Torah Weekly

For the week ending 8 February 2003 / 6 Adar I 5763

Parshat Teruma

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
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G-d commands Moshe to build a Mishkan (Sanctuary) and supplies him with detailed instructions. The Children of Israel are asked to contribute precious metals and stones, fabrics, skins, oil and spices. In the Mishkan's outer courtyard are an altar for the burnt offerings and a laver for washing. The Tent of Meeting is divided by a curtain into two chambers. The outer chamber is accessible only to the kohanim, the descendants of Aharon. This contains the table of showbreads, the menorah, and the golden altar for incense. The innermost chamber, the Holy of Holies, may be entered only by the kohen gadol, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur. Here is the ark that held the Ten Commandments inscribed on the two tablets of stone that G-d gave to the Jewish nation on Mount Sinai. All of the utensils and vessels, as well as the construction of the Mishkan, are described in great detail.


A Divine Comedy

And I will speak with you (25:22)

Over the last six months and under the guise of renovations, the Waqf (the Moslem administration of the Temple Mount) has removed literally hundreds of tons of priceless Jewish historical artifacts and dumped them somewhere in the Judean desert.

Their purpose is to remove any archaeological evidence of a Jewish presence. To Holocaust denial, the Waqf has added a new phenomenon Beit HaMikdash denial.

Things, however, havent quite gone their way.

An inscribed stone tablet from the time of Yehoash, King of Judah, has recently been discovered on the Temple Mount. The black stone tablet, containing ten lines of Phoenician script, describes activities carried out by King Yehoash in the First Temple some 2,700 years ago.

The inscription corresponds to the Biblical account as recorded in Melachim II 12, including King Yehoash's call to the kohanim (priests) to collect money from the public for the purpose of renovating the Temple. The inscription details the purchase of wood and quarried stones and includes part of a Biblical passage recounting the event.

Archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkai says that if the stone is authenticated, it is "perhaps the most important artifact ever uncovered in the annals of archeology in the Land of Israel and Jerusalem It would be the earliest known tablet precisely recounting a Biblical event, constituting rare (archaeological) evidence of the existence of the First Temple, which stood on the Temple Mount for over 400 years from the time of King Shlomo until its destruction by Babylonian King Nevuchadnetzar.

How did this priceless artifact come to light?

It was uncovered during the illegal construction work by the Moslem Waqf on the Temple Mount.

No one has a better sense of humor than the Master of the World.

The self-same action that was supposed to eradicate all trace of Jewishness from the Temple Mount has produced the most conclusive documentary evidence of our historical claim to date. They want to obliterate, but they end up becoming the means of revelation.

The prophet Shmuel, who re-identified the correct site of Har HaMoriah (the Temple Mount) writes, "However, the 'Netzach Yisrael' will not lie." (Shmuel I 15:29)

Netzach means eternity. Netzach is also a reference to Jerusalem. The Netzach Yisrael 'will not lie. Jerusalem the Eternal cannot be made to lie. When you try and make Jerusalem an accomplice against the eternal nature of the Jewish People (another translation of Netzach Yisrael), she will not lie.

And I will speak with you from above the Cover

In this weeks portion, the Torah teaches us about the Mishkan, the portable version of what was eventually to become the Holy Temple. G-d promised us thousands of years ago that He would speak to us from that place above the Holy Ark. Even though that Sanctuary was destroyed and plowed over nearly two thousand years ago, the Eternal One of Yisrael, the Netzach Yisrael, still speaks to us from that place, with His Divine sense of comedy.

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