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Parashah 19 Terumah

Exodus 25:1 – 27:19

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14 (5774)

Lucrative copying not permitted.

Torah Readings:

  1. 25:1-16
  2. 25:17-30 (Sephardic); 25:17-40 (Ashkenazi)
  3. 25:31 – 26:14 (S); 26:1-14 (A)
  4. 26:15-30
  5. 26:31-37
  6. 27:1-8
  7. 27:9-19
  8. Maftir: 27:17-19

 

Haftarah: 1 Kings 5:12 (26 Heb.) – 6:13

Terumah

means ”uplifted sacrifice”, ”consecrated portion”

Comments

The First Aliyah, 25:1-16

25:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra'el, that they take an offering for me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take my offering.”(HNV) – This offering is called terumah[1], which is not an easy word to translate. It means “gift”, “offering”, “present”, “contribution”, “tax”, “sacrifice”. The word comes from the root rum[2], which means “lift up”, “raise”. It has to do with something that is lifted up in order to be set apart from the rest. The same word is used to describe the offering that was given to the priests from the fruit of the ground, before the tithe was given. In this case, however, it is not the same thing. We can understand the word as a consecrated portion that is “raised up” as an offering for sacred use.

Tithing is obligatory, but the giving of offerings is voluntary, (except those required for the Eternal’s set times). Therefore only those with a glad heart can give to this building project. This way the tabernacle was an extension of the people’s hearts, in which the Eternal wants to dwell, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 9:7,

“Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.”(HNV revised)

In 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, it is written,

"What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says HaShem, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.”(HNV revised)

25:3 “This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, brass”(HNV) – The first thing that the Eternal asks for is gold and it is the most precious. According to Genesis 2:12, gold is good. The Torah of the Eternal declares gold to be good. Gold has value because the Torah gives it value. Here willing hearts have an opportunity to give the most valuable thing to the Eternal. This was the reason that the children of Israel were to ask for precious objects before they left Egypt. Their riches were necessary in order to complete this building project unto the Eternal.

Here we see that offerings to the work of the Eternal are not taken up in secret. How then should we understand Yeshua’s words in Matthew 6:1-4, where it is written,

“Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a shofar before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most assuredly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does, so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”(HNV)

First of all, we have to understand the word “charitable giving” in this passage. In Hebrew, it is the word tzedakah[3], which means “righteousness, “justification”, “merit”, “good deeds”, “alms”. The term tzedakah is often used as describing help for the needy, especially the financially needy. This is what Yeshua is talking about here. What he is saying is that when it is a question of helping a person in need, it is forbidden to talk to others about how much one gives. There are two reasons for this. One of them is in order not to be praised by men, and the other is so that the one who is in need is not shamed. To shame someone is a form of murder. Yeshua, therefore, forbids his disciples to show how much they give when they help the poor. This prohibition, however, concerns only Tzedakah, offerings of charity, not other kinds of offerings. There are many examples in the Scriptures of public collections, and Scripture cannot contradict itself. In this case it was not a matter of tzedakah, helping the needy, but of terumah, an offering toward a sacred purpose. This type of offering must not be secret. Naturally, it is the attitude of the heart that matters most to the Eternal in order for the offering to be pleasing to Him. We learn this by what happened with the offerings that Kayin and Hevel gave in Genesis 4.

Not all offerings, therefore, must be secret; only tzedakah, charity to the needy.

25:8 “Let them make me a sanctified dwelling, that I may dwell among them.”(HNV revised) – In the previous chapter we see how a marriage covenant between the Eternal’s Word and Israel is made. After taking the first step, the betrothal, the time comes to prepare the house for the new marriage. This is the reason that the Eternal now asks for a house in which to dwell with his wife. This house is a shadow of the heavenly house that the Eternal has prepared and that will be revealed in the last days, see Revelation 15:5; 21:3.

The Hebrew text does not say that the Eternal shall dwell “among them” but rather “in them”, betocham. It would have been logical for him to say, “and I will dwell in it”, but he says here that he is going to dwell in the people of Israel, and therefore, they must make a sanctified dwelling. His true dwelling place is the heart of every one of the people of Israel that have been dedicated to the Eternal. This teaches us that the Heavenly Presence dwelled in the mishkan, the “dwelling place”, the tabernacle, because of the Israelites. They were the true “sanctified dwelling place” for the Heavenly Presence.[4]

25:9 “According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tent, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.”(HNV) – The tabernacle in the desert reflects many different things. We can see it as a picture of the universe. There are several words in this text that connect it with the story of creation. Moshe had to wait six days in the cloud before he was called from the innermost part of the cloud on the seventh day. That connects this event with creation, which happened over a period of six days, see Exodus 24:16.

