Parashat Terumah, The Glory of God Reveals the Need for Blood Atonement


 This week’s Parashah, Parashat Terumah (Shemot / Exodus 25:1-27:19) the Lord tells Moshe to tell the Sons of Yisrael to raise a contribution for the Lord (25:1, דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ-לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל-אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת-תְּרוּמָתִי) of gold, silver, and bronze, linen materials, goat hair, rams skins, and acacia wood.  The word Terumah (תְּרוּמָה) is derived from the word תרם meaning “to donate or contribute.”  Terumat Hamaaser and Terumah Gedola (types of heave offerings) were the offerings that were the possession of the Cohanim (Priests) and could be eaten by themselves and their families.  The Terumah obligatory offering that the Lord is asking here in this week’s study is for the purpose of the construction of the Mishkhan (Tabernacle).  It is within the Mishkhan that the various sacrifices (Korbanot, קָרְבֳּנוֹת) are to be offered by the Cohanim consisting of animals such as sheep, bulls, goats, doves (for the poor), grain (Mincha), wine, and incense.  The Lord then asks that a sanctuary (Mishkhan) be made so that He can dwell among them (25:8).  The Lord shows Moshe the pattern of the tabernacle and the furniture for the tabernacle (25:9-27:19).  The construction of the Ark of the Covenant is given in 25:10-22.  It is interesting here that the Lord instructs Moshe to construct the mercy seat upon the ארון הברית (Ark of the Covenant) making the image of two Cherubim (כְּרֻבִים).  Two Parshiot ago, in Parashat Yitro, in the giving of the Ten Commandments (עשרת הדברות) we find the command to make no graven images.  However, in today’s Parashah we find God instructing to construct two Cherubim to be placed upon the Mercy Seat the cover of the Ark of the Covenant.  Is this a violation of His own mitzvah (command) or is there something special that the Lord is trying to show us concerning the Mercy Seat? Read More here.