God’s People Give

Today’s “parasha” }פרשה}(weekly Torah portion) is ” Terumah” {תרומה} – which is the seventh “parasha” in the Book of Exodus and is found in Exodus 25:1–27:19.

This “parasha” is the first of four upcoming weekly Torah portions regarding the building of the Tabernacle and its vessels. The name of the weekly Torah portion is “Terumah” which is Hebrew for ‘contribution’ or ‘donation’ (and can also be translated in this context as simply ‘gift’).


Let’s have a look at the opening verses of the “Parashah”:

“The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.” (Exodus 25:1-2)

Many Bible commentators have noticed the odd grammatical structure of the sentence – which is found in the original Hebrew as well – “that they TAKE for Me a contribution.”

A contribution is something a person is GIVING and not TAKING, so why is it written like that in the Bible?

The Midrash {מדרש} (ancient Jewish tradition) explains that since everything belongs to God, one simply ‘gives’ a contribution (which was of God in the first place) so he could TAKE part and participate in the great cause of building the Tabernacle and by doing so would become closer to God!