Parashat Terumah

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Parshas Terumah is the seventh parsha in the Book of Shemos and the 7th week of Shovavim-Tat on leap years. It contains 96 pesukim. For the Haftora; King Shlomo's creation of the First Beis Hamikdash, is read.


[edit] The Mishkan

When Hashem first instructed Moshe to build a Mishkan he was perplexed, unsure how he could build a house big enough for Hashem's glory that fills the entire physical and spiritual worlds.[1] Hashem informed Moshe that unlike his initial assumption, the Mishkan would be small, consisting of only 20 x 8 beams.[2] Hashem told Moshe to inform the Jews that it was not out of need for a dwelling place that He wanted the Mishkan created, rather it was because his love of the Jews that He was going to leave the existing supernal Beit Hamikdash and descend to dwell in the physical home they were building.[3] Hearing about the 'sin of the golden calf' triggered great delight among the Gentile nations who were certain the Jews were now doomed for sinning only 40 days after receiving the Torah. When Hashem requested the Machtzit Hashekel collection and the building of the Mishkan, it once again raised the honor of the Jews.[4] Having the Shechinah rest in the Mishkan served as a testimony that Hashem forgave the Jews for the incident of the calf.[5]

[edit] Rectification for Golden Calf

The main goal of the creation of the Mishkan was to rectify the sin of the idolatry to the golden calf.[6]

Increasing Holy Passion

Hashem took the Jews out of Egypt with great wondrous miracles, split the sea for them and gave them the Torah in tremendous noise and thunder, revealing his awesome, fearsome G-dlniess. Yet despite all this, right afterwards the Erev Rav managed to stumble them with the horrible sin of idolatry to the golden calf. When Moshe saw this, he realized the great power the Yetzer Hara has to trap people in 'This World'. He therefore introduced the creation of the Mishkan whose fundamental factor was charity, which increases a person's passion for holiness. This gave the Jews the passion needed to overcome the Yetzer Hara despite any darkness he hurls a person into.[6]

Nullifying Lust for Money

Spiritually, idolatry and the 'lust for money' are very intertwined since a person only lusts for wealth out of a lack of faith in Hashem and belief in Divine providence, which are elements of idolatry. These cause a person to always worry where his money and livelihood will come from or if he already has money, he desires more and more. Therefore the Jews were given the opportunity to donate to the Mishkan since charity given completely for the sake of heaven, to a completely righteous cause, is a powerful rectification for the lust of money. Thereby improving faith in Hashem and belief in Divine providence and rectifying idolatry. [6]

[edit] Disassembly

The residue of the Mishkan's holiness remains forever, even after its destruction and it continues to protect the Jewish Nation. It is for this reason that the Mishkan was always being taken apart and being rebuilt, to show that its power remained even when it was dissembled.[6]

[edit] Donations for Mishkan

Hashem tells Moshe to request donations from the Jews for His honor,[7] to be used in the construction of the Mishkan which He promises to dwell in. Hashem had the angel Gavriel[8] show Moshe a rendering of the Mishkan and all its vessels during his stay on Mount Sinai and instructed him to create what he had seen. These instructions was applicable for all generations, where anytime a vessel had to be replaced or added, as in the case of Shlomo who added 10 tables, menoras and washing basins, it must be constructed to match the original version.[9]

This was one of three collection which included ...

  1. Original Machtzit Hashekel collection - mentioned in Parshat Ki Tisa which took place right after Yom Kipor on the first year of leaving Egypt, at the start of the Mishkan building.[10] These funds were used for the creation of the Adanim.[11]
  2. Mishkan collection[11] - Unlike the other two collections where each person had to donate a mandatory set amount regardless of his situation, the 'Mishkan collection' allowed each person to donate voluntarily, as he willed, according the goodness of his heart.[12] Donations from Gentiles were not accepted.[13] Submissions had to be handed to a committee of at least two officials.[14]
  3. Second Machtzit Hashekel collection - Taking place after the construction of the Mishkan was complete, in the month of Iyyar, on the second year of leaving Egypt,[15] around six months after the original Machtzit Hashekel collection and is mentioned in Parshas Bamidbor.[16] These funds were used for purchasing public sacrifices.[11]

