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Terumah- The Secret of The Sacrifices

By Rabbi Moshe Bernstein

This Torah portion describes the eternal divine commandment to build a holy “House for G-d” which was initially fulfilled with the mobile Temple-Mishkan in the desert. However, the ultimate perfection was only reached by the Jerusalem Holy Temple. The donation to build a home for Hashem was to be done voluntarily, not in response to a command from heaven. A Noahide may voluntarily bring a burnt offering to the Holy Temple. Why a burnt offering? What is so special about this type of sacrifice?

The Hebrew word for sacrifice is korban, which comes from the word karov, meaning “close.” The idea behind it is to bring yourself closer to G-dliness, to reinforce your connection with G-d.

How does a finite human being get closer to infinite G-d? By being spiritually a “burnt offering.” While only parts of other sacrifices were burnt on the altar, the burnt offering was entirely consumed on the altar. G-d wants us to give our total self to him and to allow the entire being to be elevated, to become one with Him.

With the absence of a Temple and altar today, it is forbidden to offer sacrifices. However, prayers today are in place of the sacrifices. Prayer is a time when we “offer” our animal soul to G-d, refining our animalistic tendencies and submitting them to the will of Hashem.

We all expect that soon, the Third Temple will be rebuilt, where sacrifices will be offered once again. Noahides will come and even participate in the Holy Temple sacrifices by bringing burnt offerings. As written in Isaiah 2:2-3 "And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it."

By Rabbi Moshe Bernstein


Rabbi Moshe Bernstein is a writer and a Community Rabbi in Netanya, Israel. He believes in making connections between the Jewish People and the Noahides worldwide in order to share and enhance the knowledge of the Torah's Universal Code for Humanity and fulfill Isaiah's Prophecy 11:9 " And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the oceans".


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