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February 23, 1996 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-02-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-

A YOUNG GIRL'S IMMUNE SYSTEM WAS

REACTIVATED WITH A DROP OF HER OWN BLOOD

THAT HAD BEEN STORED SINCE BIRTH.

Today's Synagogue
Draws Us Close To God

RABBI IRWIN GRONER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

ASSAH TODAY,

THANKS TO YO

T

0 TOMORROW.

A YOUNG GIRL

HADASSAH HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF HEALING, RESEARCH,

TEACHING AND YOUTH RESCUE IN ISRAEL. WITH YOUR BEQUEST,

HADASSAH-HEBREW UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IN JERUSALEM WILL

ALWAYS BE THERE TO HELP. PLEASE WRITE TODAY FOR OUR FREE

BROCHURE, "LEGACY FOR TOMORROW". OR CALL

1-800-880-WILL.

HADASSAH. WHEN THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.

HADASSAH WILLS & BEQUESTS DEPARTMENT, 50 WEST 58TH STREET NEW YORK, NY 10019

Congregation B'nai David

Invh

itimun16/

PURIM

agd6iag

MAUREEN SCHIFFMAN & COCO

In Song, Movement, Puppetry & Storytelling

A FAMILY PROGRAM FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Sunday, March 3, 1996 • 1:00 — 3:00 p.m.

C/3

w

U)

L1J

F—

• Musical program will be followed by hands-on activities
& refreshments
• Wear your PURIM costume!
• FREE PROGRAM with your donation of Kosher canned
food for Yad Ezra

5642 WEST MAPLE • WEST BLOOMFIELD • 855-5007

A program of
Congregation B'nai David
in cooperation with Jewish Experiences for Families (J.E.F.F.)
a division of the Agency for Jewish Education

.

CD
CC

H-

LLI
(=I

LLJ

26

The Perfect Family Gift...
A Subscription To The Jewish News.
(810) 354-6620

he Book of Exodus is divid-
ed into three major sections:
the story of Israel's libera-
tion from Egypt, the ac-
count of the divine revelation at
Sinai and the description of the
construction of the mishkan or
tabernacle, Israel's first sanctu-
ary. Our sedrah, Terumah (which
means offering), commences the
third section.
The tabernacle was a remark-
able structure. Although its size
was not impressive by modern
standards, it occupied a unique
place in the life of the Hebrew
people.
The sanctuary proper, or tent
of meeting, measure approxi-
mately 45 feet by 15 feet and was
divided by the parokhet or veil
into two chambers, the Holy Place
and the Holy of Holies. The for-
mer contained the sacred fur-
nishings; the latter held only the
Ark, enshrining the Tablets of the
Covenant or decalogue, which
Moses received on Mt. Sinai.
There was an outer court about
150 feet long and 75 feet wide, in
which were situated the bronze
altar of the sacrifices and the
laver used by the priests. Essen-
tially, the mishkan was a large
tent reinforced by a wooden
framework made of acacia boards
to give it greater stability. Par-
ticularly noteworthy is the fact
that Israel's first sanctuary was
portable. It was the shrine of a
wandering people. As the taber-
nacle journeyed with Israel, even
so it shaped and nurtured its soul.
The Torah describes the means
by which the building fund was
to be supplied. An obligatory tax
of a half-shekel was secured from
each male. Offerings of gold, sil-
ver and copper were brought as
well as contributions of blue, pur-
ple and scarlet wool, linen, hides,
wood and other materials. The
women gave their mirrors; the
princes, their jewels.
The question arises, why
should God, ruler of the world,
creator of the universe, guardian
of the destinies of humanity, need
or require such a limited place of
habitation?
Why should the divine spirit
be housed in such narrow con-
fines?
This problem disturbed later
generations of rabbis who record-
ed in the Talmud a conversation
between Moses and God in which
the great prophet of Israel ex-
claims in awe, "Behold, the heav-
en and the heaven of heavens
cannot contain Thee. How much

t.\\

``•

Irwin Groner is senior rabbi of

Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

lesS, this sanctuary that we are
about to build?" And then, God
quiets him with these words, "I
do not ask what is due Me, but
only what the people can fulfill —
20 boards to the north and south
and 8 in the west, and I shall then
draw My shekinah together so
that it may find room therein."
The import of the statement of
the sages was conveyed by the
Kotzer Rebbe of the 18th centu-
ry, who was once asked, "Where
does God dwell?" And he an-
swered, "Wherever we let Him

When the children of Israel
built the tent of meeting in the
wilderness, they set aside a place
dedicated and devoted to the di-
vine presence that had led them
out of Egyptian bondage and
brought them to Sinai. Symboli-
cally, they had taken part of their
wealth and energies and talents
and offered these as humble gifts
to the King of Kings, who had not
forsaken them.
This gift, in the form of a sanc-
tuary, then became a worthy
house for the spirit of the Lord.
Rashi's comment on this passage
is illuminating. The text reads:
"They shall build for Me a sanc-

Sahbbat Terumah:
Exodus 25:1 - 27:19
I Kings 5:26 - 6:13.

tuary." Rashi notes that the text
really means: "They shall build a
sanctuary for My sake." It was
not the external form which was
of crucial importance. It was the
spirit which moved the people to
take their most prized possessions
and dedicate them to their House
of God.
The significance and influence
of this Mishkan was vast. It was
the direct precursor of the Tem-
ple, for in later generations
Solomon built a permanent and
more imposing sanctuary based
on the tabernacle in the wilder-
ness. History was not kind to the
Jewish people, for neither the
sanctuary nor the Temple remain
as testimony to the glory and
splendor of their worship. Driven
from one land to the next, Jews
built another form of sanctuary
which we call the synagogue.
To this day, the synagogue pre-
serves analogues of the taberna-
cle or temple: the aron kodesh,
the sacred ark, corresponds to the C\
Holy of Holies; the bimah repre-
sent the altar, where prayer and
the reading of scripture replace
the ancient sacrifice; while the

c/\

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