Dvar Torah Parshat Terumah 5773 2013

The theme of this week’s Sidra is the construction of the משכן or Tabernacle in the Wilderness. This was later to serve as the model for the בית המקדש or the Temple in Yerushalayim. In the משכן there were two rooms, one of which was called קודש or Holy and one was called קודש הקדשים or Holy of Holies. Certain functions by the Kohanim were carried out in the room called Holy. The Holy of Holies was reserved only for the High Priest to enter once a year on Yom Kippur. There was a partition separating these two rooms.

Among the items in the Holy room were a table that contained the “Show Bread” which was replaced every week and the Menorah which was lit every day. Harav Kook, the first chief Rabbi of Israel, points out that these two items represent the blessings of prosperity in the world. The table represented the material and physical blessings. The Menorah represented the spiritual blessings of the world.

The Rabbi indicated that there was no partition between them. This suggested that both the material and spiritual matters in the world need not be relegated to different parts of our lives. They can exist with each other simultaneously without conflict. That is why there was no partition between them.

This room was separated, however, from the Holy of Holies with a curtain. The Holy of Holies contained the Torah. It was separated from everything else because it was sacrosanct and stood above all else. It was the word of Hashem and was not to be on a level with our material needs nor even with our spiritual requirements.

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