This Week’s Torah Portion: Terumah

Name: Terumah

Reading: Exodus 25:1 – 27:19

Haftarah: Kings 1 5:26 – 6:13

Parsha Summary – Termuah

God Speak to Moses

The previous Torah portion ended when Moses ascended Mount Sinai in clouds and smoke to collect the tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed.

God tells Moses to build a place where the Children of Israel can bring offerings and gifts to Him, and to build a sanctuary where He can dwell among them.

The Ark

The Ark is to be built of acacia wood. It will measure two and a half cubits by a cubit and a half by a cubit and a half and be overlaid with pure gold, with rings along the sides so that it can be carried on matching gold-plated acacia wood staffs. It will be decorated with two golden cherubim made from beaten gold placed above the ark.

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is to contain a gold-plated table for showbread, and a menorah of pure gold whose candlesticks and base are to be decorated with golden flowers. The sanctuary will be covered with blue, purple and scarlet linen curtains which will connect to each other through gold brackets and blue hoops. The sanctuary tent will be covered with huge curtains and dyed ram and sealskins. The sanctuary will be made of boards of acacia wood, and the alter will be made of acacia and overlaid with brass.

Torah Takeaway

The Midrash teaches that during the plague of darkness, the Israelites took spoils from the petrified Egyptians’ homes. The gold, brass, fabrics, and gemstones were soon to be put to good use creating a travelling sanctuary – known as the mishkan – where the wandering Israelites would be able to make offerings and bring gifts to God. This week’s Torah portion is filled with directives on how to build the travelling Temple, ensuring that the stolen goods were put to better, holier use.