[edit] Collected Materials

The following materials were requested, all to be used for the construction of the Mishkan or the priestly garments[11]

  1. Gold – For its many uses in the construction of the Mishkan
  2. Silver - All silver used for the actual Mishkan came from the original Machtzit Hashekel collection were each individual had to give an equal amount of half a shekel.[12] This was solely used for the creation of the Adanim sockets of the Kirashim and courtyard Amudim pillars as well as their hooks and decorations. This independent collection yielded 100 kikraim and 1775 shekels of silver, the 100 kikrim were used for the sockets and the remaining shikalim for the hooks and decorations.[17] Although it was possible to donate silver in the 'Mishkan collection', these donations were only used for Kli Shares (secondary service vessels)[12] and not for the main vessels themselves.[18]
  3. Copper – for use in the external alter, copper foot sockets of courtyard beams ect…
  4. Blue dyed wool – Dye was extracted from the Chilazon,[19] a certain type of marine creature that ascends from the sea once every seventy years.[20] Its color was light blue like that of the sky.[21]
  5. Purple dyed wool
  6. Scarlet dyed wool
  7. Fine linen – Color of these threads was white.[22] Mixing these threads with the wool was not problematic since the laws of Shatnez do not apply to the priestly garments.[23]
  8. Goats' hair – Only the goat hair was used and not the skins,[19] producing a coarser material then wool.[24]
  9. Red dyed ram hide – these skins were turned red through a dying process, changing their original natural color,[25] after being tanned.[26]
  10. Tchashim hide – Tichashim were a mythical species of animal created specifically for the building of the Mishkan, that became extinct right after. Its skin contained an array of colors and it would rejoice and boast of its hues.[26]
  11. Shitim wood – A rare type of light very durable wood.[27] These plantings were originally brought by Yackov when he descended to Egypt, foreseeing that his descendants would one day create a Mishkan. He planted these and instructed his sons to take them along when they leave.[26]
  12. Olive oil – pure olive oil used for continuously lighting the Menorah.[28]
  13. Spices – the various spices used in the bi-daily Ketoret offering and for the compounding of the Shemen HaMishcha which was used for the anointment of the Mishkan and its vessels.[28]
  14. Onyx stones – In that period of history, onyx was a very rare and expensive gemstone.[29] Two of these stones were set on the shoulders of the Ephod.
  15. Gemstones – Various gemstones to be set inside the Choshen.

These totaled 13 items, as the olive oil and spices were not counted since they were not needed for the actual construction of the Mishkan, only to execute its services once it had been created.[30] During the ‘sin of the golden calf’ the Jews lost thirteen spiritual garments. They now managed to rectify this element of the flaw and earned them back through the donation of the thirteen construction materials.[31]

[edit] Gold & Silver

Although in their lower manifestations gold and silver are crude commonly abused physical items, in their roots they are very lofty elements that are a big part of Hashem's glory and are therefore important materials in the Mishkan. It is only below that they fell tremendously, to the point that most of the world strays from Hashem due to them.[6]

Additionally the gold, silver and valuables alluded to the good points in each Jew. Every Jew, even the lowest one, has a good point that no other Jew has, with which Hashem glories. After the sin of the golden calf, Moshe had to work hard to search out and find the good points in the Jews, whose bad elements had just been very apparent. When the Jews brought their donations, each in proportion to the goodness of his heart, they revealed their goodness that was concealed inside of them. Moshe then took these good points which came out in the donated valuables, which also happen to be the extracted good points of physical reality and built the Mishkan from them, gathering them into a single location, proving once again that the Jews were filled with goodness.[32]

[edit] Aron

The Aron was constructed from Shittim wood and was 2.5 cubits long, 1.5 cubits wide and 1.5 cubits tall. It did not rest on legs and was shaped like a large chest[33] that sat on its base with an opening on its upper side. Bitzalel created three independent boxes each containing four sides, a bottom panel and open on top. Each box was slightly larger than the next. The largest box was made from pure gold, the midsized one was composed of shittim wood and the smallest was also from gold. He then placed the wood box in the middle, sandwiched by the outer and inner gold boxes. This left the wood completely covered, aside from the top ledge which Bitzalel also preceded to coat with gold.[34] The luchos were then placed inside the aron, this had to be done before the first covering with the kapores.[35] The aron was kept in the Kodesh HaKodashim and was the only vessel not replicated by King Shlomo when he built the Beit Hamikdash.

