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.
This is the part of the Torah I used to find -- I admit it -- deathly dull. Oy, thirteen weeks' worth of readings about the construction of the tabernacle? But the more I invest myself in the process of finding meaning in the text, the more it opens up for me. Today this section of Torah feels to me like a glorious extended metaphor for the work of tending the world so that God's presence can be fully housed, and felt, here where we are.
In this week's d'var at Radical Torah, I talk some about what I'm finding here this time around:
Build a table, the text tells us -- again, acacia wood overlaid with gold -- and on it, place the bread of display, to be before God always. What can this mean today, when we've had neither mishkan nor bread of display in millennia? When we invest ourselves in the holy work of creating a place among us where God's presence can dwell -- whether through learning to daven deeply and with passion, or working to alleviate need, or teaching others to access what enlightens our lives -- we are building that table in our own hearts.
Read the whole thing here: The place we build for God.