Weekly Torah Portions

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Summary in Russian
Rav Zilber in Russian

HaShem commands Moshe to build a Mishkan (Sanctuary) and supplies him with detailed instructions. The Beney Yisrael are asked to contribute precious metals and stones, fabrics, skins, oil and spices. 

In the Mishkan's outer courtyard is an Altar for the burnt offerings and a laver for washing. The Tent of Meeting is divided by a curtain into two chambers. The outer chamber is accessible only to the Kohanim, the descendants of Aharon. This contains the Table of showbreads, the Menorah, and the Golden Altar for incense. The innermost chamber, the Holy of Holies, may be entered only by the Kohen Gadol, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur. Here is the Ark that held the Ten Commandments inscribed on the two tablets of stone which HaShem gave to the Jewish nation on Mt. Sinay. All of the utensils and vessels, as well as the construction of the Mishkan, are described in extraordinary detail.

The Offering

   God spoke to Moses, saying:  Speak to the Israelites and have them bring Me an offering. Take My offering from everyone whose heart impels him to give.

   The offering that you take from them shall consist of the following: Gold, silver, copper, sky-blue [wool], dark red [wool], [wool dyed with] crimson worm, linen, goats wool, reddened rams' skins, blue-processed skins, acacia wood, oil for the lamp, spices for the anointing oil and the sweet- smelling incense, and sardonyxes and other precious stones for the ephod and breastplate.

   They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.
   You must make the tabernacle and all its furnishings following the plan that I am showing you.

The Ark

   Make an ark of acacia wood, 2½cubits long, 1½cubits wide, and 1½cubits high.  Cover it with a layer of pure gold on the inside and outside, and make a gold rim all around its top.

   Cast four gold rings for [the ark], and place them on its four corners, two rings on one side, and two on the other side.

   Make two carrying poles of acacia wood and cover them with a layer of gold. Place the poles in the rings on the sides of the ark, so that the ark can be carried with them. The poles must remain in the ark's rings and not be removed.

   It is in this ark that you will place the testimony that I will give you.

{tab=2nd aliya}
Make a golden cover for the ark. 2½cubits  long  and 1½cubits wide.

   Make two golden cherubs, hammering them out from the two ends of the cover. One cherub shall be on one end, and one on the other. Make the cherubs from [the same piece of gold] as the cover itself, on its two ends. The cherubs shall spread their wings upward so that their wings shield the cover. The cherubs shall face one another, but their faces shall [also be inclined downward] toward the cover.

   Place the cover on top of the ark [after] you place into the ark the testimony that I will give you.
   I will commune with you there, speaking to you from above the ark - cover, from between the two cherubs that are on the Ark of Testimony. [In this manner] I will give you instructions for the Israelites.

The Table

   Make a table out of acacia wood, 2 cubits long, one cubit wide, and 1½cubits high. Cover it with a layer of pure gold, and make a gold rim all around it. Make a frame a handbreadth wide all around the table, and on the frame all around, the golden rim shall be placed.

   Make four gold rings for [the table], and place the rings on the four corners of its four legs. The rings shall be adjacent to the frame, [and] they shall be receptacles for the poles with which the table is carried. The poles shall be made of acacia wood and covered with a layer of gold. They will be used to carry the table.

   For [the table] make bread forms, incense bowls, and side frames, as well as the half tubes that will serve as dividers [between the loaves of bread]. All these shall be made of pure gold.

   It is on this table that showbread shall be placed before Me at all times.

{tab=3rd aliya}

The Lamp

   Make a menorah out of pure gold. The menorah shall be formed by hammering it. Its base, stem, and [decorative] cups, spheres and flowers must be hammered out of a [single piece of gold].

   Six branches shall extend from its sides, three branches on one side of the menorah, and three branches on the other side.

   There shall be three embossed cups, as well as a sphere and a flower on each and every one of the branches. All six branches extending from
the menorah's [stem] must be the same in this respect.

