Shabbat Parashat Terumah| 5766
Terumah | | 01/01/2005
The aron (ark) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was the first article that Moshe was commanded to make. This is but one indication of its centrality in causing the Divine Presence to dwell in the Mishkan. The Mishkan’s entire status was in fact affected by the aron’spresence or absence. The tosefta (Zevachim 13:19) says that when the aron was missing from the Mishkan, the Mishkan’shalachicstatuswas significantly lowered to that of a bama gedola (great altar).
Case: A couple was married civilly in Russia in a ceremony in which the groom presented the bride with a ring in front of several Jews. Years later, the husband went to fight in WW II and did not return. The Russian army informed the wife that he had disappeared during a battle and was never heard from again, an account corroborated by a Jewish witness. Decades later the woman wants to remarry.
On the topic of prophecy, it is important to appreciate the differing approaches of the Rambam and R. Yehuda Halevi (=Rihal). Rihal sees prophecy as a sort of sixth sense, by which a prophet sees, hears, and knows things that others are not able to. As a sense, prophecy cannot be learned, but is a capability one must be blessed with. Just as one cannot explain color to the blind, so is it impossible to explain the feelings of a prophet to those who are not prophets.
This edition of
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).