We can also compare the mishkan, the tabernacle, with four things,

·         A heavenly dwelling of sanctity, Hebrews 8:2; 9:11-24.

·         The body of the Messiah, John 1:14; 2:18-22.

·         The body of the believer, 1 Corinthians 6:19.

·         The Messiah’s assembly, 1 Peter 2:4-10; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 2:4-10.

The Eternal’s presence dwells in all of these things in a more or less powerful way.

25:10 “And they shall make an ark of acacia-wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.”(JPS) – The ark is the innermost part of the mishkan. The Eternal always begins his work on the inside and then he works his way outward. Man sees from the outside and in, but the Eternal sees from the inside and out, as it is written in 1 Samuel 16:7,

“But HaShem said to Shemu'el, ‘Don’t look on his face, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for HaShem sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but HaShem looks at the heart.’”(HNV revised)

Those who have spiritual eyes learn to see things the way the Eternal sees things, from the inside to the outside. A prophet can see the hearts of men, as it is written in John 2:24-25,

“But Yeshua didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.”(HNV)

In Acts 8:23, it is written,

“For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”(HNV)

In 2 Corinthians 5:12, it is written,

“For we are not commending ourselves to you again, but speak as giving you occasion of boasting on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who boast in appearance, and not in heart.”(HNV)

When the Eternal deals with a person, he does it from the inside out. Many make the mistake of trying to remove their bad fruit, their bad behavior, without removing the root that is the cause of the bad fruit. We can live our whole lives trying to better our actions and our words, but we will not succeed if we don’t go to the heart, which is the root cause of all bad actions, as it is written in Mark 7:21-22,

For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.”(HNV)

There is a reason, a root, for conflict. In order to change external results, we have to deal with the root. Do not try to change the results, but deal with the cause. Then you will experience significant changes.

The measurements for the earthly tabernacle had half cubits. A cubit is the forearm of a man. How can the Eternal command something to be built by halves? Two and a half is half of five. One and a half is half of three. This teaches us that the earthly tabernacle is not complete, but a copy of the greater and more complete heavenly tabernacle, as it is written in Hebrews 9:11,

But Messiah having come as a High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation”(HNV revised)

25:11 “And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.”(JPS) – The ark was made of wood covered with gold. Betzalel made three chests, an outer one of gold, one of wood that was placed inside the first, and an inner one of gold. This way it was all made of wood covered with gold. Wood symbolizes man, according to Psalm 1:1-3, 92:12-13, and Jeremiah 17:7-8. Gold is the most appreciated precious metal. It does not oxidize and does not tarnish from its surroundings, as silver and copper do. Therefore gold symbolizes immortality, see Job 23:10; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:72, 127; Proverbs 3:13-15; 8:10-11, 19; 16:16; Malachi 3:3; 1 Peter 1:7. Mortal man is going to be clothed in immortality, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:54,

“But when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’”(HNV)

Arón“and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.” – This was a crown that encircled the ark. The following three things in the mishkan had crowns, the ark, the table (see 25:24), and the altar of incense (see 30:3-4). A Midrash[5] says that these three objects represent three crowns, three positions of greatness, within Israel.

·         The crown of the Torah – represented by the ark, in Hebrew “aron”.

·         The Kehunah crown – the priesthood, which is represented by the altar, “mizbeach”.

·         The Malchut crown – the government, which is represented by the table, “shulchan”.

25:16 “You shall put the testimony which I shall give you into the ark.”(HNV revised) – Since the tabernacle symbolizes man, the ark symbolizes the heart, the innermost part. Within the ark were three things:

·         The two tablets of testimony, which represent the Torah.

·         One omer of manna, Exodus 16:32-34.

·         Aharon’s staff that was given new life, Numbers 17:5, 8-10.

