Messianic Torah Portion Terumah "Heave offering"


Terumah "Heave offering"

Shemot (Exodus) 25:1- 27:19

Unlike the gods associated with other nations, Yisrael's God took an active interest in the welfare of His people. To enforce His active role in the lives of the Yisraelites, HaShem taught people the proper way to worship Him. In fact, the style of worship in Yisrael differed with the idol worship of other nations. Idol worship, was not designed to edify the worshiper. Idol worship, was exclusively designed to make the worshipers slaves of their gods. However, in Yisrael worshiping HaShem was not intended to make the worshipers slaves to the will of HaShem. The kind of worship HaShem desired was a form of worship that allowed the worshiper to serve voluntarily. Therefore, the primary focus in Yisraelite worship was to enhance the fellowship that existed between HaShem and His people. This made the Yisraelite form of worship interactive and alive. As a result, Yisraelite worship became a testimony to other nations that HaShem truly cared about, and dwelled with His people. A reflection of the distinct difference between pagan worship and Yisraelite worship can be seen in Terumah, when we study the funding, plan, construction, and mobility of the tabernacle.

The funding of the tabernacle differed with other religions, because the funding of the tabernacle was voluntary. Shemot 25:1-2 says "the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that gives it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering." HaShem desired for His people to serve freely. Therefore, HaShem chose not to force the children of Yisrael to contribute to the construction of the tabernacle. By allowing the children of Yisrael to contribute freely, HaShem created a unique fellowship based on conviction and not on compulsion. This testified to other nations that the God of Yisrael wanted His people to serve Him because they wanted to not because they were forced to or were afraid not to.

The plan of the tabernacle differed with other religions, because the plan of the tabernacle came directly from HaShem. Shemot 25:9 sates "According to all that I show you, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." From the passage, clearly HaShem wanted Yisrael to build the earthly tabernacle as an exact replica of the heavenly tabernacle. By commanding Moshe to use the pattern of the heavenly tabernacle, HaShem was allowing the children of Yisrael partake of the type of worship conducted in heaven. As a result, HaShem was training Yisrael to imitate the heavenly realm. Building a structure that was a carbon copy of the heavenly tabernacle would bring HaShem's holy presence to the earth. As a result, HaShem was uniting the heavenly and the earthly. The heavenly tabernacle here on earth shows that HaShem was establishing His presence on earth as a testimony to other nations that there was a God who dwelled in the midst of His people.

The construction of the tabernacle differed with other religions, because the construction of the tabernacle included a dwelling place from were HaShem could, meet with, and speak, to the Children of Yisrael. Shemot 25:18-22 of the Complete Jewish Bible states, "You are to make two k'ruvim of gold. Make them of hammered work for the two ends of the ark-cover. Make one keruv for one end and one keruv for the other end; make the k'ruvim of one piece with the ark-cover at its two ends. The k'ruvim will have their wings spread out above, so that their wings cover the ark, and their faces are toward each other and toward the ark-cover. You are to put the ark-cover on top of the ark. Inside the ark, you will put the testimony that I am about to give you. There I will meet with you. I will speak to you from above the ark-cover, from between the two k'ruvim which are on the ark for the testimony, about all the orders I am giving you for the people of Israel."

The ark gave Yisrael a place to meet HaShem. HaShem included symbols of both the heavenly realm and the earthly realm in the construction of the ark. The "testimony" contained within the ark was a witness of man's responsibility to HaShem. It was a witness of HaShem's desire to teach Yisrael how to live in His presence. The cover of the ark with the two k'ruvim represented the heavenly. Therefore, from His place above the ark, HaShem ruled over both the heavenly and the earthly. As a result, when HaShem spoke from the above the ark, He instructed the earthly and the heavenly in His ordinances. Therefore, the ark testified of HaShem's dominion of over heaven and earth.

The mobility of the tabernacle differed with other religions, because the mobility of the tabernacle allowed the God of Yisrael to travel and live with His people. Unlike pagan forms of worship requiring permanent structures, HaShem clearly sought to dwell and move with His people. Shemot 25:12-14 states "And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. And you shall make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them." From the passage, we can see that all the furnishings and materials of the tabernacle were constructed for mobility. The children of Yisrael were constantly in the presence of HaShem because the tabernacle of HaShem always went with the children of Yisrael. Therefore, the children of Yisrael could never travel beyond the boundaries of HaShem's presence. The mobility of the tabernacle testifies that HaShem wanted the other nations to realize He was always present with the children of Yisrael.

Unlike the gods of other lands, clearly HaShem wanted to dwell among His people and create a testimony for the other nations. Other nations could witness this testimony of the presence of HaShem through the funding, plan, construction, and mobility of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle in the midst of Yisrael was designed to be a living testimony of the presence of HaShem among His people.

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By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ­ ABOUT Torah

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