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Weekly D'rash Terumah

Our Torah portion for this week describes the instructions for building the Tabernacle. This structure provided the way that God could dwell in their midst and travel with them along the way. It was never meant to be the permanent dwelling place of God. It could be dismantled easily and moved, as was done for 40 years. It gave them comfort knowing that God was nearby and approachable. Just as the people were nomads in the desert, so God was in a way experiencing a nomadic existence in this world traveling from place to place with the people. The Tabernacle also provided an experience that pointed back to Sinai and ahead to the Promised Land.

This was a radical concept thousands of years ago. Conventional wisdom was that the gods were far off in the mountains and not particularly concerned for people. However, the God of Israel was in the trenches with the people. In this way, the Tabernacle points to the Messiah. Yeshua came into this world to live among his people. He came to "dwell among his own.” Literally, the text reads that he “tabernacled among his own.” God was made visible and understandable in Yeshua. In him is the presence of God—just like the Tabernacle.

After the resurrection of Yeshua, he ascended to the right hand of the Father and poured out the Ruach HaKodesh. When we embrace Yeshua, we receive the Ruach. Yeshua dwells within us via the Ruach HaKodesh. Just like the Tabernacle, God dwells among us on our journey. When you read about the wilderness wanderings, you see that God provided for their needs as well as protected and guided them. Yeshua said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt 28:20). No matter where we are or what we are experiencing, Yeshua knows and we are never alone. The best way for us to experience this truth is to dwell in community with one another. May we all keep our eyes fixed on Yeshua. What a comfort to know that as we follow Yeshua, we will arrive at the destination. Keep moving forward and be encouraged!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Howard

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