Football’s Spiritual Prowess

Football’s Spiritual Prowess

Feb 9, 2008 By Marc Wolf | Commentary | Terumah

It was a demonstration of will; nothing short of unbridled desire to succeed led the Giants to their Superbowl victory over a nearly perfect Patriots team that will be remembered favorably by history.

Read More
“The More the Merrier?”

“The More the Merrier?”

Feb 24, 2007 By Robert Harris | Commentary | Terumah

We have all heard and used the expression, “the more the merrier.”

Read More
When to Give

When to Give

Feb 4, 2007 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Terumah

In many ways, Parashat T’rumah represents a thematic transition from engaging biblical narrative to technical description and detail. As the parashah opens, we become privy to the details of the Tabernacle and its appurtenances. And while we are initially dazzled by the vibrant colors and materials, the details become overwhelming. Our eyes glaze over, and it is difficult for the reader to engage. Sensing this challenge to his congregants, the classical fifteenth-century bible commentator Abarbanel opened his treatise on this parashah with an important word of encouragement.

Read More
Within Us

Within Us

Mar 4, 2006 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Terumah

Parashat Terumah is concerned with the building of the mishkan or Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that accompanied the Israelites on their desert journey. The parashah opens with an appeal by God and Moses to the entire community of Israelites; all are encouraged to participate voluntarily to the building of this sacred space. Plans are detailed, appurtenances are described extensively, and later the construction begins. Exodus 25:8 declares, “And let them make me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.” Given the connotations of a mikdash, sanctuary, we might assume that God’s presence would dwell in this space. The second half of the verse surprises us, however, stressing God’s dwelling not in a specific physical place but amidst the people.

Read More
Why God Needs a Dwelling Place

Why God Needs a Dwelling Place

Mar 4, 2006 By Robert Harris | Commentary | Terumah

Recent portions of the Torah have dealt with the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai; the great theophany of God, in which God spoke the Ten Words, or Decalogue; the revelation of the Book of the Covenant, containing the first extended legal section of the Torah; and the covenantal ceremony sealing the everlasting special relationship between God and the people of Israel (Exodus 19–24).

Read More
The Grandeur and Grace in Our Lives

The Grandeur and Grace in Our Lives

Feb 12, 2005 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Terumah

In Hebrew it is customary not to pronounce the name of God as written.

Read More
Building Our Holy Places

Building Our Holy Places

Feb 28, 2004 By Rachel Ain | Commentary | Terumah

“They shall make me a tabernacle so that I may dwell amongst them.” This verse in this week’s parashah, T’rumah, is significant for all of us who are committed to the building of a strong and committed Jewish community. The desire to have God dwell amongst us is a goal for which rabbis, educators, cantors and other Jewish professionals strive. The ability to create a sense of kedushah (holiness) by the dwelling of God in that space is an ideal for our Jewish community.

Read More
Your Torah and My Torah

Your Torah and My Torah

Feb 28, 2004 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Terumah

We tend to think of the Tabernacle as an intimidating space, a bastion of hierarchy and exclusivity. Governed by priests born for service and encumbered by a welter of regulations, it did not lend itself to easy access by rank and file Israelites. Its holiness militated against any spontaneity or departure from the norm. And yet its construction exhibited a profoundly populist impulse. Voluntary gifts from every quarter of the Israelite population formed the material out of which the institution was built. Conceivably, had the Israelites refused to give, the sanctuary, the symbol of God’s presence in the camp, would not have come into existence. I am struck by the total lack of coercion. God did not have Moses levy a special tax for the purpose, but merely asked for individual contributions: “Tell the Israelite people to bring me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him” (Exodus 25:2).

Read More
Whole Bread

Whole Bread

Feb 8, 2003 By Lewis Warshauer | Commentary | Terumah

The weekly Torah readings are moving into territory unfamiliar to our contemporary experience. The Book of Genesis, set mainly in the Canaan and Egypt, mentions places that still exist and people whose names still resonate. The beginning of the Book of Exodus, with its account of the liberation from Egypt, maintains its grip today because that liberation continues to be a focus of Jewish consciousness and celebration.

Read More
Between the Wilderness and Jerusalem: A Tale of Two Holy Spaces

Between the Wilderness and Jerusalem: A Tale of Two Holy Spaces

Feb 8, 2003 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Terumah

This week’s parashah and haftarah are an exercise in counterpoint. Superficially, the construction of sacred space joins them in a common theme. While the Torah portion takes up the erection of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the narrative from the book of Kings recounts the building by Solomon of the First Temple in Jerusalem some 480 years later. The move is from a mobile sanctuary to a permanent one, from wood to stone. Still, the basic design remains the same, an oblong structure with the Holy of Holies (devir) at the rear, farthest away from the entrance. Likewise, the content of the Holy of Holies is unaltered: an ark covered by two large cherubim with outstretched wings. The ark itself contained only the two tablets which attested to the covenant between God and Israel sealed at Mount Sinai.

Read More
The Women’s Section

The Women’s Section

Feb 16, 2002 By Lewis Warshauer | Commentary | Terumah

A woman of valor–who can find her? In ancient Israel, the place one could not find her was in the Temple, except in a section called the ezrat nashim — literally, women’s territory. Only men served in the Temple as priests and Levites. This was partly a consequence of monotheism. In other ancient religions, with goddesses as well as gods, women would often control thetemples to goddesses.

Read More
“A Place for Your Stuff.”

“A Place for Your Stuff.”

Feb 16, 2002 By Joshua Heller | Commentary | Terumah

I’ve always appreciated a monologue by George Carlin on the topic of “a place for your stuff.” The comedian describes the way we accumulate physical things in our homes and basements. When we travel, we take a smaller version of our “stuff” with us.

Read More
On Rebuilding the Temple

On Rebuilding the Temple

Apr 3, 2001 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Terumah

With this week’s parasha we take up the manner in which ancient Israel was to worship God. The cult bespeaks the effort to institutionalize the peak experience of Sinai. How was an echo of the awesome nearness of God which marked Sinai to be perpetuated far from it in the depth of the ordinary? What was the nature of the instrument that would carry Sinai into the world? The model society envisioned by the Torah would not long endure without a ritual link to the source of its inspiration. Nothing confirms just how vital the cult was than the amount of attention paid to it by Scripture. For the rest of the book of Exodus and through the books of Leviticus and Numbers which are to follow, we shall be largely concerned with matters relating to the cult.

Read More
A Thought on Physician-Assisted Suicide

A Thought on Physician-Assisted Suicide

Feb 15, 1997 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Terumah

This week Shabbat follows by a day the date assigned by the Talmud (the 7th of Adar) for the death of Moses. The Torah leaves us entirely in the dark as to when Moses died. We are told only at the very end of Deuteronomy that Moses died alone atop Mount Nebo, looking out over the Promised Land. Though advanced in years, Moses did not die of old age: “Moses was 120 years old when he died; his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated (34:7).” That is, he died suddenly, without illness and suffering, or in the words of Rashi, by the touch of a divine kiss (on the basis of the phrase “al pi adonai;” literally, “by the mouth of God” – 34:5).

Read More
Terumah

Terumah

Jan 1, 1980

26 The Lord had given Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him. There was friendship between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

Read More
Terumah

Terumah

Jan 1, 1980

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.

Read More
Reset Search

SUBSCRIBE TO TORAH FROM JTS

Our regular commentaries and videos are a great way to stay intellectually and spiritually engaged with Jewish thought and wisdom.