TORAH READING FOR 4 ADAR 5783 Feb 24-25, 2023
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/trumah
T’rumah (תְּרוּמָה — Gifts) – Exodus 25:1−27:19
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart is so moved.” – Exodus 25:1-2
- God asks the Children of Israel to donate gifts (t’rumah) for the building of the Tabernacle so that God may “dwell among them.” (25:1-9)
- Instructions for the construction of the Ark, table, and menorah are provided. (25:10-40)
- Detailed directions are given on how to build the Tabernacle. (26:1-27:19)
I Kings 5:26-6:13
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terumah_(parashah)
Connection to the Parashah
Both the parashah and the haftarah describe a great Jewish leader’s marshalling of resources to build a dwelling place for God, the parashah in Moses’ collection of gifts to build the Tabernacle, and the haftarah in Solomon’s conscription of labor and collection of timber and stone to build the Temple in Jerusalem. Both the parashah and the haftarah describe conditions for a structure where God could dwell (ve-shakhanti) among (be-tokh) the Israelites.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/trumah
By: Jonathan K. Crane
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Exodus that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) from I King 5:26-6:13. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.25.1-27.19 and the Haftarah we will be studying at https://www.sefaria.org/I_Kings.5.26-6.13
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
תרומה T’rumah – Exodus 25:1-27:19
Another View – by Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, p. 467
PARASHAT T’RUMAH [“gifts”] PROVIDES specifications for constructing the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Although the gender of the artisans is not mentioned, other biblical passages indicate that metallurgy was a male domain (I Samuel 8:12), while spinning and weaving were women’s work (Judges 16:13–14; II Samuel 3:29; Proverbs 31:19). Producing and dyeing yarns, weaving, and embroidering textiles for the Tent of Meeting and officiating priests’ clothing thus provided an avenue for women of the Exodus account to participate in this public and communal religious practice. According to II Kings 23:7, women continued producing textiles as devotional service also during the time of the Jerusalem Temple: while working in a room within the Temple precinct, “the women wove coverings” for the wooden pole of Asherah that stood in the Temple. (On worship of the goddess Asherah, see at Exodus 34:13.)
Archeological evidence of weaving abounds in both domestic and industrial contexts in the biblical period. Ceramic loom weights, indicative of an upright warp-weighted loom, stone or ceramic spindle whorls for twisting fibers into continuous yarn, and bone shuttles for weaving are common finds in domestic contexts. Loom weights found in rows suggest that looms, consisting of a crossbeam supported by two upright beams, rested against a room or courtyard wall. The weights pulled taut the vertical warp strings tied to the crossbeam above. Most women spun and wove to satisfy household needs: clothing, cloaks that also served as blankets, bags to transport grain, and waterproof coverings of goats’ hair. Sheep and goats from one’s flocks, the two most common domesticated animals, provided wool and hair; linen was produced from flax fibers.
While Israelite women wove cloth at home, the highly prized dye denoting sovereignty that was mandated for the Tabernacle curtains and vestments– t’cheilet (blue-violet) and argaman (purple)–was manufactured in specialized installations at coastal sites. A Mediterranean mollusk, Murex, secretes the main ingredient of the dye used to manufacture t’cheilet and argaman. Dye vats with accompanying mounds of broken murex shells have been uncovered in 9th-century-B.C.E. excavations at Tel Shiqmona, and in Persian Period Tel Dor, both located in Phoenician-controlled territory along the coast south of present-day Haifa. Tolaat shani (crimson/scarlet) was likely derived from the body of a female insect, Kermococcus/Kermes, or her eggs. Since wool took the dye but linen did not, those who produced the Tabernacle curtains and priests’ ceremonial clothing likely combined decorative dyed wool with linen threads and then wove gold threads into the cloth (Exodus 39:2–3, 8). While mixing wool and linen was specified for Tabernacle draperies and curtains, the high priest’s vestments, and for tzitzit (Exodus 26:1, 31, 36; 27:16; 28:4–5; Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 27:11–12), it was forbidden for common clothing and labeled shaatnez (see at Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:9–11).
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Ruth Gais, pp. 468-469
every person (25:2). Heb. kol ish, which is often translated as “every man,” but as Nachmanides commented on “whole Israelite community” (35:1), the expression kol ish here includes women as well.
whose heart is so moved (25:2). Sforno said that God specifically included the phrase “whose heart so moves” in order to differentiate this freely given offering from tzedakah, an obligation that everyone is obligated to fulfill.
that I may dwell among them . . . the Tabernacle (25:8–9). The two key Hebrew words, v’shachanti (“that I may dwell”) and mishkan (“Tabernacle”), are related linguistically to the feminine noun Shechinah. The Rabbis used that term for the indwelling and intimately felt presence of God, believing that the Shechinah was present in the Tabernacle and, later, in the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Talmud, the Shechinah also accompanied Israel into exile (BT M’gillah 29a) and becomes manifest during communal worship (BT Sanhedrin 39a) and moments of individual need (BT Shabbat 12b). [As Sharon Faye Koren explains (“Shekhinah as Female Symbol,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., 2006), medieval Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) often represented the Shechinah as a female aspect of God. The Shechinah mediated between heaven and earth and served as the passive eye or door through which a mystic could achieve divine vision. The mystics believed that sexual relations between the Shechinah and a male aspect of the divine brought about cosmic harmony. (Similarly, intercourse between a male mystic and his wife on earth, especially on Shabbat night, could foster both divine and mystical union.) Some contemporary Jewish feminists have reclaimed the symbol of the Shechinah to counter what they perceive to be the patriarchal bias of Jewish theology; they have reinterpreted mystical themes and emphasize the symbol of the feminine Shechinah in innovative new liturgies. –Ed.]
