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Torah Talk for Parashat Terumah

February 9, 2016 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Hashem instructs Moshe to collect gifts from Bnei Yisrael in order to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle) so that Hashem can dwell among the people; Hashem describes to Moshe the vessels and structures that comprise the Mishkan. 

The words we use to describe something make a difference. People will respond differently to being described as “stingy,” “frugal,” or “careful with money,” although these terms all have essentially shared meanings. The Torah is very careful about its choice of words and how it names things. This week, for example, we read about the mizbe’ach (altar). Five different primary types of offerings were brought on the mizbe’ach; but only one of them is linguistically related to the word mizbe’ach itself, and this must be significant in some way. Read more>