8/9 Feb : Terumah : Shabbat comes in 4:47 pm, ends 5:53 pm
In Terumah, God commands the Israelites to build a portable Mishkan, a movable sanctuary for worshipping and dialoguing with God. The instructions for this temporary dwelling place are some of the most descriptive and precise details found in the Torah. The detailed blueprints for this grand structure makes it clear how important a dwelling place for God truly is.
We, as Jews, need a place to connect with God. The Mishkan was the unique place of the Israelites to serve them as they journeyed to the land of milk and honey. It was also a place for counsel and comfort during wars against foreign nations, until its permanent structure would be housed in Jerusalem.
As Ramban notes, the people need this physical representation of the brith, the covenant, so that the revelation given to Moses at Mount Sinai could continue. God wants the people to be in dialogue and relationship with Him — and this takes place at the Mishkan.
Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman