Terumah – Shishi

Altar Egos

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The altar was to be constructed of acacia wood and covered in – not gold this time! – copper. All of the utensils of the altar were likewise to be of copper. The altar would have a box on each corner; these were called the “horns” of the altar. A copper screen would surround the lower part of the altar. The altar would be hollow and it would be carried with copper-covered poles.

We should probably mention that the word for altar in Hebrew is mizbeach. (Mizbayach? Mizbei’ach?) I’m sticking with “altar” because I’m just not happy with the transliteration options. This particular altar was called the Copper Altar (Mizbach HaNechoshes), counter to the golden incense altar that we’ll come to in next week’s parsha.

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