Below is a collection of Parashat Terumah resources聽created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.

This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at聽content@lookstein.org聽if you didn鈥檛 find what you鈥檙e looking for.聽

DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Question #1: In Parashat Terumah, we read about the plans for building the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Everyone shared in bringing all the materials needed so they felt that it truly belonged to all of them. How do you divide up responsibilities in your class or your family? If your class was having an end-of-the-year party, Should one rich family provide all of the treats or should they be equally divided among all of the students? Which plan do you think would be more successful? Why?

Look inside the text, (Shemot 25:2),

讚旨址讘旨值专 讗侄诇 讘旨职谞值讬 讬执砖讉职专指讗值诇 讜职讬执拽职讞讜旨 诇执讬 转旨职专讜旨诪指讛 诪值讗值转 讻旨指诇 讗执讬砖讈 讗植砖讈侄专 讬执讚旨职讘侄谞旨讜旨 诇执讘旨讜止 转旨执拽职讞讜旨 讗侄转 转旨职专讜旨诪指转执讬 – Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.

Question #2: How can a place help bring holiness to a community? One would expect the verse to read, 鈥淢ake me a sanctuary so that I may dwell with it!鈥 The Midrash (and the English translation) offer a beautiful idea. When you donate to building a sanctuary and it is done for the sake of God and it is part of your life, Hashem will bless you and you will feel His presence among you. Nowadays our synagogues are a 鈥渟mall Temple鈥 鈥 a substitute for the sanctuary we once had. How does your synagogue bring Holiness to the community? During this past year of the pandemic, synagogues became active in many different types of 鈥渉elping鈥 and chesed in the community. What happened in your community? How can your family take part in it?

Question #3: Is it important that what you show on the 鈥渙utside鈥 is matched by who you are 鈥渋nside鈥? The commentator Rashi explains that Bezalel, the artist, prepared three boxes for the Ark – two of gold and one of wood. The Ark was made of an inner and outer box of gold. We understand that it should be gold on the outside because it adds to the respect and grandeur of the Ark. But what difference does it make if the inside is gold when no one will ever see it? The Rabbis explain that this comes to teach us that a person must be 鈥済old鈥 on the inside as well as the 鈥渙utside.鈥 What do you think it means to be 鈥済old鈥 both on the inside and outside? Did you ever meet someone who you thought would be very nice and everyone thought he was so amazing and you later discovered his 鈥渋nside鈥 was not at all like the outside impression he gave?

Look inside the text (Shemot 25:11),

聽讜职爪执驻旨执讬转指 讗止转讜止 讝指讛指讘 讟指讛讜止专 诪执讘旨址讬执转 讜旨诪执讞讜旨抓 转旨职爪址驻旨侄谞旨讜旨 – It (the Ark) must be covered in gold both on the inside and outside.

Question #4: The initially stated function of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was for God to dwell amongst the people. That is a noble desire, but possibly terrifying as well. God sees all and knows all; having that palpable presence in our neighborhood can be overwhelming. Would we prefer living in a society with greater individual freedoms, in which the authorities are kept at a distance, but which affords little protection, or one in which 鈥淏ig Brother鈥 sees all and knows all, providing a high level of protection, but limiting our freedoms and individuality?

Question #5: Many of the vessels created for use in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) were made of pure gold or a gold coating over wood. Despite their beauty, they were seen only by a select group of Kohanim (priests) during the service. Are the most important qualities of a person those which are seen on the outside or those which are hidden? What use is there in values which are hidden?