Parshat Terumah Summary

Parshat Terumah is the 7th parsha in Sefer Shemot (also known as Exodus).

This parsha is verses Exodus 25:1 – 27:19, or a total of 96 verses.

Here is a brief summary for each aliyah.

A major theme of Exodus from now until the end of the book is building the Tabernacle (called in Hebrew the Mishkan). The Tabernacle was a portable facility that served as the central place of worship in the wilderness.

Aliyah 1: Exodus 25:1 – 25:16, 16 verses

God commands Moses to speak to the Jewish people about contributing their wealth to build the Tabernacle.

The first few verses list what items should be donated by those who are willing to donate.

The God tells Moses how to build the Ark (called aron hakodesh in Hebrew). The Ark will hold the Tablets and some other memorials of the time the Jewish people wandered.

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Aliyah 2: Exodus 25:17 – 25:30, 14 verses

Next God tells Moses the form of the cover for the Ark.

The next piece of furniture is the Table (shulchan in Hebrew). The Table is where the Show Bread will be placed.

Aliyah 3: Exodus 25:31 – 26:14, 24 verses

Next up is the Menorah. The Menorah had 7 lamps that were lit every day.

The Ark, the Table, and the Menorah were all placed inside the Tabernacle. In addition, there was an Incense Altar that was placed inside. It is not described until the end of Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 30:1-10).

The Tabernacle was covered by 2 sets of curtains and a cover. One set of curtains was made of linen and wool. The second set was made of goats hair. The cover was made of ram skins.

Aliyah 4: Exodus 26:15 – 26:30, 16 verses

The walls of the Tabernacle were made of wooden planks coated with gold. These boards were stood in sockets made out of silver.

The inner dimensions of the Tabernacle were 30 cubits long by 10 cubits wide. (We don’t know the exact length of a cubit. It’s between 18 – 24 inches. If we use the larger number, then the Tabernacle was 60 feet long by 20 feet wide.)

Aliyah 5: Exodus 26:31 – 26:37, 7 verses

A curtain inside the Tabernacle divided it into 2 sections. The smaller section, the Holy of Holies, was 10 x 10 cubits. The Ark was placed in the Holy of Holies.

The larger section, at the front of the Tabernacle, was 20 x 10 cubits. The Table, Menorah, and Incense Altar were placed in this section.

Aliyah 6: Exodus 27:1 – 27:8, 8 verses

Next God instructed Moses about the Altar. This Altar was placed outside the Tabernacle, but in the Courtyard that surrounded it.

The Altar was made of boards that were coated with copper. This Altar served a central role in the daily and other animal offerings. Depending on the offering, blood would be sprinkled on it and portions of the offering would be burnt on top of it.

This photo shows a full-size model of the Tabernacle. It’s located in Timna Park in southern Israel:

Tabernacle in Timna Park

Aliyah 7: Exodus 27:9 – 27:19, 11 verses

The Tabernacle was surrounded by a Courtyard. The Courtyard was 100 cubits long by 50 cubits wide (about 200 x 100 feet).

The sides of the Courtyard were linen curtains supported by wooden pillars. The pillars were coated with silver that stood in copper sockets.

The long sides of the Courtyard were on the north and the south. The two short sides were on the west and the east. The entrance was on the east end.

Haftarah Summary

The haftarah is found in 1 Kings 5:26 – 6:13.

King David had wanted to build the Temple (Beit HaMikdash in Hebrew), as a permanent replacement for the Tabernacle. God did not permit him to build it. David’s son Solomon (Shlomo) was permitted to build it. The haftarah describes many of the features of Solomon’s temple and the building activity.

Further Reading

You might find this article about building the Tabernacle interesting.

A Note on the Translations
The translation of Bible verses is based on the Judaica Press Tanach.
The translation of Gemara is based on the Soncino Talmud.
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