Shabbat Shalom Parshat Terumah 5775

February 20, 2015

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besyata    The following is an adaptation of a post last year for Parshat Terumah.

This week, parshat Terumah, candle lighting will be at 5:19 PM in Brooklyn, NY. Candle lighting, which is 18 minutes before sunset, can vary from one city to another. Shabbat in Brooklyn, NY, ends Saturday night at 6:19 PM. Chabad.org has a section of their web site where you can look up candle lighting times in your locality. Whether you want audio, video or articles to print out to read on Shabbat, Chabad.org has a lot to offer. Aish.com is also a site with a wide array of Jewishly themed articles and multimedia.

 

There are narrative portions of the Torah, as well as chapters of admonition, praise and fairly understandable concepts. Then there are less accessible parts, where construction of the Mishkon and its accessories is detailed.For many people, these parshas are harder to understand. What moral lessons can be derived from the layout of the Mishkon, or of the Temple that followed it? Yanki Tauber approaches this problem in an article he published on Chabad.org.

Chabad.org also has an article about Dan Uzan, the security guard in Copenhagen Denmark who gave his life protecting the synagogue in that city when it was under attack. Around the world there are people who devote their lives to the task of protecting Jews and Jewish buildings. Chabad.org writes as follows about the time before the State of Israel was founded, when volunteers were smuggling Jews into what was then known as Palestine.

“It is told that the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, of righteous memory, once spoke of the young people who operated in Europe to clandestinely spirit Jews into Mandate Palestine. The aliyah bet people. Selflessly and without consideration for themselves. Truth be told many of them were not that religious. She called them “tzadikim without tefillin.”

Tzadikim, righteous people, because of their amazing work and dedication. Without tefillin, because they may have not worn tefillin regularly. But still tzadikim!”

The same could be said of the people in Europe who volunteer to defend Jews in the hostile continent of Europe.

Aish.com has an article about an unusual demonstration of Muslim opposition to Jew hatred, in which approximately 650 Muslims formed a protective ring around the Copenhagen Synagogue in solidarity with the Jews of Copenhagen and in opposition to bigotry against Jews.

Recently, Jordan has been applauded for his tough response to ISIS for its burning to death a Jordanian Pilot. Aish.com contrasts this laudatory treatment with the way Israel is treated under similar circumstances.

 

This week’s parsha describes the mishkan, a sanctuary which during the time of the 40 years in the desert was designed to be disassembled and reassembled for travel. When we entered the Holy land, the sanctuary was given a permanent location in Jerusalem, which we now know as the Temple Mount. Although G-d can reveal Himself in any time or place, it is for our needs that specific components, metal, stone, vegetable and animal ingredients are given a connection to G-d that is realised through the service of human beings, who are alone among all the world’s living creations in having free choice.

An important part of the tabernacle in the desert was, of course the tablets of the law, with the ten commandments on them. In this, we see that the words of G-d create a means for us to approach Him, and that set the parameters for commandments that deal with human relationships as well as with commandments that tell us how to relate to G-d directly.

The Haftarah for this week describes the construction of the Bet HaMikdash in its current location, which is currently occupied by another building.

May it be G-d’ will that the sanctuary in Jerusalem be rebuilt and restored to full operation, for the good of the world and all who dwell in it.

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