(Exodus 38:2-40:38)

(Haftara: Melachim I, 7:51-8:21)

1.  When the Temple was destroyed, and the Temple service ceased, prayer took the place of animal sacrifice.  Some of our rabbis believe that prayer is a higher form of service than the animal sacrifices. If that is true, then why were animal sacrifices commanded  at all?

2. Our tradition tells us that God is everywhere.  We are also taught that God is more present on the Temple Mount and even more present in the “Holy of Holies”.  What does it mean that God is more present?  Where in our daily lives is God more present and where is God less present?

3. [40:6]  “Put the altar for the sacrifices in front of the opening of the tent…” When the Temple was destroyed, prayer took the place of  the Temple sacrifices.  Some of our rabbis believe that prayer is a higher form of service than the animal sacrifices. What do prayer and animal sacrifices have in common? If there were no prayer, what would be missing in Judaism?

4. [40:24]  “Put the menorah in the tabernacle…”  The Sfat Emet (1847-1905, Poland) says that the oil of the menorah represents the human mind—lucid and clear consciousness.  Is the mind the same as the soul (neshama)?  Do the mind and heart (emotions) together make up the soul? What is the soul?

5. [Haftara: Melachim I, 8:12]  “God has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness.”  Why does God live in the “thick darkness”?

Commentary

The soul of the people of Israel expresses itself in the striving for absolute justice, which to be realized, must include all moral virtues.  It is for this reason that any moral sin committed by an individual Jew weakens his link with the soul of the people. The basic step in tshuvah is to attach oneself again to the soul of the people.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania, Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer