Torah Tidbits

21 August 2014 / 25 Av 5774
Issue 1034
Shabbat Parshat T'rumah
February 14, 2013

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat T’rumah introduces us to the subject of the Mishkan, the Dwelling Place of Hashem’s Divine Presence and the central location where service to G-d would take place in the wilderness. Our rabbis were intrigued concerning the very essence and purpose of such a focal point of prayer and sacrifice, especially at this highly spiritual juncture when the people had just experienced Revelation at Sinai.
For the S’forno, the establishment of the Mishkan was a consequence of the Sin of the Golden Calf, indicating that as high as we might reach in the spiritual realm, it is but the flutter of a butterfly’s wing and we have the propensity to fall to the lowest levels once again. The chronological order of the Torah text notwithstanding (cf. Rashi), this might explain the juxtaposition of the aforementioned civil laws and the rules for building the Sanctuary. For, thereby, we are taught that at all times and in every aspect of our lives we should strive to create a dwelling place for the Shechina in our hearts and minds. 
Today the Mishkan and Mikdash are represented by the Beit Knesset and Beit Midrash. But not for nothing are Jewish homes also called Mikdash Me’at or miniature sanctuaries. The challenge, it seems, is whether we can maintain and fortify that exalted feeling and commitment of Har Sinai so that we not only sanctify ourselves but we also draw Hashem’s Presence into this world.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading

If you have missed this TT feature, let us know. Here’s a review of NASOG ACHOR with an interesting example from the sedra.
In describing the length of the south and north sides of the courtyard of the Mishkan (each 100 amot long), we find these phrases:
MEIA B’AMAORECH (Sh’mot 27:9)
Meia Orech (27:11)
In the first example, the word ME’AH is accented (see the TROP-mark) on the last syllable. mei-A. This is the proper accenting for the word.
In the second example, the accent is on the earlier syllable. MEI-a. Usually, when a word like mei-A is followed by either a one-syllable word or a two-syllable word that is accented on the next-to-the-last syllable (O-rech), in the same phrase - the first word’s accent recedes to the earlier syllable too. mei-A, but MEI-a O-rech. NASOG ACHOR.

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