Rabbi Avi Weinstein

More than a Building Manual

In cherubs, Mishkan, Parshat Terumah on February 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

After all the epic themes of Genesis, and the high pyrotechnic drama of nation building and revelation, we have Parshat Terumah. A place where many a Jew has been known to stop reading. After all, it’s hard to get cranked up over a Divine House instruction manual. With a little imagination, however, a healthy curiosity, and some patience,this building manual holds clues that do reveal more than meets the eye.

For instance, take the cherubs,

Exodus Chapter 25
18 You are to make two cherubs of gold, of hammered-work are you to make them, at the two ends of the purgation-cover.
19 Make one cherub at the end here and one cherub at the end there; from the purgation-cover are you to make the two sphinxes, at its two ends.
20 And the cherubs are to be spreading (their) wings upward with their wings sheltering the purgation-cover, their faces, each-one toward the other; toward the cover are the cherubs? faces to be.
21 You are to put the cover on the coffer, above it, and in the coffer you are to put the Testimony that I give you.
22 I will appoint-meeting with you there and I will speak with you from above the cover, from between the cherubs that are on the coffer of Testimony? all that I command you concerning the Children of Israel.

If you were trying to promote a religion that shunned the worship of graven images would you place two cherubs directly below the presence of your voice? On top of that, would you not give any explicit purpose for these cherubs? Click here for a lengthy look at what those little guys are doing there?

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