The testimony is the name that the Eternal gave to the two stone tablets, which were placed in the ark. This text says that the Eternal would give Moshe the testimonies in the future. That refers, not only to the two stone tablets, but also to the Messianic testimony that would be given later on to all those who would receive the Messiah’s Spirit, as it is written in Hebrews 3:5,

Moshe indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken”(HNV)

In Jeremiah 31:33-34, it is written,

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisra'el after those days, says HaShem: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know HaShem; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says HaShem: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.”(HNV revised)                     

There is a testimony within the heart of every believer, which tells him that he is God’s child, as it is written in Romans 8:16,

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”(HNV revised)

In 1 John 5:10-12, it is written,

He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who doesn’t believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life.”(HNV revised)

In 2 Corinthians 13:5, it is written,

Test your own selves, whether you are in the faith. Test your own selves. Or don’t you know as to your own selves, that Yeshua the Messiah is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”(HNV)

One who is born by the Spirit has the testimony in his spirit. He knows that he is God’s child. One who does not have that testimony is not born by the Spirit.

In Revelation 19:10, it is written,

“I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, ‘Look! Don’t do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Yeshua. Worship God, for the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophecy.’”(HNV revised)

The spirit of prophecy is what testifies inside of us, in the innermost part of our hearts. The spirit of prophecy testifies about Yeshua. It reveals the secrets about the Messiah in the Scriptures. If one is sensitive to the testimony of Yeshua in one’s spirit, many secrets in the Torah will be revealed. Most of what I share with you, I have received through this testimony that has been in my heart while reading the Scriptures during many years of my life. When I was immersed in the Spirit of the Eternal at age 9, I received the ability to speak in supernatural tongues. Then light began to be shed over the Scriptures, light that had not been there before. Suddenly I understood what I was reading. The Spirit revealed many secrets to me, which I now share in these commentaries. The Spirit of prophecy can teach a child the deepest truths found in the Torah. If you think that the Scriptures are boring, it is because you are not listening to the witness that you have in your spirit. That witness not only tells you that you are God’s child and that Yeshua is savior and lord, but it explains the Scriptures as well. Maybe you are reading the Scriptures with your intellect only. Then it is time to go deeper and discover the spiritual treasure that can only be had by those who are led by the Spirit, as it is written in Romans 8:14.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.”(HNV revised)

A spiritual person has learned to be led and instructed by his spirit, which receives the testimony of the Eternal’s Spirit. We are not talking here about intellectual activity in one’s natural soul, but about something deeper, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10,

“We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have hung on the tree the Lord of glory. But as it is written, ‘Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.’ But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”(HNV revised)

In 2 Kings 5:25-27, it is written,

“But he went in, and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, Whence come you, Gechazi? He said, Your servant went no where. He said to him, Didn’t my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive groves and vineyards, and sheep and oxen, and men-servants and maid-servants? The leprosy therefore of Na`aman shall cleave to you, and to your seed forever. He went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.”(HNV)

1 2 Kings 6:32, it is written,

“But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See you how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? behold, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door fast against him: isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”(HNV revised)

In John 1:48, it is written,

“Natan'el said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Yeshua answered him, ‘Before Pilipos called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’”(HNV)

In John 5:19, it is written,

“Yeshua therefore answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.”(HNV)

In John 5:30, it is written,

“I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.”(HNV)

In Revelation 2:29, it is written,

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.”(HNV)

These texts teach us that a person who has received the Eternal’s Spirit and has developed a great sensitivity to the testimony that is within him, can receive very clear information from the Spirit, see visions in the spirit, and hear things in his spirit. One who is sensitive to the testimony of the Spirit within his heart, and submits his soul and body to the Spirit, is the most useful person in the Kingdom.

When you are going to make a decision, do not go by circumstances, the opinions of people around you, or dreams and visions, see 2 Thessalonians 2:2. Be sensitive to the testimony in your heart and act according to what the Spirit leads you to do. Not even a prophecy ought to govern how you live. A prophecy be a confirmation of something that you already have in your heart, but if the prophecy does not confirm something that you already feel inside of you, be very careful in following it. It can be a false prophecy. If you follow a false prophecy you will end up in the wrong place. If the prophecy does not confirm what is already within you, put it aside for a time. If a prophecy remains with you and then confirms something that happens further on, then you can take it seriously if it lines up with the testimony that you have inside (and of course also with the testimony of the Scriptures).

One of the gravest problems of man is that he has replaced the guidance of the Spirit in his inner being with the reasoning of his mind. The natural soul has taken control over man’s life, and the spiritual part is no longer leading.

The spiritual part of a person is like the captain of a ship. The soul is like the first mate. It is the will of the first mate that will determine if the ship will go one way or another, see James 3:4. The first mate was put in his position to fulfill the captain’s orders, but he has the ability to decide things on his own and to lead the ship according to his own initiative, instead of obeying orders from above. In the same way, the natural soul can take control of man where it is no longer the spiritual part who leads his life, but his logical mind, his natural soul.

When salvation comes to a person, his spirit comes alive again and begins to take control over the natural soul. However, the soul still has the ability to not submit and can make decisions according to its own criteria, which are not led by the Eternal’s Spirit that dwells in that person’s heart, see Rom 8:9,11; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 1:22; Jas 4:5. But when the natural soul does submit, it will be supernaturally led by the Eternal, as it is written in John 3:8,

The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(HNV)

This text does not say, “so is the Spirit”, but, “so is everyone who is born of the Spirit”. This teaches us that the natural mind cannot comprehend the moving of the Spirit. It simply has to submit and be led in the same way that the first mate will not always understand the captain’s orders. The captain is the one with a clear picture of where to go, but the first mate does not understand everything. He should just obey, as it is written in Galatians 5:16, 18, 25,

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh… But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law… If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.”(HNV)

In Romans 1:9a, it is written,

“For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit…”(HNV revised)

In 2 Corinthians 2:13, it is written,

“I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia.”(HNV)

In Luke 2:27, it is written,

“He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Yeshua, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law”(HNV)

The soul reasons against the impressions that come from the testimony of the Spirit and it is the greatest hindrance to the advance of the Eternal’s Kingdom on the earth!

That which comes from the spirit is always in line with what is written in the Torah. If there is something inside of you that contradicts what is written, it is not the true testimony. The testimony is the very name of the two stone tablets that represent all Scripture that was inspired by the Eternal’s Spirit, from Genesis to the Book of Revelation.

The Second Aliyah, 25:17-40

arca25:17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth.”(HNV) – This mercy seat illustrates the throne of glory that is in heaven, see Hebrews 4:16. The Hebrew word that is translated as “mercy seat” is kapporet[6], which means “blanket”, “covering”, “lid”. It comes from the root kafar[7], which means “to cover over with tar”, “overlay”, but it also means “forgive”, “justify”, “replace”, “spare”. It is the same word that is used in the word “Day of Atonement”, “Yom Kippur”.

25:18 “You shall make two Keruvim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.”(HNV) – How is it that the Eternal gives the command to make two golden cherubs that are images of what is in heaven when it is forbidden to make images? The text in Exodus 20:4 says, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, nor any image…” The key word is “yourself”. In this case it was the Eternal who commanded that these two cherubs be made in his sanctified dwelling. It is not the same thing as when a person makes an idol statue that represents something in heaven or on the earth. That is forbidden. In this case, however, there was a heavenly command behind it. It was not a human idea.

25:20 “The Keruvim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the Keruvim shall be toward the mercy seat.”(HNV) – These cherubs are worshiping the Eternal who is invisible, but who revealed himself as a light between these two, under their wings above the ark. Since there were two cherubs, the people of Israel cannot think of them as the Eternal, and since they worship by bowing down and stretching out their wings, they cannot be thought of as gods. By their very posture they are pointing to Someone who is much more meaningful.

These two cherubs also teach us the importance of unity among brothers before the throne of the Eternal.

25:21-22 “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I will give you. There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two Keruvim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Yisra'el.”(HNV) – This was the meeting place for the Eternal and Moshe. This teaches us that the place where you can find the Eternal is inside of you, in your spirit, in your heart. That is the intimate meeting place for you and the Eternal. In your spirit you can come near the throne of grace, the mercy seat, the place of atonement that is in heaven, as it is written in Hebrews 4:16,

Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.”(HNV)

Panes

25:23 “And thou shalt make a table of acacia-wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.”(JPS) – The table represented the Eternal’s provision for the whole world. Therefore it was never to be empty. There always had to be bread on it.

25:30 “You shall set bread of the presence on the table before me always.”(HNV) – The bread was made like a box, with two opposing sides missing. According to Rashi it was called “bread of the face”, lechem ha-panim, because it looked as if it had faces, front sides, that looked toward both sides of the tabernacle.

 A table is a place of meeting. It is a place where people meet and have deep fellowship. Eating together is a sign of unity, friendship, and love, as it is written in Revelation 3:20,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.”(HNV)

         The table in a Jewish home is seen as an altar, a place where one meets the Eternal together with others, see Ezekiel 41:22. Before the bread is broken, “netilat yadaim”, washing of the hands, is done, in order to be presented before the Eternal with ritually clean hands, as it is written in Psalm 24:3-4,

“Who may ascend to HaShem’s hill? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully.”(HNV revised)

Netilat yadayim is done before eating bread that is baked with one or several of the following five grains: wheat, barley, oat, rye, or buckwheat. According to Shulchan Aruch, at least 1/8 liter of water is to be used for netilat yadayim. It is recommendable to pour a lot of water over the hands. The water is poured over the hands with a vessel that has no cracks or chips. The vessel is held in the right hand as it is filled. After that it is held with the left hand and it is poured over the whole right hand three times. After that the vessel is taken in the right hand and water is poured three times over the left hand in the same way. After drying, the hands are lifted to face level and the following blessing is said,

Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heynu Melech ha-olam asher kideshanu be-mitzvotav ve-tzivanu al netilat yadayim. – “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the universe, who has consecrated us by his commands and has commanded us to cleanse our hands.”

(Some Jews dry their hands after having said the blessing.) If there is not enough water, then it is enough to pour once over each hand. The berachah, blessing, is only said after netilat yadaim when one will eat at least one kazait, (the weight of a large olive, or 29 gram or 1 ounce). If less is to be eaten, one does the netilat yadayim without speaking the blessing. There should not be anything on the hands when netilat yadayim is done. A ring that is not used permanently should be removed before netilat yadayim. This way of washing hands before the eating of bread is a rabbinical commandment, which was introduced in memory of the priest who had to be ritually pure to be able to eat from the offerings and tithes of the people.

Hand washing is a sign of innocence and of the desire for purity in the work of one’s hands before the Eternal, as it is written in Psalm 26:6,

“I will wash my hands in innocence, so I will go about your altar, HaShem”(HNV)

See also Leviticus 15:11 and Deuteronomy 21:6.

In Mark 7 there is a discussion between some Pharisees and Yeshua about the custom of netilat yadayim before eating of bread, as it is written in verses 1-2,

Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of his disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault.”(HNV)

The text gives the impression that Yeshua himself had done netilat yadayim. It was only some of his disciples who had not. The accusation of these Pharisees shows that they had elevated these Jewish customs to the same level as God’s commands. Therefore they received a severe rebuke from our Rabbi.

Immediately, without pause, after netilat yadayim the blessing is said over the bread. The bread is lifted up with both hands and the following berachah is spoken,

Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heynu Melech ha-olam, Ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz – “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the universe, who lets bread come from the earth.”

Immediately thereafter, without pause, a piece of bread dipped in salt is eaten, as it is written in Leviticus 2:13,

“Every offering of your meal offering you shall season with salt; neither shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your meal offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”(HNV revised)

 During normal weekdays the bread can be sliced before the blessing is uttered. On the Shabbat the blessing is spoken over two whole loafs of bread. After having said the berachah, the bread is sliced. Out of those Jews sharing the meal, only one needs to say the ha-motzi blessing. For the righteous among the nations this blessing is optional but highly recommended. The father of the house has preference. When the others say amen, it is as though they said the blessing themselves. The father of the house hands a piece of bread to each person. Those sharing the meal ought not to eat before the father of the house. Therefore he first eats a little, and then he passes it to the others. Normally one does not eat before the most honored person begins to eat. The pieces of bread may not be tossed to the people, but they are to be placed in front of each person by the father of the house. The bread is not given to them in the hand; that is done to people who are in mourning. The blessing over the bread includes all the rest of the food, except the wine.

The table is a spiritual meeting place. Therefore it is important to speak about the Torah at each meal and in an honorable manner, and not to be gluttonous or treat the food disdainfully, see Numbers 21:5-6. Eating with a sinner is not permitted, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 5:11,

But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Don’t even eat with such a person.”(HNV)

Eating with sinners is only permitted if the purpose is to win their souls, as it is written in Matthew 9:10-13,

“It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Yeshua and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Yeshua heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. But you go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”(HNV)

During the meal one should not touch any part of the body that normally is covered, scratch one’s head, pick one’s nose or ears. If this happens by mistake, the hands should be washed again before eating is continued.

