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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Portable Biblical Tabernacle, Mishkan,

Yesterday at our women's Shabbat Torah Class, we talked about the Mishkan, Tabernacle, which is the main topic of the Book of Vayikra,  Leviticus which we just finished reading. The neighbor who spoke to us started by reminding us that there isn't a clear chronology in the Bible. That means that events didn't happen in the order we read them.

A few years ago I studied Bamidbar, Numbers, in Matan, taught by Atara Snowbell, and  one of the important things she began with was to say that Vayikra and Bamidbar happened simultaneously. The books each cover different aspects of that time period.

Back to Vayikra and the Tabernacle. Yesterday we were reminded that the "Sin of the Golden Calf" occured right after the Jewish People escaped from Egypt, before the building of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle in the wilderness was to remedy the people's need for a place to worship, even before entering the Land of Israel. Of course, parallel to this was the "Sin of the Spies," when the people and tribal leaders voted that they weren't ready/capable of the challenges of entering the Promised Land and defeating those there.

In short, those two major sins, the "Golden Calf" and "the Spies" were the reasons why we not only had to wait forty years for a new generation to be ready to enter the Land, but we had a place to worship Gd, the Tabernacle as a central meeting point. Not only was the forty years a time for the twelve Jewish tribes of former slaves to become a People, but the early form of community Judaism developed then, too.

I photoshopped the Tabernacle onto the spot in Tel Shiloh, it is believed to have been in Biblical times.


Yocheved Golani said...

Great insight, Batya!

Batya Medad said...

Thanks, Yocheved