so shall you make it (25:9). God’s instructions concerning the building of the Tabernacle are recounted in the Torah prior to the incident of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32–34). However, some rabbinic commentators believed that these directions were given after that shameful event; and they interpret God’s command to create the Tabernacle as a sign of divine forgiveness. According to Midrash Sh’mot Rabbah 51.4, the nations of the world had declared that God would never be reconciled with Israel after Israel rejected God in favor of an idol. However, Moses successfully pleaded for mercy on the people’s behalf. At that moment, God said to Moses, “I will let my Shechinah dwell among [the Israelites], so that all may know that I have forgiven Israel. My sanctuary in their midst will be testimony of My forgiveness–and from this time on may be called a ‘Tabernacle of Testimony.’” (On the Shechinah, see the previous comment.) Nachmanides, however, did not accept this tampering with chronology. He suggested that the commandment to build the Tabernacle was divine acknowledgment of Israel’s merit in having freely accepted the Decalogue (comment to 35:1).
P’sikta D’Rav Kahana 1.1–2 understands the Tabernacle as a sign of God’s love for Israel and portrays it as a bridal chamber for the bride (Israel) and groom (God), patterned on the heavenly Tabernacle. A parable in Sh’mot Rabbah 33.1 utilizes somewhat different symbolism: When the beloved daughter of a king married another king, her father could not bear to part from her and so requested that his son-in-law build him a room so he could dwell with her. Here, God is depicted as a father and the Tabernacle as a place for the father to remain with his beloved daughter, Israel.
Make two cherubim of gold (25:18). According to BT Chagigah 13b, the cherubim had the forms of winged human beings. One represented divine mercy and the other represented divine justice.
There I will meet you (25:22). The Rabbis acknowledged that God is everywhere. Nevertheless, they also understood that through an act of tzimtzum, contraction, God could meet with Moses from between the cherubim, which were ten spans above the earth (Sh’mot Rabbah 34.1).
make fifty gold clasps, and couple the cloths to one another with the clasps, so that the Tabernacle becomes one whole (26:6). Ibn Ezra compared the interconnected components of the Tabernacle to the intricacies and interdependence of the parts of the human body, as well as to the similar interlocking segments of the entire world. The Zohar elaborates: “The mystery of the Tabernacle which is [composed of] limbs and joints–they all amount to the mystery of the human being, on the pattern of the commandments in the Torah, for all the commandments in the Torah are in the form of the mystery of the human being, male and female, for when they are joined together they are the single mystery of humanity” (Zohar 2:162b).
You shall make the planks for the Tabernacle of acacia wood, upright (26:15). Sh’mot Rabbah 35.1 asks why the Hebrew reads “the planks” rather than just “planks.” One answer is that God concealed some things after the Creation until they were specifically required. These particular cedar trees were hidden until they could be used to construct a dwelling place for the Shechinah.
SHUSHAN PURIM – March 6-7, 2023 – 14 Adar 5783
PURIM/ פּוּרִים – from https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/purim
Celebration of Jewish deliverance as told by Megilat Esther
Purim for Hebrew Year 5783 begins at sundown on Monday, 6 March 2023 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, 7 March 2023.
Purim (Hebrew: פּוּרִים, Pûrîm “lots”, from the word פור pur, also called the Festival of Lots) is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in the ancient Persian Empire, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther [usually dated to the 5th century BCE]). Read more about Purim at Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim and Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/what-shushan-purim
We will have a Purim spiel and celebration on Zoom starting at 7 PM Monday, March 6. An email with a link and specific meeting id-passcode for this “PUZOOM” event will be sent out before then.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
ROSH CHODESH – FOR THE NEW MONTH p.519
Our God and God of our ancestors, may the new month bring us goodness and blessing. May we have long life, peace, prosperity, a life exalted by love of Torah and reverence for the divine; a life in which the longings of our hearts are fulfilled for good.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 4 Adar through 10 Adar, we lovingly remember:
Linda Fleisher (First Yahrzeit)
Sister of Barbara Hass
Yosef ben Efraim Gomez
Father of TKH Member Ruben Gomez
Marvin S. Levy
Husband of TKH Member Iris Adler
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, February 24, 2023. For the next few months we will read and discuss the Haftarah, each selection from the prophets following the weekly Torah Portion.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah Terumah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
Time: Feb 24, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Feb 24, 2023 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat/Gut Shabbos
PS – About the Book of Kings:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From Jewish Virtual Library
Timelines from Wikipedia