After the meal, there is a custom to wash the fingers. This washing is called mayim acharonim, “the final water”. It is enough to pour a little water from a cup over at the most half of the fingers. After that, one ought neither to talk nor eat before speaking the last blessing over the food, called birkat ha-mazon.

If three or more Jewish men have eaten together, one of them ought to invite the others to bless the Eternal. This is called zimun. This is what is said, “Let us bless the One who has given us of his own to eat”. The others answer, “Blessed be the One who has given us to eat and by whose goodness we live,” The first one repeats, “Blessed be the One who from his own, has given us to eat and by whose goodness we live.” These blessings are normally read in Hebrew.

If ten Jewish men have eaten together, the words “our God” are added in this way, “Let us bless our God who has given us of his own to eat”. The others answer, “Blessed be our God who has given us to eat and by whose goodness we live,” The first one repeats, “Blessed be our God who from his own, has given us to eat and by whose goodness we live.”

 When zimun is said, it is recommendable to speak the blessing for the food, birkat ha-mazon, while holding up a cup of wine. Whoever says the zimun drinks the wine after birkat ha-mazon. This is a way of praising God, as it is written in Psalm 116:13,

 "I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of HaShem.”(HNV revised)

The blessing of birkat ha-mazon is a commandment from the Torah, as it is written in Deuteronomy 8:10,

“You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless HaShem your God for the good land which he has given you.”(HNV revised)

The entire blessing is found in the prayer books. It consists of four parts, the blessing for the food, for the land of Israel, for Jerusalem and the temple, and for the good that God has given us. One ought to let the bread remain on the table during the birkat ha-mazon, as a sign of our gratefulness to God for the abundance that he gives us. It is also a reminder of the table that stood in the sanctified temple where there always was bread. This blessing is done sitting and at the place where one ate.

MenorahIf bread was not eaten, there are other blessings that are usually said. They are written in the prayer book, the siddur.

25:31 “You shall make a menorah of pure gold. Of hammered work shall the menorah be made, even its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.”(HNV) – The lamp stand, in Hebrew menorah, symbolizes the Torah and the Spirit. It symbolizes the Torah, since it is written in Psalm 119:105,

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.”(HNV)

And in Proverbs 6:23, it is written,

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life”(HNV revised)

It symbolizes the Spirit, since it is written in Isaiah 11:2,

 The Spirit of HaShem shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of HaShem.”(HNV revised)

And in Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6, it is written,

 “Yochanan, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and shalom, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne… And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: ‘I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead… Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God… I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.”(HNV revised)

The Third Aliyah, 26:1-14

26:1 “Moreover you shall make (the roof of) the tent with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with Keruvim. The work of the skillful workman you shall make them.”(HNV) – According to Talmud and other sources,[8] there were four threads in each string of yarn, one of linen and three of wool. Each of those threads was twined from six fibers. There were therefore, twenty-four fibers per string of yarn. The cherubs were woven into the cloth.

26:6 “You shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps: and the tent shall be a unit.”(HNV) – Unity is very important to the Eternal. This construction teaches us that we must be unified in order to be a temple for the Eternal, as it is written in John 17:22-23,

The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.”(HNV)

In 1 Corinthians 1:10, it is written,

“Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”(HNV)

In Ephesians 4:1-6, it is written,

 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love; being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of shalom. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.”(HNV revised)

In Philippians 2:1-4,

“If there is therefore any exhortation in Messiah, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.”(HNV)

In Colossians 3:12-15, it is written,

“Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, consecrated and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Messiah forgave you, so you also do. Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the shalom of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”(HNV revised)

In 1 Peter 2:5, it is written,

You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a consecrated priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah.”(HNV revised)

In Titus 3:10, it is written,

“Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning”(HNV)

Factions in the assembly of the Messiah are the results of the influence of the flesh, when people seek their own interests. Unity is attained when everyone ceases to seek their own interests and begin to seek the Eternal’s interests, as it is written in Jude 19,

“These are they who cause divisions, and are soulish, not having the Spirit.”(HNV revised)

This text talks about those who do not have the Eternal’s Spirit. They have not been born again. They are lead by their own souls, seeking their own benefit. This is the kind of person who causes division because they do not have spiritual life. They do not seek that which is from above, and neither can they, because their spirit is dead. If a person who has been born again does not seek that which is from above, but only his own interests, then he also will cause division. The only way to be unified is that everyone seeks God’s Kingdom through his Spirit that we have received, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 12:13,

