Parshah Columnists - Terumah

Guest Columnists
3 Life Lessons From the Mishkan
For the first time since leaving Egypt, the people were being asked to become active participants.
Why Read the Ketubah at the Wedding?
A ketubah is far from (just) a contract of love. In fact, it’s pretty much the exact opposite.
Stop and Notice the Red Camellia
Shabbat is so effective for me that my undistracted brain begins to coalesce in imaginative ideas and beautiful prose.
Kissing G-d Outside
Spending so much time on the dark side makes one want the bright side that much more
How Living From Abundance Creates Greater Happiness
It should come as no surprise that doing good correlates to feeling good.
Bring the Zoo Home
Is G‑d Talking to Me?
G‑d is everywhere, who could keep Him out? The more pertinent question is where does G‑d make Himself "at home"? More germane to us: Is it up to us where He dwells?
The Gold Standard
Why did G‑d instruct that the lesser materials of silver and copper also be used in the Mishkan's construction? Surely pure gold would have looked much more spectacular...
Are You a Fallen Heiress?
She arrived in New York wearing a floor-length yellow sari and couldn’t care less about what she no longer had. She feels differently today.
Wedding Speeches for Terumah
The Japanese Hero Who Saved My Grandfather From the Nazis
Sugihara and his wife stayed up all day and night writing visas for the desperate Jews.
What Making Lunches With My Wife Taught Me
Last night, just as soon as the last of the children got quiet, it was our turn to make a bit of noise
Where Did All the Materials for the Tabernacle Come From?
Building a Temple in the desert!? Where do you get all the materials from?
Torah Insights
The Structure of the Soul
To build the figurative Temple within ourselves, we need to find the beams, coverings and sockets within our soul and dedicate them to the service of G‑d.
Weekly Sermonette
Great and Grand or Small and Simple?
G-d does not require spectacular spires or museums to house His holy presence. Where is He found? In the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of a simple synagogue.
Sinai or Sanctuary?
To put it simply: are we waiting for G‑d, or is G‑d waiting for us? Who makes the next move?
Giving or Getting?
It is significant that the Hebrew expression for "acts of loving kindness," gemilut chassadim, is always in the plural form: every time someone performs a single act of kindness, at least two people are benefiting--the receiver and also the giver
Going for Gold
A synagogue can be a humble hut—but we need to demonstrate what our values are and where our priorities lie. To give honor and glory by beautifying His Holy House is one way...
Life's Passages
The Freeman Files
Why On Earth Do We Need a Third Temple?
The Third Temple is not a building, but a state of harmony between G-d, humanity, and nature.
When we would be at odds with G-d and He with us, the two angels would turn away from one another. But when the two of us would be in harmony, the temple priests would open the curtains and show us the two figurines entwined in embrace...
For Friday Night
Colors in the Soul
These are the colors in the soul, the emotions with which we relate to G-d, in our own inner Sanctuary: blue, scarlet, purple, white...
The Wood of Folly
The acacia wood of which the Sanctuary was made has in Hebrew a strange name—it can be translated as “the wood of folly.”
The Temple at Home
The Jewish home is indeed "a small Sanctuary." Like the Temple, it is a center for Torah, prayer and kindness...
Parshah Parenting
The Self-Made Child
My daughter is always complaining that “all the other mothers” always do their children’s projects and homework for them . . .
Parshah Musings
The Cycle of Life
It’s easy to understand why there is a perception that studying for a degree or our jobs should be our priority, while studying Torah is the cream that floats on top; nice enough, but not exactly crucial to life.
The Big Donors
When people contribute financially they feel invested in the project and their expectations become the true catalyst of sustainable growth.
Should I Stay in Yeshiva or go Into Business?
I’m wondering whether I should stay in yeshivah—as my rabbis here suggest—or whether I should focus on getting a degree or joining my father in business.
Poll Tax
I can understand the outrage. Isn't a tax that devolves on everyone equally, regardless of his or her ability to pay, patently inequitable?
Gold! Gold! Gold!
For us "copper" folks, occasionally well-intentioned but dragged down by the weaknesses of the flesh... how tempting to concede in despair and leave the building of G-d's sanctuary to the spiritually successful "gold" and "silver..."!
Healthy Give and Take
He held two backpacks, one full of sandwiches and the other money. He strolled down the aisle offering the patrons a choice: "If you have, please give. If you need, please take."
I Asked for Money
We arranged an appointment. I came prepared. I made my pitch, explained our plans, emphasized the opportunities that lay ahead and then paused. The pause. That time it didn't work.
The Golden Rule
Hospitals, retirement villages, anti-discrimination commissions, museums, and Yiddish theaters. All are worthy causes and deserving of support, yet they are not our communal priority...
Why the Tabernacle Was So Opulent
Was all that gold, silver and copper really needed in the mishkan?
Judaism takes an inverse attitude to conspicuous consumption.
When I Went to Israel
I’ve heard of people packing the kitchen sink, but who takes wooden walls with them on their travels?
