Monday, February 15, 2010


Last week - lots and lots of laws about any number of things, most of which were instructions for interpersonal behavior - what are called in Hebrew mitzvot bein adam l'chavero - how to treat your friends, your slaves, your enemies, your animals.
And this week what seems to me a huge change of direction.

Big Ideas:

  • 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?
Learning Activities:
"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."

  1. What is the reason according to the text?
  2. 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?

    No comments:

    Post a Comment