Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-count of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma respectively. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p'sukim in the parsha.
"And they shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst" [95,A20 25:8]. This well-known pasuk constitutes the mitzva to build the Mishkan in that generation, and the Beit HaMikdash in later times. Each time the Mishkan was taken apart, transported, and reassembled, the mitzva was fulfilled. It was fulfilled by Shlomo HaMelech and his generation, and by Ezra HaSofer and his generation. It will be fulfilled IY"H when the third Beit HaMikdash will be built, IY"H in our own time.
SDT Some commentaries interpret the word B'TOCHAM as "within each person of B'nei Yisrael", not just in the midst of the People, thereby personalizing the relationship between G-d and each person.
In a different way, this also points to the building of a Mikdash in one’s own heart. in a figurative sense.
SDT V’YIKCHU, rather than V’YITNU. “Take” rather than “give”. Famous question. The Malbim answers it this way. Really, everything belongs to G-d. So how can we give to Him. Our first step is to take from Him by using worldly goods for sacred purposes. Just as making a bracha enables us to take possession of food which is essentially G-d’s, so too did the donations of materials for the Mishkan make those materials ours to give.
Other mitzva-counters disagree. E.g. Ramban counts the making of the Aron as a separate mitzva (but not the other sacred vessels).
G-d will show the various forms that the work
should take as models for the people to follow in M'lechet HaMishkan, the
sacred task of building the Mikdash.
The "Testimony" (the LUCHOT - Tablets) shall be placed in the Aron.
Clarification: Some commentaries describe the ARON as three nested, open-top boxes - an outer box of gold, a middle box of wood, and an inner box of gold which had a rim to cover over the thickness of the wooden box, so that only gold would be visible both from the outside and inside of the ARON. There are different opinions as to how thick the gold plating was.
Think about this... It seems a bit strange, does it not, that we would be commanded to make the K'ruvim in light of the strong prohibitions against graven images. And more so, if we note the chronology of the events in the months following the Exodus - specifically, that the command to build the Mikdash followed in the wake of the Golden Calf fiasco. The "answer" is that G-d is the Boss. He says no graven images - then we don't. And the Golden Calf is the ultimate affront to G-d. He commands us to make the K'ruvim, then we do. There are many examples of this idea. Lighting fire is forbidden on Shabbat. In the Mikdash it is required. Piku'ach Nefesh situations require it. This is not contradictory. This is recognizing G-d's mastery of the world and our commitment to follow His commands.
[P> 25:23 (8)] A special table of gold-plated wood shall be made; a frame and decorative border to the frame are to be made of gold. Four gold rings are to be attached to the legs of the table as receptacles for the carrying rods. Shelves and supports for the shelves complete the Shulchan.
The Lechem Panim (Showbread) are to be placed on the Shulchan at all times [97,A27 25:30].
In the Shabbat Zmira KI ESHM'RA SHABBAT, we sing
that G-d gave a Torah-mitzva to the Kohanim to put the Lechem HaPanim on the
Shulchan on Shabbat. Therefore, we are forbidden to fast on Shabbat (except
for Yom Kippur). In other words, G-d did not include a food in the Temple
service just to feed the Kohanim. G-d is showing us, so to speak, the
potential spirituality of food. Take this lesson, He says, from the Mikdash
into your homes. Food is not incidental to Shabbat; it is a significant part
of our observance of Shabbat. We can see this from the earlier (in Parshat
B’shalach) introduction of Shabbat to the people of Israel. We were first
taught Shabbat in the context of the MN (manna). “And Moshe said - Eat it
TODAY, for TODAY is Shabbat to HaShem, TODAY you will not find it in the
field.” As significant to Jewish Life is fasting, so too is eating. It is
part of our Judaism, not just a physical need we have to satisfy.
[P> 25:31 (10)] The Menora is to be made of solid gold, one continuous piece, a central branch with six side branches (3 on each side), decorative orbs, flowers, and cups adorned the ends of each branch, with additional ones on the central branch. The Menora's utensils were also made of gold. Additionally, there was a 3-step platform that was used by the Kohen when he tended and lit the Menora. Commentaries point out that the Menora was not THAT tall to require a step-stool to reach the oil lamps. However, it would usually require the Kohein Gadol to lift his hands above the TZITZ he wore on his forehead, and that was not permitted. Hence the need for the steps.
(The oil cups were separate and either attached or placed at the top of the branches.
