Parashat Terumah (Donation) Exodus 25:1-27:19
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Adar 1
Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
In this week’s Torah portion, a few of the vessels that were in the Tabernacle / Temple are discussed. One of these is of course the Ark of the Covenant. In this brief article, only one aspect of the Ark will be studied. In actuality, there are two main parts to the Ark. The first is the Ark itself and the second is the covering. The Hebrew word from which the name of the covering is derived is atonement. Is it not interesting that the Ark covering is called “atonement”? The reader is also told that upon the covering of the Ark there shall be two Cherubim at each end, facing each other.
What is the purpose of these golden Cherubim and why are they facing each other? In order to find the answer to the first question one needs to remember the first occurrence of Cherubim in the Bible. Because of man’s sin in the Garden of Eden, he was cast out of the Garden and the reader is told that Cherubim was stationed on the East and guarded the way to the Tree of Life. In the Scriptures, the East side relates to judgment. Hence, there was no way for man to get to the Tree of Life without being judged first, for the Cherubim has a sword of fire. In other words, man was without hope to get to the one place, i.e. the Tree of Life, in which there was a solution to his problem. In a symbolic manner, the golden Cherubim instructed man that likewise he was unable to come before G-d (The Presence of G-d dwelt on the Covering of the Ark, see Numbers 7:89) without first being slain.
The Good News is that thanks be to Messiah Yeshua the Tree of Life, i.e. the Cross, has been brought outside and atonement for our sins has been accomplished. There still remains the issue of why the golden Cherubim were facing one another. We have already learned that it was the Living G-d Who dwelt uniquely on the Ark cover, hence both Cherubim were actually facing Him. This is to inform the reader that one of the outcomes of atonement, i.e. accepting Messiah’s work upon the cross, is that the believer will now have his focus upon HaShem.
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