Torah Portion: T’rumah (Contribution) Exodus 25-27
HafTorah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
Tonight we read and study G-d’s instructions for the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Notice these are very exact instructions. The word approximate, is never used. Everything fits exactly together, every part was important. The mundane items were of equal importance as the more flashy or ornate. Questions arise from these verses. Where did all the material come from? Remember G-d told the people to plunder the Egyptians when they went out of Egypt. What was the purpose of this plundering? Was it to be a treasure for each person to hold on to or was it to be used for the Mishkan? I believe it was for this purpose of building the Mishkan but even here G-d only wanted those items that people were willing to give. I think wrapped up in this is an important lesson for us all. Did G-d really need a house – a holy place? Of course not. The building of the Mishkan was important because it gave the people an opportunity to give back to G-d. G-d was interested in dwelling in His people. This required an act on their part to have a heart that was ready for that indwelling. Having a gracious giving heart is an integral part of being ready. As soon as a people begin to see life as only an opportunity for taking they are not capable of seeing clearly that all they have is really only on loan from Him and not to be guarded so closely that we miss, or worse, are not interested in returning or giving back when we have the opportunity. The very word T’rumah means at its root to offer to life up. So here, when the people returned to G-d what He had given them with a willing heart are they united and lifted up. This is G-d’s point in this whole process. When they, the people, came to the Mishkan they were of one heart and mind. They were a part of its building. T’rumah can be much more than money. All we have comes form our Father, our talent, our wisdom, everything is to be used to serve the purpose of allowing G-d to indwell whatever or whoever we are.
Now to look further at the Mishkan: Does G-d need a home? No., Really we are the homeless ones. Spiritually, we are homeless until we find our way back to our Creator. The word Mishkan translates in English today as sanctuary. But in its root meaning we find the word Kadosh or holy. As we have talked about before, in Hebrew the word Kadosh means something set apart, separated out. So when Israel built the Temple in Jerusalem it was called Beit HaMikdash or Holy House. Basically, it was a place or space, an island if you will in space that was set aside as holy. In the beginning everything was holy. All G-d’s creation was holy. We know man sinned and was driven out of this space of holiness. In fact, in Genesis 3:24, for the first time, cherubs, Keruvim, were mentioned. They were set in place to guard the tree of life. Here in our Torah portion today we see Keruvim once more. Exodus 25:22. Here they are still guarding the Tree of Life. In Judaism the Torah is called often the Tree of Life. So we have come full circle. In the Garden holiness was everywhere. Here, that place of holiness is reestablished. Man has a way to reconnect with that space where complete holiness is found.
Our challenge has been how to internalize that set apartness. In our faith Yeshua is that living Torah. He did not sin, meaning He was faithful to every jot and tittle of G-d’s word. He allows us to come into that holiness, to reconnect with the Father. When we do, we step into something that transcends our physical existence and we become one with the Father. It is our connection with the eternal. So the Mishkan is our example of what is to become a reality in the Messiah when we are restored to that state of being one with the Father. The way is still there after all these years of wandering. We can return home and become the Mishkan, the set apart ones of G-d here in this world, an instant of holiness.