Sign up to TorahFax


Friday, Adar1 3, 5779 / February 8, 2019


In this week's Parsha, Terumah, G-d commands to erect the Mishkan (Tabernacle). G-d said to Moshe, "And they shall make for Me a sanctuary so that I shall dwell among them."


The Mishkan was portable. It was dismantled and re-assembled throughout the forty years that the Jewish people traveled in the desert.


King Solomon later built the Beth Hamikdash (Holy Temple) in Jerusalem. The Beth Hamikdash stood for 410 years and was destroyed by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnetzar. When Jews returned to Israel after 70 years in Exile, they rebuilt the Beth Hamikdash. The Second Temple stood for 420 years and was destroyed by the Romans. The years which the two Temples stood are alluded in our Parsha.


The Midrash tells us that when G-d told Moshe, "And they shall make unto Me a sanctuary so that I shall dwell among them," Moshe was puzzled.  He said to G-d, "You fill the entire heaven and earth!  There is no place void of you. How can we, mortal beings, build a dwelling place for You?"


G-d replied, "I do not ask that you build a sanctuary according to My capacity but rather according to yours.  All I ask is that you do the best YOU can. That will suffice and I will rest My Glory among you."


It is the same with the mitzvot that G-d commanded us. The fact that G-d commands us to do the mitzvah, gives us the strength and ability to overcome all obstacles and make G-d dwell amongst us.


One of the vessels in the Mishkan and in the Beth Hamikdash was the Aron (Ark) in which the Tablets were stored. On top of the Aron was the Kaporet. The Torah commands, "And you shall make an ark-cover (Kaporet) of pure gold… And you shall make two Keruvim of gold at the two ends of the ark-cover… The Keruvim shall be spreading out their wings on high covering with their wings over the ark-cover and their faces should be one toward the other..."


The Keruvim were two golden statues, one had the face of a boy and the other of a girl.  Both had wings extending over their heads pointing toward each other.  Although it is forbidden to make any images, the Keruvim were an exception, for G-d commanded to make them on the Ark.


In the Ark were the Two Tablets, upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments. On one Tablet were the commandments between us and G-d and on the other Tablet were the commandments between one person and another.


"Raising their wings on high" represents the mitzvot between us and G-d, while "their faces one toward the other" represents the mitzvot which are between one person and the other.  The message of the Keruvim is that our obligations (mitzvot) toward G-d and the mitzvot toward others are equally important. One must be as careful in one category of mitzvot as in the other.



Montreal candle lighting time: 4:52 / Shabbat ends: 5:58