Terumah: Atonement or Elevation?

T

A massive fundraising campaign was kicked off after the Exodus to fund the construction of the Tabernacle. When exactly did it take place? And why exactly was a Tabernacle necessary?

Lesson Contents:

A. Torah is Not Sequential

In this week’s Torah portion, G-d commands the people of Israel to build a Tabernacle (Source 1). But how exactly did these events pan out?

According to Rashi, everything about the Tabernacle — G-d’s command, Moses transmitting it, the fundraising and the construction — took place after Yom Kippur, when G-d forgave the people for the scent of the Golden Calf. In his opinion, the Tabernacle serves as an atonement for the Golden Calf, and he reads it into various elements of the text (Source 2-3-4).

The second approach, taken by Nachmanides, follows the basic sequence of the text in the Torah. The command regarding the Tabernacle came immediately after the giving of the Torah, but the continuation of this story took place after the Sin of the Golden Calf (Source 5).

The third approach, that of the Zohar, asserts that the events surrounding the Tabernacle all took place before the sin of the Golden Calf, aside for its actual construction (Source 6). In this version, G-d proceeds the commands regarding the Tabernacle to the sin of the Golden Calf, to preempt its negative effects.

B. The Tabernacle’s Purpose

All three opinions seem to follow a basic premise —that the Tabernacle is associated with the sin of the Golden Calf. But in Tanya, the Alter Rebbe says something fascinating (Source 7).

The commands regarding the Tabernacle followed the giving of the Torah — as claimed by the Zohar —but for a different reason: 

The giving of the Torah brought with it an intense revelation — one which completely overwhelmed the people. The Tabernacle had nothing to do with the Golden Calf; it was to allow the people to internalize that revelation.

Textbook & advertising material


SUPPORT OPTIONS 

Do you enjoy Jewish Insights?

We are honored to provide this service to Shluchim free-of-charge. Please help us and be able to continue this great project.

  • $18Suggested donation.
  • Option: Please charge my card $18 weekly, for each lesson

Sponsor a lesson:

  • $360 – Sponsor A Weekly Lesson in One Language (English or Hebrew).
  • $650 – Sponsor A Weekly Lesson in both Languages (English & Hebrew).

Become a Partner:

  • $1,800 – Partner of Jewish Insights
Click here to donate

Thank you for your support!

To post ideas, insights or stories that can add to the topic, please include them below.

Search

My account

Welcome Guest (Login)

Tags:


Deprecated: _register_controls is deprecated since version 3.1.0! Use Elementor\Controls_Stack::register_controls() instead. in C:\inetpub\taamu\wp-includes\functions.php on line 4777