Parshah Messages
The Portable Torah
The poles used to transport the ark were permanent fixtures. Why think of traveling when wanting to be at rest?
Lighting Up the Table
The menorah symbolizes our spiritual needs, and the table is a metaphor for our material needs. But there is a connection between the two . . .
Do You Get Charity?
Tests revealed that participants were wrong about the impact of money on happiness. A significant majority thought that personal spending would make them happier than pro-social spending...
Living through the Parshah
My Tree of Strength
Perhaps you’ve approached a therapist or a spiritual mentor for help in creating meaning out of a dark time? It’s refreshing to get help from someone who’s not part of the problem . . .
Torah for Now
The Purpose of Wealth
Possessions are not an end in themselves. Iif anything, a person whose life revolves around them becomes a slave to his or her property. We can end up right back in an Egypt of our own making...
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Cherubim of Gold
The Ark in the Holy Temple housed the marriage document binding G‑d to His people. But who could be trusted to guard this seminal manuscript?
Seeking the Lost Mountain of Sinai?
Don’t we all remember the precise location where we proposed, or the hospital ward where our first child was born? How could we forget? And yet, somehow, we’ve lost touch with the place more important to our people than any other . . .
What Do You Think?
Let’s take a look at the Holy Temple. I see a magnificent structure bedecked with silver and gold. “What is this all about?” I wonder. Is G‑d so high-maintenance?
To the Bronx?
Angels proclaim G-d’s greatness; we shout the praises of technological gadgets. Yet G‑d chose our world as His home....
Why Was the Holy Temple on a Mountain?
And one man’s dedication to growth, even on his last day
Let us explore the fact that the Temple was built on a mountain, and then we can unpack its lessons.
Reflections on the Parshah
How to Give
Charity, be it clear, is not vitiated by any motives. But a charitable person is not simply one who gives charity, but one who is charitable.
The Synagogue's Role
The importance of the synagogue is emphasized by the exacting instructions given for the erection of the Tabernacle.
Parshah Moment
Why Gold?
Considering that gold has virtually no practical use, why is it so treasured? And why did G-d command us to use it in the construction of the Tabernacle?
Weekly Torah
Bearing Gifts
The three lessons we learn from the three kinds of donations brought by the Jewish people for the building of the Tabernacle, in the desert.
Inner Stream
What Is Your Tower?
Do our possessions and achievements bring glory to us, or are they for G‑d’s glory?
A Single Bar of Gold
What was so difficult about the design of the Menorah that G-d, the greatest teacher of all time, could not make Moses, the greatest student of all time, comprehend?
The Size of a Sacrifice
For man to develop a love for G-d he must first relinquish his love for the material. The vacuum left behind in his heart is then filled with a love for G-d...
You Only Own What You Give
"When the king asked me to disclose my holdings," the rabbi explained, "I included only the funds that I have donated to charity. Those are the holdings I know will always be mine..."
A corner of the universe that is utterly, exclusively, one’s own.
The Glory of the Single-Minded Person
Single-minded people aren't much fun. We wouldn't want to be like them -- well, maybe just a little bit...
Three Chambers
Imagine a house with three rooms: a large room where the bulk of your time is spent; a smaller chamber where precious occasions of the spirit are enjoyed; and a rarely visited sanctum that is the absolute center of your life.
The Kitchen or the Library?
“My design for A New Home for the New Millennium may seem revolutionary,” explained the architect, “but only because we have drifted away from the home’s initial, primal function . . .”
Parshah Recovery
Restore Us to Sanity
The alcoholic's and addict's obsession with self-destruction is less than rational, to put it mildly. Treating it with conventional psychological means is often futile and the prospects for success are grim.
Covenant & Conversation
A Portable Home
It is hard to understand the depth of the crisis into which the destruction of the First Temple plunged the Jewish people.
The Gift of Giving
It was the first Israelite house of worship, the first home Jews made for G-d. But the very idea is fraught with paradox, even contradiction. How can you build a house for G-d? He is bigger than anything we can imagine, let alone build.
Two Narratives of Creation
The Torah describes two acts of creation: G‑d’s creation of the universe, and the Israelites’ creation of the Mikdash or Mishkan, the sanctuary that traveled with them in the desert, the prototype of the Temple in Jerusalem. The connection between them is not incidental.
The Home We Build Together
The building of the Tabernacle was the first great project the Israelites undertook together. It involved their generosity and skill. It gave them the chance to give back to God a little of what He had given them.
Beyond Speech
Building a Temple for G‑d Today
G-d wants everyone to be a Temple, living in every single one of us.
Solid Gold!
What significance do these hold? Why did they have to be made of one solid piece of gold?
The Inner Meaning and Message of the Shulchan (Golden Table)
According to the Zohar, the shulchan was what brought blessing of sustenance to the tables of the whole world.
On the Haftarah: Beacons of Light
For the haftarah of Terumah, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
The Incredible Potential Hidden In Our Struggles
G-d commanded Moses to accept the donations that the Jewish people would bring for the construction of the Mishkan, or Tabernacle.
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