SDT All parts of the Menorah were integral to the whole; none was "merely" attached. Torat Moshe applies this to the People of Israel and, with a play on words, says that even Jews who have strayed from Torah and mitzvot are part of the whole.
Above the Mishkan was an 11-panel covering (sections of six and five panels joined with copper buttons) made of goats' hair. The Mishkan was decorative; this covering, known as the OHEL, was utilitarian, affording protection from the elements. The OHEL and MISHKAN covered the sides of the structure as well as the top.
The topmost covering (some say it was just on the top, not the sides; others say it too draped down the walls of the Mishkan) was made of red-dyed sheepskin and Tachash skins.
Tachash? What's a TACHASH?
Excellent queston. And after you read what R' Aryeh Kaplan z"l has to say in The Living Torah [LT], you will not KNOW what a Tachash is, but you'll know many of the possibilities.
LT translates OROT T'CHASHIM as "Blue processed skins". This goes well with the "red-dyed rams' skins". Others explain it as blackened and waterproofed leather. Others say that the Tachash was an animal. No one seems to know for sure what animal, but suggestions include: ermine, member of the badger family, a species of wild ram, antelope, okapi, giraffe, narwhal, sea cow or DUGONG, an herbivorous marine mammal native to the Red Sea, a type of seal (hence the choice of this week's MRMH column on p.32), or an unknown extinct animal that existed when the Mishkan was being built, and for that purpose.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION...
SDT Rashi brings a Midrash that Yaakov Avinu foresaw with Divine Vision that wood would be needed by his descendants upon their departure from Egypt. He brought saplings with him to Egypt which he planted and ordered his children to take the wood with them when they left Egypt.
SDT MA'ASEI CHOSHEIV, explains Rashi, is highly skilled weaving (could it be embroidery of a sort?) which results in different designs on each of the two sides of the fabric.
The Aron is to be put into the Holy of Holies. The
Shulchan on the north wall (2˝ amot from the north wall) opposite the Menora
on the south wall (also 2˝ amot from the south wall) are placed outside the
Parochet in the main section of the Mishkan. (The custom is to place the
Chanukiya on the south wall of the shul, to remind us of the Menora in the
Some commentaries say that each curtain hung from hooks on the supporting pillars. Others say that a rod was inserted at the top of each curtain and the rod was suspended from the hooks on the pillars. This would allow the Parochet and Masach to hang evenly without sagging.
The Torah says that this Altar was 3 amot tall. R. Yehuda says: understand it as it is written. R. Yosi says just as the internal Altar is twice as tall as it is wide and long, so too is this one. It measures 5 amot on each side of the square, therefore, it is 10 amot tall. But the Torah says three? That is measured from its SOVEV.
The Aron, Shulchan, Menora are 1,2,3 in Parshat T'ruma. Then the structure of the Mishkan, then the External Altar. Internal Altar doesn't come until T'tzaveh - after the garments of the Kohanim. The Washing Basin and its Stand don't show up until the beginning of Ki Tisa. When the actual construction is described in Vayak-hel and P'kudei, the order is different.
We have been without a Beit HaMikdash for so long that many of us have developed a "who needs it?" kind of attitude about a physical Mikdash. Without analyzing the following analogy too much, here's a thought. Even if one has been davening by heart for a long time, and knows the prayers well, there is still many benefits to his getting a beautiful Siddur to use. It gives him a focus, enhances his service of G-d, is physically attractive and spiritually inspiring.
The final three p’sukim of T’ruma are reread for the Maftir.
The concluding pasuk of the Haftara goes so beautifully with one of the open p'sukim of the sedra. “And I will dwell (says G-d) in the midst of Bnei Yisrael and I will not abandon My people Israel.” If one had any doubt as to the meaning of the sedra’s V’SHACHANTI B’TOCHAM, and I will dwell among them - the haftara spells it out beyond any ambiguity.
It is also important to note what G-d told Shlomo HaMelech before the promise to dwell in the midst of Bnei Yisrael. And this was the word of G-d to Shlomo: This House that you are building, IF you will go in My ways and do what I command, and keep all of My mitzvot, THEN I will fulfill My word with you, as I told your father David.
V’ASU LI MIKDASH is a command. V’SHACHANTI B’TOCHAM is a promise, but apparently it is a conditional promise. And the condition is NOT just to build a Mikdash. It is to be faithful to G-d and keep His Torah.
May we see the fulfillment of the mitzvot of the sedra and Haftara, speedily in our time.