And this week what seems to me a huge change of direction.
- Some important things have to be done voluntarily
- Some of our ideas about God may have changed over time
- What is this parasha about?
- How do you think it relates to last week's parasha?
- What seems to you important in this week's parasha?
- How are the builders to assemble the materials they need to build the mishkan?
- For whom are the instructions in this week's parasha intended?
- What ideas about the way we live today do you think can be learned from this parasha?
- Look at the pictures at the links here to see what the mishkan may have looked like:
- In chapter 25, verse 22 there is a reason given for building this structure.
"And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the cover of the ark, from between the two k'ruvim which are on the ark of witness, of all the things which I will command you - the children of Israel."
- What is the reason according to the text?
- How does this compare with what you believe about God?
- Look around your own synagogue. Compare and contrast your synagogue with the description of the mishkan that you have read about in this parasha.
- Last week's parasha was called "Mishpatim", which means Laws. This week's parasha is called "Terumah", a kind of offering to be set aside, in this case, voluntarily. Explain why you think the laws given last week are obligatory, while the offering described this week is voluntary.
- Why do you think the rabbi in this commentary says this parasha is a favorite of rabbis in the middle of a capital campaign (a fundraising effort concentrating on improving the synagogue building)? If you were such a rabbi, how would you use this text in planning a sermon for your congregation?