Dear Fifth grade families,
Please keep in mind that this week, we only had 2 days for our Parasha lessons, so the students might be a little less polished when discussing these lessons with you.
This week in Kitah Heh we learned about the Parashah of Teruma. In this Parashah the Children of Israel in the desert brought gifts in order to build a portable place to connect with Hashem—This home for Hashem was called a Mishkan. Hashem tells Moshe “build this place and I will live among them”. So our big question for this week is why did Hashem say “among them –בתוכם” in the plural? The people were only asked to build one Mishkan, not many Mishkanim.
We looked at three explanations. The first one is a book of Midrashim called “Midrash Tanchuma” that was written in the land of Israel about 1500 years ago. Here we read that the word that means “among them” refers to placing of the Mishkan in the center between all of the camps of the different Tribes of Israel. The Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman) who lived in Spain and Israel about 800 years ago, wrote that the word that means “among them” refers to all of the utensils that the Children of Israel were told to place in the Mishkan—the Aron Kodesh, Menorah, etc. The last explanation that we read was from a Rabbi who is known as the Natziv. Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berliz who lived in Russia about 150 years ago, wrote that the word that means “among them” means in the hearts of each member of the Jewish people.
Today, we no longer have a Mishkan, a Beit HaMikdash or any of the utensils from either of these amazing places that helped us to connect with Hashem. Each of us must build in our hearts a Mishkan where we can connect with Hashem on a personal level.
Morah Donna and Morah Yiska