Summary of Parshat Terumah
Parshat Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19) begins a series of four out of five portions which discuss in detail the construction of the Mishkan, the traveling Tabernacle which would serve as a "resting place" for Hashem's presence amongst the Jewish people. This week's entire portion recounts Hashem's description to Moses of how to construct the Mishkan, beginning with a listing of the various precious materials to be collected from the Jewish people for this monumental project. Hashem describes the magnificent golden and wooden Ark which would house the tablets of the Ten Commandments, complete with its dazzling cover depicting two Cherubim (angels with the faces of children) facing each other. Next, Hashem provides Moses with the blueprints of the shulchan (holy table) upon which the lechem hapanim (show-bread) would be placed each week. Following the depiction of the pure golden menorah (candelabra) which was to be hammered out of one large piece of gold, Hashem describes the structure of the Mishkan itself, detailing the splendidly woven and embroidered covers, curtains, and partitions, and the sturdy outer walls. The Torah portion concludes with the instructions for the copper altar and the large outer courtyard.
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