[edit] Keter

The largest outer gold box of the aron extended a little more than a tefach above the two inner boxes that were both level on their top. A tefach of this extra extrusion was used to hold the Kapores in place while the remaining extrusion was shaped like a jagged crown.[36] This crown represented the crown of Torah, the highest of the three crowns.[34] It was placed on the Aron since the Torah was stored inside.

[edit] Tabaos and Badim

Four rings were welded on to the aron,[37] two on each side of its width on its upper third section, close to the ark cover.[37] Then the badim beams were run through them with the length of the ark separated the poles, leaving two and one-half cubits between them, allowing the Levites to carry the Aron.[37] Since the beams ran parallel to the width, it allowed the larger space of the length to stand in-between its two carriers, giving them a more spacious area as opposed to a cramp alternative had the rings and beams run parallel to the aron’s length.[38]

The badim were made from shittim wood and were plated with gold. These were used to carry the aron. Once the badim were inserted in the aron, it was permanent and it was forbidden to ever remove them.[39]

[edit] Kapores

The kapores was used to cover the aron which was open from above and was placed over it like a board.[40] It had two keruvim rising out of it, one on each side. I was created from pure gold and its dimensions were; 2.5 cubits long by 1.5 cubits wide, matching the length and width of the aron and 1 tefach thick.[40]

[edit] Keruvim

The Keruvim were two ten tefach tall, winged figures with childish faces[41], each one rising from opposite sides of the kapores.[41] Their wings spread upwards, high alongside their heads, spread out over the center of the kapores, leaving a 10 tefach hollow space under it and not resting on their sides.[42] Their childish faces were pointing towards each other. Both the keruvim and the kapores were chiseled out from a single block of gold rather than being created in separate pieces and then being welded together. A large block of gold was taken and its center was beaten with a hammer and mallet forming two protruding heads that were then used to form the Keruvim.[41] All prophecy and commandments to Moshe would emanate from in between the two keruvim on the kaporet. When Hashem would talk with Moshe, the voice would come out from between the keruvim and from there travel to the Ohel Moed where it was heard by Moshe as he entered the doorway.[43]

[edit] Symbolism

[edit] Size

The dimensions of the Aron were 2.5 cubits x 1.5 cubits x 1.5 cubits. Unlike the other vessels of the Mishkan whose dimensions were composed of either entirely whole cubit units or a mixture of whole and decimals, the Aron's dimensions were all broken units. This symbolizes that one must break and humble himself if he wishes to study Torah.

[edit] Coating

The inside of the Aron was coated with gold, when it easily could have been wood since it was always concealed. This symbolizes how a person's inner self must be like the outer image he portrays.

[edit] Facing Keruvim

The keruvim faced one another like two friends conversing and discussing Torah. Additionally the 2 keruvim alluded to the merit of the Avos[44] (638 = שני כרובים = 638 / אברהם יצחק יעקב )

[edit] Shulchan

The shulchan was a table created from shittim wood which was plated in gold. It was 2 cubits long, 1 cubit wide and 1.5 cubits tall, including the height of its legs together with the thickness of its top.[45] This table was then used to hold the Lechem Hapanim which was kept in gold 'Ke'aros' pans which were in turn held above the Shulchan with the 'Kashtot' bars supported by the 'Minakiyos' vertical shelve boards. The length of the Lechem Hapanim laid across the width of the Shulchan, with its length holding two loaves of Lechem Hapanim. There were six layers totaling twelve loaves of bread. At all times there were loves on the table. The Shulchan was located in the north side of the Ohel Moed.

