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Terumah -the travelling Torah

The Mishkan (The Tabernacle) (Hebrew: משכן‎, mishkan, “residence” or “dwelling place”), was a mobile unit, moved from place to place over the 40-year period in the desert.  Its appurtenances: the ark, table and alter were equipped with poles that fitted into rings that were attached to their sides, to facilitate mobility. The poles of the table and alter were removed when the Mishkan was set up again in a new location. However, the Torah specifically tells us that even when the Mishkan was at rest and placed in the Holy of Holies, the poles were to remain in the rings of the ark.  

 

What is the reason for this order? The ark carried within it the two tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. Perhaps the permanent poles symbolize the fact that the Torah must always travel with us. The poles that allow the Torah to be mobile are an integral part of the Torah. The Torah will never be history or become a relic. The Torah must never be left behind as a quaint collection of rituals and culture which belong to the past. The Torah is vibrant, alive forever, relevant and perpetually moving forward in every generation and through every challenge of time.

 

 

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