Here's a repost of the d'var Torah I wrote for the now-defunct Radical Torah in 2007. Enjoy!
We're entering a section of Torah which I used to find repetitive and kind of dull, and which I now look forward to ardently: the details of the construction of the mishkan, the portable Tabernacle in which the tablets of the covenant where carried, which the Israelites built (according to detailed instructions) as a home for the presence of God.
Parashat Terumah begins with God's instruction to Moses to tell the Israelites to bring gifts to God, as their hearts move them, and to put those gifts to work in the construction of the mishkan. These are freewill offerings: not tithes, each according to how much a given household can afford, but extravagant gifts of the heart. Give, God seems to be saying, what you most long to see placed in My service. Give your creativity and craftsmanship and compassion. Make a worthy home for My presence in the world.