   The [shaft of the] menorah shall have four embossed cups along with its spheres and flowers. A sphere shall serve as a base for each pair of
branches extending from [the shaft]. This shall be true for all six branches extending from the [stem of] the menorah. The spheres and branches shall be an integral part of [the menorah]. They shall all be hammered out of a single piece of pure gold.

   Make seven lamps on [the menorah]. Its lamps shall be lit so that they shine [primarily] toward its center.
   [The menorah's] wick tongs and ash scoops shall [also] be made out of pure gold.
   [The menorah], including all its parts, shall be made of a talent of pure gold.
   Carefully observe the pattern that you will be shown on the mountain and make [the menorah] in that manner.

The Tabernacle

    Make the tabernacle out of ten large tapestries consisting of twined linen, and sky-blue, dark red, and crimson [wool], with a pattern of cherubs woven into them. Each tapestry shall be 2 8 cubits long and 4 cubits wide, with each tapestry the same size.

   The [first] five tapestries shall be sewn together, and the [second] five shall [also] be sewn together.

   Make loops of sky-blue wool at the edge of the innermost tapestry of the first group. Do the same on the edge of the innermost tapestry of the second group. Place 50 loops on the one tapestry, and 50 on the edge of the tapestry in the second group. [The two sets of loops shall be made so that] the loops are exactly opposite one another.

   Make 50 golden fasteners. The two [groups of] tapestries will then be able to be joined together, so that the tabernacle will be one piece.
   Make sheets of goat's wool to serve as a tent over the tabernacle. There shall be 11 such sheets, and each sheet shall be 30 cubits long, and 4 cubits wide. All 11 sheets must be the same size.

   Sew together the [first] five sheets by themselves, and the [other] six sheets by themselves. Half of the sixth sheet shall hang over the front of the tent.

   Make 50 loops on the edge of the innermost sheet of the first group, and 50 loops on the edge of the innermost sheet of the second group. Make 50 copper fasteners. Place the fasteners in the loops, bringing the tent together and making it one.

   There will then remain an extra portion from what is left over in [the breadth] of the sheets of the tent. The extra half sheet shall trail behind the back of the tabernacle.

   The extra cubit on both sides in the length of the tent's sheets shall hang down over the sides of the [tapestries of the] tabernacle to cover them on bo6 sides.

   Make a roof for the tent out of reddened rams' skins. Above it make a roof out of the blue processed hides.

{tab=4th aliya}

The Beams

   Make upright beams for the tabernacle out of acacia wood. Each beam shall be 10 cubits long, and 1½cubits wide.                                                                                  

   Each beam shall have two matching square pegs [carved out at the bottom]. All the beams for the tabernacle must be made in this manner.

   Make 20 beams for the southern side of the tabernacle. Place 40 silver bases under the 20 beams. There shall be two bases under each beam, one [to hold] each peg.

   For the second side of the tabernacle to the north, there shall [likewise] be 20 beams and 40 silver bases. [Here too] there shall be two sockets under each and every beam.

   Make six beams for the west side of the tabernacle, and place [another] two beams at the corners.

   [All the beams] must be exactly next to each other on the bottom. [Even pair] shall also be [joined] together evenly on top with a [square] ring. This shall also be done with the two [beams] on the two corners.

   Thus, [on the west side] there will be [a total of] eight beams and 16 silver bases, two bases under each and every beam. 

   Make crossbars out of acacia wood. There shall be five for the beams of the first side of the tabernacle [to the south]. [There shall also be] five for the beams of the second side [to the north], and five for the beams of the tabernacle on the western wall. [Of these], the center crossbar shall
go through the middle of the beams, from one end [of the tabernacle] to the other.

   Cover the beams with a layer of gold. Also make gold rings [on the beams] to hold the crossbars. The crossbars shall also be covered with a layer of gold.

   You will then be ready to set up the tabernacle in the proper manner, as you were shown on the mountain.

{tab=5th aliya}

The Partition

   Make a cloth partition out of sky-blue, dark red and crimson [wool, woven together] with twined linen. Cherubs shall be woven into it [so that they can be seen on both sides]. Place it on four gold-covered acacia pillars having gold hooks. [The pillars shall be] set in four silver sockets.

   Place the cloth partition directly under the fastenings [holding the tapestries together].

   Into the space behind this curtain you will bring the Ark of Testimony. This curtain will thus divide between the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies. You will then place the cover on the Ark of Testimony in the Holy of Holies.

   Place the table outside the curtain, toward the northern wall of the tabernacle. The menorah shall be opposite the table, toward the southern wall of the tabernacle.
Make a drape for the entrance of the tent, out of sky-blue, dark red and crimson wool, and twined linen. It shall be embroidered work.  Make five acacia pillars to hold the drape. Cover them with a layer of gold and place golden hooks on them. Cast five copper bases for [the pillars].

{tab=6th aliya}

The Altar

   Make the altar out of acacia wood. The altar shall be square, 5 cubits by 5 cubits, and 3 cubits high. Make protrusions on all four sides as an integral part of [the altar]. Then cover it with a layer of copper.

   Make pots to remove its greasy ashes, as well as scoops, sacrificial basins, flesh pokers, and fire pans [for the altar]. All these instruments shall be made of copper.

   Make a screen out of copper net to go around [the altar]. Place four copper rings on the four corners of the screen. The screen shall be placed below the decorative border of the altar, extending downward until the middle of the altar.

   Make carrying poles for the altar out of acacia wood covered with a layer of copper. Place the poles in the rings so that the poles will be on the two sides of the altar when it is carried.

   [The altar] shall be a hollow structure made out of boards. You must make it as you were shown on the mountain.

{tab=7th aliya}

The Enclosure

   Make the enclosure for the tabernacle in this manner:

  On the south side, there shall be hangings made of twined linen. [Like all the other] sides, it shall be 100 cubits long. It shall have 20 pillars and 20 copper bases. The hooks and bands for the pillars shall be made of silver.

   The same shall be done on the north side. The hangings shall be 100 cubits long, with 20 pillars and 20 copper bases, with silver hooks and bands for the pillars.

   The width of the hangings at the western end of the enclosure shall be 50 cubits, and it shall have 10 pillars and 10 bases.

   The width of the enclosure at its eastern end shall [also] be 50cubits. [Of this,] the hangings on one side of [the entrance] shall be 15 cubits long, with 3 pillars and 3 bases. On the other side, the hangings shall [also] be 15 [cubits long], with 3 pillars and 3 bases. The entrance of the enclosure shall [be covered] with a 20 cubit embroidered drape made of sky-blue, dark red, and crimson wool together with twisted linen. It shall have 4 pillars and 4 bases.

   All the pillars of the outer enclosure shall have silver hoops, silver hooks, and copper bases.

   The length of the enclosure shall be 100 cubits, and its width shall be 50 cubits. [The pillars holding the hangings] of twined linen shall be 5 cubits high, and their bases shall be made of copper.

   All the equipment used to make the tabernacle shall be made out of copper. The stakes [for the tabernacle itself], and all the stakes for the enclosure shall also be made of copper.

Б-г велел Моше построить мишкан (шатер-святилище), явив ему зримый образ-модель и дав подробные указания. Все необходимые для строительства и начала служения материалы - драгоценные металлы и камни, ткани, кожи, ценные породы дерева, ароматические масла и благовония - должны были поступить от евреев в качестве добровольных пожертвований.

Во внешнем дворе святилища должен был находится жертвенник и медный умывальник. Сам шатер откровения разделялся завесой на два покоя. Во внешний покой имели доступ только когены (жрецы), потомки Аарона. Там находился стол с хлебами приношения, менора (семисвечник) и золотой жертвенник для воскурений. Во внутреннее помещение, святая святыx, мог войти только первосвященник (коген гадоль) и только один раз в год - в Судный день (День искупления, Йом Кипур). Здесь находился ковчег свидетельства, содержавший каменные скрижали с десятью заповедями, полученные на горе Синай. Большая часть недельного раздела посвящена детальному описанию инструментов, принадлежностей и конструкции святилища.



Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman (in English)