Here is your weekly commentary from Ovadyah Ben Yisrael:
T’rumah – פרשת תרוםה – “Heave Offering”
Torah reading: Sh’moth (Exodus) 25:1 – 27:19
Haftarah reading: Melakym Aleph (1 Kings) 5:26(5:12) – 6:13
Ketuvim Hatalmidym reading: Ivrym (Hebrews) 6:19-20
Shalom achym, b’shem YHWH Shadday ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of YHWH Almighty.
As we move further into the heart of the Torah, we encounter the Mishkan—the dwelling place, or “Tabernacle”—which is the heart of the encampment within the people of YHWH. Brothers, this is an all-important place to you and a vital part of the community of Yisrael. In order to know YHWH and understand your own place within that community, you must learn about it.
V’asu li Miqdash v’ shakanti b’tokam ~ “And they shall make for me a set-apart place, and I shall dwell within them.”
The Mishkan was a very richly appointed, but temporary, tent. Like all tents, the Mishkan was portable and not as durable as a permanent building. In this way, it was very much like our present bodies.
The Mishkan was, quite literally, the center of all activity in ancient Yisrael. It was the beating heart of daily life, continually performing its necessary functions and rituals, whose effect spread outward, like blood and nutrients in the body, giving life to the extremities of the camp. Around the Mishkan dwelt the Kohanym and the Leviym—the priests and their attendants—who, like internal organs carried out vital internal operations. Outward from there dwelt the tribes of the people, like the appendages which help us do the physical business of living in this world.
At the center of the Mishkan was the Qodesh Haqodeshym—the “Most Set-apart of all Set-apart Places.” In it was the Aron–“the Ark of the Testimony.” Its lid was called the Kapporeth–“the covering.” Upon the kapporeth were two keruvym—winged angels. Precisely at the center between these keruvym, at the center of everything else, resided the Shekanyah, “the dwelling” or presence in this world, of YHWH.
As you can imagine, YHWH has a difficult time dwelling now in this present world as we have remade it. Because of our sins and causeless hatred, we have no physical Mishkan presently on earth. The visible and tangible presence of the Shekanyah has departed from here. But YHWH has left us an “anchor”—a “tent peg” tethering us in His set-apart place. This is our savior, Yehoshua Hamashiach. Hold onto him, brothers, and do not let go. Through him, begin to rebuild the spiritual Mishkan within yourselves, even as we longingly wait for his physical return to this world. As he promises,
“And they shall make for me a Set-apart Place, and I shall dwell within them,” so will He do for you.
Until the time when YHWH restores all things and brings the true heavenly Mishkan to earth, along with our own permanent dwelling places, this is what we must do—and yes, it can be done. With YHWH, all things are possible.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael