Terumah 5767-2007

"G-d's Love Letters"

The "obsessive" focus on the details of the erecting of the Tabernacle often seems overwhelming. In truth, however, these details convey profound messages to us, and should be properly viewed as "love letters" from G-d that are to be found in each verse. They, therefore, need to be studied for a new and profound message each time they are read.

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Terumah 5765-2005

"Identifying the Essentials of Life"

Moses Mendelssohn, the German-Jewish philosopher, identifies three basic elements of workmanship that are employed in the building of the Tabernacle: essential arts, useful arts and ornamental arts. These categories are important in order to identify the labors of humankind and ascribe value to them. Their identity also helps us discern which skills and arts are useful and essential, and those that may lead to overindulgence.

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Terumah-Purim 5760-2000

"The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life"

The Mishkan--the Tabernacle--is very much like a home, and has all the furnishings that are found in a home. The fact that our synagogue is called a Beit Kinesset, a house of coming together, underscores the importance of the home. Unless our homes serve as dwelling places for G-d, there will be little chance that our religion will be effectively communicated in our synagogues or in our temples.

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