[edit] Misgeret

It had a Misgeret rim / frame, which was a tefach wide, surrounding the shulchan on all four sides. It either rose slightly above the table top or according to a second opinion surrounded it below, running around and between each of its four legs, supporting the actual tabletop.[46]

[edit] Zer

Above the Misgeret were golden crown shaped ridges, this crown representing the crown of royalty, for the table represents wealth and greatness.[47]

[edit] Tabaos and Badim

It had four rings, two on each side that were attached to the legs of the table and aligned with the corners of the Misgeret.[48] These rings served as holders[49] for the insertion of badim poles so the shulchan could be carried. The badim poles were made from shittim wood and were plated with gold.

[edit] Lechem Hapanim

The Lechem Hapanim were loves of bread shaped like a box without a cover. They had flat bottoms and were bent upward on both sides forming something similar to walls.[50] They were called Lechem HaPanim, literally - the bread of faces, because they had faces looking in both directions, toward both sides of the Mishkan.[50] They were placed lengthwise across the width of the table, their walls standing vertically opposite the edge of the table.[50] Each Friday the Lechem Hapanim were baked using iron template pans.[50]

[edit] Accessories

All accessories of the Shulchan were made from pure gold.

  • Pans / Ke'arot - These were template pans shaped like the Lechem HaPanim,[50] used hold it after it was baked, so it's shape would not ruin. The Lechem HaPanim was baked each Friday in metal pans and then transferred to the gold Ke'arot pans upon its removal from the oven, where it would remain until Shabbos day when it was placed on the Shulchan.[50]
  • Spoons / Kappot - Two small bowls with handles used to hold the two handfuls of pure Frankincens.[50] Each one was placed above one column containing six loaves of Lechem Hapanim.[51]
  • Bars / Kashtot - Half round, hollow bars made out of gold that were slightly longer then six tefachim,[52] the length of the Lechem Hapanim. These were inserted as spacers below each of the Lechem Hapanim loaves, allowing them to rest upon them,[50] aside from the bottom row that rested upon the actual tabletop. Their tips were held in small niches carved into the sides of the Minakiyot, to help them support the weight of the bread and to prevent the lower loaves from getting crushed.[53] Three Kashtot bars were inserted between each loaf,[50] aside for the highest row that only had two on each column since there was not much weight placed on them. This totaled 3 bars x 4 rows + 2 bars for highest row x 2 columns = 28 bars.[54] The Kashtot allowed air to circulate in-between the loaves by providing space between them so they would not touch each other and mold.[50] Although the bread miraculously never molded in the Temples or Mishkan, they were not allowed to rely on miracles and a system had to be set up that could work according to the laws of nature.[55]
  • Support Boards / Minakiyot - Also called 'Snifim', were large, gold, 3.5 cubit tall, vertical support boards that began on the floor and reached the full height of the six layered stacks of Lechem HaPanim. There were four boards, one on each side of the two columns. They contained 28 niches in 6 layers to help support the Kashtot bars who inturn supported the breads, preventing the wieight of the upper loaves from crushing the lower ones.[56]

[edit] Menorah

The menorah was created from pure gold and chiseled out of a single block rather then being created in pieces and later welded together. It contained a base and six arms, three on each side, totaling seven arms including the central one. Each arm had three cups with a button and flower, while the base arm had four cups with a button and flower and three additional buttons where each set of side arms met the base arm. The menorah was located in the south side of the ohel moed. Moshe was told to create the Menorah as he had been shown by Hashem on Mount Sinai.

[edit] Accessories

Tongs and snuffdishes where created from pure gold.

[edit] Yeriyos

There were four coverings to the Mishkan

  1. A cloth covering created from fine twined linen woven with blue, purple and scarlet dyed wool.
  2. A covering created from goat hair.
  3. A covering created from ram skin that was dyed red.
  4. A covering created from the skin of the mythical Tachash.

[edit] Krashim

The shell beams of the Mishkan were created from Shitim wood and were plated with gold. Each beam was 10 cubits tall and 1.5 cubits wide. At the bottom of each beam were two feet-like extensions that fit into the adanim sockets. Both the north and south sides of the Mishkan were composed of 20 beams each. The western side was composed of six beams with an additional one in each of its two corners. The eastern side which served as the entrance, was closed off by a curtain that was held up by five pillars made from shittim wood, coated in gold with copper footer sockets.

[edit] Adanim

Were made of silver and helped balance the feet of the kirashim beams.

[edit] Tabaot

Went on top and were made of gold.

[edit] Brichim

There were three bars that helped hold the beams together. Two of them were held by external rings found on both the top and bottom sections of the beams. There was a third bar that passed through a channel in the center of all the beams. While the top and bottom bars had different beams for each direction of the Mishkan, the central bar was a single piece that miraculously curved upon reaching each corner and extended from one end of the Mishkan to the other.

[edit] Parochet

The paroches was a curtain that separated the ohel moed from the kodesh hakodashim. It was composed of blue, purple and scarlet dyed wool along with twined fine linen. Embroidered on the curtain were images of keruvim. It was held up by four pillars made out of shittim wood, coated in gold with silver footer sockets.

[edit] Mizbeach HaNechoshet

The external courtyard alter was constructed from shittim wood and plated with copper. It was five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits tall. It had four square extensions rising up from it upper corners.

[edit] Accessories

All vessels of the external alter were made from copper

  1. Pots to transfer the ashes
  2. Shovels to gather the ashes
  3. Basins to hold and throw sacrificial blood
  4. Flesh-hooks for flipping over the burning sacrifice pieces
  5. Fire pans to gather coals for use in burning the Ketoret incense

[edit] Chatzer

The courtyard of the Mishkan was 100 cubits by 50 cubits and was fenced off by linen curtains held up by beams with copper footer sockets. Their hooks and decorations were made from silver. The eastern side that served as an entrance had 15 curtains on each end and an opening of 20 cubits in-between.

[edit] Size

The Chatzer of the Mishkan which was 100 x 50 cubits, totaling 5,000 square cubits was a fiftieth (the amount generally extracted for Teruma) of Har Habais which was 500 x 500 cubits totaling 250,000 square cubits and was alluded to in Hashem’s request for a ‘Teruma’.[57]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Avosanue quoting Shimos Rabba 34/1
  2. ^ Avosanue quoting Psikta Drav Kahana 2
  3. ^ Avosanue quoting Tanchuma Yashon Naso 19A
  4. ^ Avosanue quoting Psikta Rabbiti 10
  5. ^ Rashi Pikuday Shimos 38/21
  6. ^ a b c d e Likutay Halachos, Hilchos Birkas Hashachar 5:45
  7. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  8. ^ Baal Haturim
  9. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:9
  10. ^ Rashi Ki Tisa
  11. ^ a b c d Rashi Shemos 25:2
  12. ^ a b c Rashi Shemos 25:3
  13. ^ Baal Haturim
  14. ^ Baal Haturim
  15. ^ Rashi Ki Tisa
  16. ^ Rashi Ki Tisa
  17. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  18. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  19. ^ a b Rashi Shemos 25:4
  20. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  21. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  22. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  23. ^ Rashi Kipsuto - Footnotes
  24. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  25. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  26. ^ a b c Rashi Shemos 25:5
  27. ^ Shover Zadim Parashat Terumah
  28. ^ a b Rashi Shemos 25:6
  29. ^ Shover Zadim Parashat Terumah
  30. ^ Rashi Kipsuto Footnote
  31. ^ Baal Haturim
  32. ^ Likutay Halachos, Hilchos Hashkamos Haboker 1:4
  33. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:10
  34. ^ a b Rashi Shemos 25:11
  35. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:21
  36. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  37. ^ a b c Rashi Shemos 25:12
  38. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  39. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:15
  40. ^ a b Rashi Shemos 25:17
  41. ^ a b c Rashi Shemos 25:18
  42. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:20
  43. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:22
  44. ^ Baal Haturim
  45. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:23
  46. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:25
  47. ^ Rashi Shemos 25/24
  48. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  49. ^ Rashi Shemos 25:27
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rashi Shemos 25:29
  51. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  52. ^ Shover Zadim Parashat Terumah
  53. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  54. ^ Rashi Kipsuto - Footnotes
  55. ^ Shover Zadim Parashat Terumah
  56. ^ Rashi Kipsuto
  57. ^ Baal Haturim Shemos 25/2
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