“For in one Spirit we were all immersed into one body, whether Jew or Greek, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.”(HNV revised)

26:7 “You shall make curtains of goats’ hair for a covering over the tent: eleven curtains shall you make them.”(HNV) – Since the tabernacle is a picture of man, each covering represents a part of man. The first covering, the inner one, represents the inner man. The second, of goats’ hair, could represent the yetser ha-rah, the evil urge. In the Scriptures, goats represent demons and rebellious people, see Isaiah 13:21, Matthew 25:31-46. Within every person there is an evil part: sin.

26:14 “You shall make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of sea cow hides above.”(HNV) – On top of the goats’ hair covering, there was a covering of rams’ hide that was dyed red. It could symbolize the Messiah’s bloody sacrifice that covers man’s sinful nature.

BoardsThe tabernacle was very beautiful on the inside, but it was not so beautiful externally. This is the way it is with the kingdom of heaven. It is not attractive to the world, but the deeper into it you get, the more riches you will find, as it is written in Matthew 13:44,

 Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.”(HNV)

 The Fourth Aliyah, 26:15-30

26:19 “You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons.”(HNV) – According to Rashi, each board was one cubit thick. The boards represent each member of the people of Israel. Here again, we find the message of unity between us as a condition for being able to form a sanctified temple for the Eternal. Under each board were two sockets made of silver. Silver symbolizes Torah and atonement. It symbolizes Torah, since it is written in Psalm 12:6,

The words of HaShem are flawless words, as silver refined in a clay furnace, purified seven times.”(HNV revised)

And it symbolizes atonement, since it is written in Exodus 30:16,

 “You shall take the atonement money (silver) from the children of Yisra'el, and shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting; that it may be a memorial for the children of Yisra'el before HaShem, to make atonement for your souls.”(HNV revised)

This teaches us that the foundation needed in order for all of us to be a part of the Eternal’s temple is Torah and atonement. There were two sockets under each board. This teaches us that there are to kinds of Torah, the written Torah and the Living Torah. This also teaches us that Israel has two parts in the atonement; reconciliation between man and God and reconciliation between man and man.

26:28 “The middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end.”(HNV) – One of the bars went right through all the boards. This means that all the boards were pierced. One bar that measured 15 cubits (7 ½ meters) went through the long wall. According to a Midrash,[9] this bar represents the Messiah who comes to unify all the nations of the world. All together there were three bars that went through the three walls of the tabernacle. This speaks of the Messiah’s death when his body was nailed with three nails, one in each arm and one in both feet, as it is written in Psalm 22:16,

For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evil-doers have enclosed me. They pierced my hands and my feet.”(HNV)

The Fifth Aliyah, 26:31-37

26:31 “You shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with Keruvim. The work of the skillful workman shall it be made.”(HNV) – The Hebrew word that is translated “veil” is parochet[10], which means “separation”, “parting”. It symbolizes the Messiah’s body, as it is written in Hebrews 10:19-20,

Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the sanctified place by the blood of Yeshua, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”(HNV revised)

26:33 “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil: and the veil shall separate the sanctified place from the most sanctified place for you.”(HNV revised) – In Hebrews 9:8-9, it is written,

The Spirit of sanctity is indicating this, that the way into the sanctified place wasn’t yet revealed while the first tabernacle was still standing; which is a symbol of the present age, where gifts and sacrifices are offered that are incapable, concerning the conscience, of making the worshipper perfect”(HNV revised)

This teaches us that we can look at the tabernacle as a symbol of time. From Adam to the Messiah, there were 4,000 years. They correspond with the twenty cubits between the entrance of the tabernacle and the veil. Past the veil, there were ten cubits to the western wall of the most sanctified place. They represent the 2,000 years of the Messianic age, the time in between the first and second comings of the Messiah, (see illustration)

               Tabernacle

According to Rashi, the altar, the table, and the lamp stand were placed ten cubits from the entrance to the sanctified place. If this symbolizes time, it means that each board, which measured 1 ½ cubit, corresponds with 300 years of human history (6000 years / 20 boards = 300 years/board). Every cubit, in that case, represents 200 years of history. The altar of incense stood ten cubits from the entrance, which corresponds with the first 2,000 years of human history. Two thousand years after Adam, Avraham lived, who tied his son to the altar. The body, however, was not sacrificed, but it was a spiritual sacrifice, which is symbolized by the incense. The next two objects, the table and the lamp stand, may very well be in the place that represents the time of King David and his son, Shelomoh, who built the first temple where there were ten lamp stands and ten tables.

