Shabbat Shalom!

An old synagogue in southern Tel Aviv.

This week’s Torah reading comes from Exodus 25:1-27:19.  It is called Parashat Terumah.  Here is a brief commentary from Baruch:

In this week’s Torah portion many of the vessels of the Tabernacle are discussed. The covering for the Ark is a separate vessel which Moses speaks of in chapter 25 verses 17-22. The name of this cover in Hebrew is derived from the same word for atonement. Of course the Ark was located in the Holy of Holies which was forbidden for anyone to enter, except for the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) on the Day of Atonement. It was upon the cover that he would place the blood to make atonement. One also reads in the book of Numbers that Moses entered into the Holy of Holies in order to sanctify all the vessels so that the Children of Israel could begin worshiping at the Tabernacle (See Numbers chapter 7). It was while Moses was in the Holy of Holies, standing before the Ark, that HaShem spoke to him from between the cherubim which were on the cover.

In our parashah it is written,

“And I will meet you there and I will speak with you from above the cover between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of Testimony; all which I will command you to the Children of Israel.” Exodus 25:22

Why specifically at this location is the reader informed that there HaShem will speak to Moses? The answer is to teach us that without atonement it is impossible to have proper communication with 

G-d. Atonement is necessary for several reasons; two of which are:

1)    In order to come into the presence of G-d one needs to have his sins atoned.

This is why the writer of Hebrews states,

“Therefore, let us come to with confidence the throne of grace (the Ark cover) in order to receive mercy and that we should find grace in a good season of help.” Hebrews 4:16

2)    In order to hear HaShem.

Obviously G-d can make anyone hear Him if He chooses. The point here is simply in a general manner sin in one’s life hinders the person from hearing HaShem. It is clear in the Scripture that when one will not deal with sin in his life properly it has a negative effect on this individual’s prayer life.

The name of this week’s parashah is “contribution”, in the sense of an offering to G-d. Let us respond to the command of Paul in Romans 12:1-2 and offer ourselves before Messiah Yeshua. The Torah states clearly that all offerings to G-d must be blameless and without spot. This is why Messiah provided the atonement for us so that we would have the privilege of being that living sacrifice unto Him.

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