December 11, 2018 ~ Shabbat VAYIGASH. Maqam BAYAT.

Shabbat Teruma - שבת תרומה


ויקחו לי תרומה - Building the tabernacle was an important, yet challenging, task in helping to define Israel's communal relationship with the Almighty. Detailed instructions are given on how to successfully go about completing this holy endeavor. "From every individual" (מאת כל איש), teaches us that donor participation should be universal; rich and poor alike. Donations should be given on a voluntary basis (אשר ידבנו לבו) and not through any type of peer pressure or mandatory tax. Despite the fact that contributions should be coming from both the rich and poor alike, to show honor to God, only the finest materials could be used in its construction (זהב וכסף ונחשת)... If the temple, or possibly in our times, the synagogue, is built using the precepts mentioned above (ועשו לי מקדש), then God assures that His presence will always reside in it and within the hearts of each and every community member (ושכנתי בתוכם). Beth Torah Bulletin, 3/4/17.

The Rings

בטבעת הארן יהיו הבדים לא יסרו ממנו - The carrying poles (בדים), Exodus 25:15 instructs, must permanently remain within the ark's rings (טבעת); never ever to be disassembled (לא יסרו ממנו). These poles function to carry the ark (הארן), which carries the sacred testimony (עדת). The fact that the poles and the ark are forever to be united teaches us a valuable lesson. The poles represent physical pursuits, and the ark represents spiritual pursuits. Ordinarily, these two pursuits appear to be opposites. When it comes to the proper way of worshiping God, however, the two are connected and intertwined. The unifying objects, the rings, teach us that hard work, often in the form of physical labor, is necessary in the pursuit of spirituality. The ark, and by extension, the Torah, the source of spiritual enlightenment, cannot exist on its own. The contributions of great people are the poles that are needed to constantly support it and keep it strong. Beth Torah Bulletin, 2/17/18.