Goat-Busters: Terumah 2021

by Adam J. Rosenbaum

Pre-Game Chatter: What is the strangest creation you’ve ever made? Was the creation of your own invention, or did you get the idea from someone else? Were you able to take pride in what you made?

Assigned to create a holy structure in the middle of the wilderness, the Israelites are commanded to use all kinds of materials to complete the Mishkan, God’s portable sanctuary:

The Pitch: “You shall then make cloths of goats’ hair for a tent over the Tabernacle; make the cloths eleven in number.” – Exodus 26:7

Swing #1: “Goat hair can be spun into yarn and then woven into waterproof cloth. It has been used for tents in the Middle East for millennia.” – The Torah: A Woman’s Commentary, Tamara Cohn Eskenazi & Andrea L. Weiss, ed.

Swing #2: “Here one gets the impression that ‘tent’ is being used to describe the cover that fits on the wooden structure of the Mishkan.” – James K. Hoffheimer, Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition

Swing #3: “The purpose of what was called ‘Mishkan’ had not been to serve as a tent, but to assure that the cherubs would be surrounding the Shechinah.” – Sforno

Late-Inning Questions: Do you get the sense that it was normal for our ancestors to use many types of materials to create the things they needed? Do we make the most of the resources we have available to us today? What are the consequences if we don’t?

On-Deck at TBT: Purim is coming next week! Check out this link for all that we’re doing for the holiday.

The Big Inning at the End: Speaking of making the most of our resources, the 2019 Seattle Mariners set a record by using 67 different players in one season. Let’s hope that the continuing pandemic doesn’t cause that record to be shattered in 2021.

Shabbat Shalom!