Courtyard)
  • the Kodesh (holy) and...
  • the Kodesh HaKodoshim (holy of holies).
The outer courtyard, called the Chatzair, will be open to Leviyim and Kohanim as well as the average Ben Yisroel who brings a sacrifice or gift to the Mishkan. This area will contain the large Mizbayach (altar) where animal sacrifices will be offered. The Kiyor, a wash stand for the Kohanim, will also be placed in the Chatzair, right by the entrance to the "Kodesh."

The structure in the Chatzair is an actual tent covered with the skin of the "tachash" (more on that later). Mishkan Aerial View The tent is divided into two parts.

  • the Kodesh (holy) and...
  • the Kodesh HaKodoshim (Holy of Holies).
The first area you enter is called "Kodesh." This is where the Shulchan (Table), the Menora and the Mizbayach Hazahav, (gold Altar) also known as Mizbayach Haketoret, (incense Altar) or Mizbayach Hapnimi (inner Altar), will be housed. The inner sanctuary is called the Kodesh HaKodoshim, (Holy of Holies). The is the holiest area of the Mishkan. This area will house the Aron (Ark) containing the two engraved Luchot, (tablets), which contain the Aseret Hadibrot (Ten Commandments). Hashem's Shechina will rest on the Aron. From here Hashem will speak to Moshe throughout the years in the desert. This area is so holy that no one but the Kohain Gadol may enter, and even that privilege is granted only once a year on Yom Kippur. The Kodesh HaKodashim is sealed off by a thick curtain called the Parochet.

THE ARON

Since Moshe has never seen an Aron, Hashem shows it to him in a fiery vision. The Aron is made up of three boxes that fit one into the next. The outer container and inner container will be made of pure gold. The middle container will be made of shittim wood. A rim resembling a crown will be fitted on the outer container. For travelling purposes two rings are attached to each side of the outer container. Gold-plated poles are placed through the rings on each side of the Aron so that the Leviyim can carry the Aron. Covering the Aron will be a block of pure gold fashioned with two images of Keruvim (angels), facing one another. These Keruvim will have the faces of children. The Aron will contain the luchot, the tablets that are engraved with the Aserest Hadibrot (Ten Commandments). As the centerpiece of the Mishkan, the Shechina of Hashem will rest above the Aron. From here, Hashem's presence will emanate.

THE SHULCHAN

Shulchan Imagine two bakery racks, each containing five shelves and connected by a tray with a crown-like awning three quarters of the way down. This is what the Shulchan will look like. Just in case Moshe needs more of a visual aid, Hashem shows Moshe the Shulchan in a fiery vision. The actual Shulchan made from wood covered with gold, is the box portion, or the "table." For travelling purposes two rings are attached to each side of the Shulchan. Gold-plated wooden poles are placed through the rings on each side of the Shulchan so that the Leviyim can carry the Shulchan. The Shulchan's function is to hold bread loaves called lechem hapanim (show bread). This bread has all kinds of significance attached to it. (check out Vayikra, Parshat Emor in a few weeks for more details!)

The bread is shaped like a wide letter 'U' and is placed: - two on the actual Shulchan and ten more on the open-back shelves made of golden pipes. The Lechem Hapanim will be replaced and eaten every Shabbat by the Kohanim in the Mishkan. Even though the bread is a week old, there's a major miracle here which keeps the bread fresh and warm just like it's right out of the oven. This sends a clear message to Bnei Yisroel: As long as the Jews are immersed in Torah, Hashem will provide enough wheat in the fields to feed the nation. On the Shulchan were placed two Capos (bowls) filled with a spice called levona.


THE MENORAH

Menorah In another fiery vision Hashem reveals the Menorah to Moshe. This is not like the menorah of Chanukah. This Menorah has three arms on each side of the middle stem. The Torah explains that each arm is ornamented with three types of decorations:
  • Gavia (cup) - a cup or goblet design. This menorah has 22.
  • Kaftor - This ornament resembles a knob or a ball. There will be eleven of these on the arms and branches of the menorah.
  • Perach - (Flowers). Some say petals, others say actual buds, like mini-sunflowers, of which there were 9.
The menorah will be molded of one piece of solid gold. Atop each branch, a cup to hold oil and a wick will be formed. All the wicks faced toward the center one.

THE
OUTER
MIZBAYACH (ALTAR)

Mizbayach Hanechoshes Hashem told Moshe to make a Mizbayach in the Chatzair of the Mishkan. The Mizbayach will be made from Shittim wood covered with copper. It was to be hollow and filled with earth. This Mizbayach is called Mizbayach Hanechoshet (Copper Altar) or Mizbayach Hachitzon (Outer Altar). Each corner on the top had a square block horn, open on top. The middle of the Mizbayach has a beam of copper called a karkov (border). This was purely decorative and engraved with buds and flowers. Under the karkov is a Michbar made of reshet (copper netting). This was the divider between the upper and lower half of the Mizbayach. When a Kohain sprinkled blood from korbanot (sacrifices) onto the walls of the Mizbayach, some korbanot required the blood to go on the upper half, while some went onto the lower half. For travelling purposes two rings are attached to each side of the Mizbayach. Gold-plated wooden poles are placed through the rings on each side of the Mizbayach so that the Leviyim can carry the Mizbayach.

Many miracles were associated with this Mizbayach.

  • Though this Mizbayach was in the Chatzair, an open place, no matter how hard it rained, the fire never went out.
  • The fire burned day and night, and did not burn through the copper plating, or char the wood.
  • The smoke of the Mizbayach always went straight up like a pillar, no matter how hard the wind blew.

THE MISHKAN

Kerashim (Beams) The frame of the Mishkan will be fashioned with 20 foot beams of shittim wood. Each beam is placed vertically into two silver sockets called adonim. Through two rings attached to each beam, one higher, one lower, and a hole bore through each beam, will be placed gold-plated poles that hold together the frame.

The frame of the Mishkan will be covered with three layers of skins. The outer layer will be made of the skins of rams, dyed red, and the skins of tachash. What's a tachash? Some say it's a kind of seal. Others say it is a unicorn. Of course, since you can't find these creatures in the middle of the desert, Hashem will transport them from their own habitats. This layer will fit the roof exactly. Not a drop will hang over the sides.

The middle layer will be woven from goat wool. This covering will drape over the entrance to the Ohel Mo'aid, (tent of meeting) like the veil of a bride. The bottom layer will consist of ten tapestries. One will be able to see these beautiful works of art from inside the Ohel Mo'aid, as they rest atop the frame like a ceiling. The tapestries will be woven with multi-colored threads, with woven figures of eagles and lions threaded to the cloth. The ten tapestries will be sown together, five to a group. The two groups of five tapestries will then be linked together with loops and golden hooks right over the entrance to the Kodesh HaKodoshim, so that one group will cover the Kodesh and the other group the Kodesh HaKodoshim. The Kodesh and Kodesh HaKodoshim will be divided by a curtain, spun from multi colored thick linen threads, with cherub designs. This curtain is called the Parochet.


THE CHATZAIR

The walls of the Chatzair (courtyard) will consist of net linen curtains hung from silver hooks that are attached to wooden shittim beams about ten feet tall. Before the entrance to the Mishkan will stand a multi colored linen curtain draped from four beams. The Bnei Yisroel will not be permitted to watch the services performed in the Mishkan.

If you think we're done with the Mishkan, surprise! We've only skimmed the surface! Tune in next week when (straight from the summit of Har Sinai), flashes of fiery visions reveal the priestly vestments in the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Mavin on Teruma


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