Parshat Terumah

Barbara and I visited the site of the Mishkan in Shiloh, as well as alternate sites of sacrifice we visited in Israel. We’ll talk about what we saw and the experience for us.


Here’s a brief study guide for Parshah which describes the Mishkan:
Shemot 24:17-18, 25:1-3
Now the Presence of the LORD appeared in the sight of the Israelites as a consuming fire on the top of the mountain. Moses went inside the cloud and ascended the mountain; and Moses remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. And these are the gifts that you shall accept from them: gold, silver, and copper;
In the last parshah, Rashi was concerned by the abrupt change from narrative to law. For Rashi, and his Midrashic sources, this shift was explained by a flashback. In Parshah Terumah there is also a shift to a detailed description of the Miskhan. Here Rashi thinks the Torah is flashing forward to after the incident with the Golden Calf. (Other commentators disagree and simply see the parshiot as following chronological order.)
Avivah Zornberg explores why the idea of a flash-foward is compelling to Rashi and the Midrashic sages. For them, the sin of the Golden Calf is highly disturbing, and they see the Mishkan as a response by God to the people’s need for a tangible presence of God. The Mishkan “covers” the sin of the Golden Calf.