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Parshat T'rumah


"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose hearts so moves him. And these are the gifts that you shall accept from them: gold, silver, and copper; blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, goats' hair, tanned ram skins, dolphin skins, and acacia wood...And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. Exactly as I show you--the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings--so shall you make it.'"

G-d proceeds to micromanage His holy construction project of the portable ark that the Israelites will carry with them through the desert for the next forty years, ultimately building Him a permanent sanctuary when they arrive in Israel. It's no surprise that G-d oversees every single aspect and does not allow any change orders: He is a demanding architect, contractor, designer, co-op board president and even owner's rep all at the same time. His instructions are so exact that it feels like T'rumah must be the origin of the literary expression "G-d is in the details" (but apparently it's not).

"'They shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high...You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it. Make a rim of a hand's breadth around it, and make a gold molding for its rim and round about...'"

The list goes on and on.

"'You shall make a curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen; it shall have a design of cherubim worked into it. Hang it upon four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and having hooks of gold, [set] in four sockets of silver...'"

Essentially, T'rumah is the Biblical version of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese art that correlates the design of spaces and placement of objects with positive energy flow. How appropriate, then, that we read this high-end interior design manual this week since today marks the beginning of Chinese New Year (the year of the dog). Xinnian Kuaile, Gongxi Facai!

Or, as Shabbat Mom likes to say,

Shabbat Shalom!

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