26:36 “You shall make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer.” – According to Rashi, the figures on this drape were needle embroidery. The figures were therefore identical on both sides.

The Sixth Aliyah, 27:1-8

27:1 “And thou shalt make the altar of acacia-wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be four-square; and the height thereof shall be three cubits.”(JPS) – The outer court represents the body, the sanctified place represents the lower soul, and the most sanctified place represents the spirit, the higher soul. In the sanctified place there is fire and light on the lamp stand and on the golden altar. In the most sanctified place is the shechinah, the presence of the Eternal, which gives spiritual light and spiritual fire.

In all three places there was food. In the outer court there was meat, wine, and bread. In the sanctified place there was bread and wine, and in the most sanctified place there was manna. This teaches us that it is not only the body that needs to eat, but the soul and spirit as well. Food for man’s spirit is the Torah, which is symbolized by the tablets of testimony, as it is written in Deuteronomy 8:3,

He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of HaShem does man live.”(HNV revised)

The altar in the outer court symbolizes the dedication of the body to the service of the Eternal, as it is written in Romans 12:1-2,

 “Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, sanctified, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.”(HNV revised)

The renewing of the mind is represented by the ministry that the priests did in the sanctified place, day after day.

27:2 “You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it; and you shall overlay it with brass.” – In the Scriptures brass, or copper, represent judgment, righteousness, and justice, see Leviticus 26:19; Numbers 21:9; Deuteronomy 28:23; 2 Kings 25:7; Ezekiel 40:3; Zechariah 6:1; Psalm 89:14.

The Seventh Aliyah, 27:9-19

27:16 “For the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four.”(HNV) – Altogether there were three drapes that separated the sanctified dwelling into three places. The different drapes represent different levels of consecration. All the Israelites who were ceremonially clean could enter the outer court, only the priests could enter the sanctified place, and only once a year could the high priest enter the most sanctified place.

27:18 “The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.”(HNV) – Rashi explains that the area of the outer court, which lay to the east, was square, fifty cubits by fifty cubits, (see illustration).

Court

This Parashah contains commandments number 95-97 of the 613 commandments.

95. The command to build a temple (or tabernacle), Exodus 25:8.

96. The prohibition of pulling the bars out of the rings of the ark, Exodus 25:15.

97. The command to present the bread of the face (lechem ha-panim) and incense (ketoret), Exodus 25:30.

 


[1]     Strong H8641 terûmâh  terûmâh, ter-oo-maw', ter-oo-maw', (The second form used in Deut 12:11); from H7311; a present (as offered up), especially in sacrifice or as tribute: - gift, heave offering ([shoulder]), oblation, offered (-ing).

[2]     Strong H7311 rûm, room, A primitive root; to be high actively to rise or raise (in various applications, literally or figuratively): - bring up, exalt (self), extol, give, go up, haughty, heave (up), (be, lift up on, make on, set up on, too) high (-er, one), hold up, levy, lift (-er) up, (be) lofty, (X a-) loud, mount up, offer (up), + presumptuously, (be) promote (-ion), proud, set up, tall (-er), take (away, off, up), breed worms.

[3]     Strong H6666 tsedâqâh, tsed-aw-kaw', From H6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): - justice, moderately, right (-eous) (act, -ly, -ness).

[4]     Beer Hateb; Tsedah la Dérech.

[5]     Shir HaShirim Rabah 3.

[6]     Strong H3727 kappôreth, kap-po'-reth, From H3722; a lid (used only of the cover of the sacred Ark): - mercy seat.

[7]     Strong H3722 kâphar, kaw-far', A primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: - appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

[8]     Yomah 71b; Baraitah d´Meléchet haMishkán 2; Rashí.

[9]     Tiferet Tsion.

[10]    Strong H6532 pôreketh, po-reh'-keth, Feminine active participle of the same as H6531; a separatrix, that is, (the sacred) screen: - veil.

Strong H6531 perek, peh'-rek, From an unused root meaning to break apart; fracture, that is, severity: - cruelty, rigour.