January 28, 2023 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Terumah (2)

Parshah T'rumah is not the most exciting reading, focusing on the building of the Tabernacle, so the rabbis worked extra hard to derive lessons from it. "You shall make the planks for the Tabernacle of acacia wood, upright." (Exo 26:15). If you're not building a Tabernacle, what lessons could that bring? The Midrash teaches that the reason acacia wood was chosen is that it's not a fruit bearing tree. Thus no fruit producing tree would be cut down for the project. Where did these trees, not naturally found in the Sinai, come from? One tradition has it that Jacob planted them on his way to Egypt, knowing that future generations would need them. So a text that sounds like a script for "The New Yankee Workshop" turns out to contain insightful lessons about planning ahead. Looks the rabbis anticipated bored congregants reading the dry text by doing a little planning ahead as well.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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