(Exodus 25:1-27:20)

(Kings I,  5:26-6:13)

  1. [25:2] Why were the contributions for the building of the tabernacle voluntary? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to make them compulsory so that everyone would feel that he or she had a part in the tabernacle?
  1. [25:10…] Why was it necessary to tell every detail in the building of the tabernacle and its furniture? Wouldn’t general statements have been enough?
  1. [25:18] How can it be that the central place in the Holy of Holies has statues of angels? The Ten Commandments tell us that it is forbidden to make images of anything that is in Heaven?
  1. [25:20] How can the faces of the Kruvim (angels) be both “looking at each other” and also “looking toward the kapporet (the top of the aron)”? If they are looking at each other, they are not looking toward the kapporet!
  1. [25:22] Why is it fitting that God should speak to Moshe from the space between the kruvim (angels)?
  1. Our Rabbis tell us that the mishkan (tabernacle) represents the inner spiritual-psychological life of a person–the inner Temple. What might each of the following things represent: 1) the Holy of Holies; 2) the bread; 3) the Menorah; 4) the incense altar; 5) the altar for animal sacrifices; 6) the outer curtains.

Commentary

Shmot [25:20] “…and their faces [of the angels] were toward each other and toward the kapporet”.

How can their faces be toward each other and also toward the kapporet? The Ibn Ezra answers that they were looking down while their bodies were toward each other. One can also answer in a midrashic way, that the kruvim were looking at each other, but they were also looking toward the aron, the holiest place in the world. When one truly looks toward his or her fellow-man without any motive other than meeting that person–when one wants nothing other than to relate to one’s fellow–then one is looking toward the holiest place in the world.

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

And  to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer