This week we are in our 19th weekly Torah portion. We are following the Jewish calendar reading cycle for one year. The portion, or parashah, goes from Exodus 25:1 to 27:19. The name of the portion is Terumah which in Hebrew means “offering,” a fitting name since the text covers the intricate blueprints for the Tabernacle and its furnishings.

The question naturally arises to the curious reader, why does the writer of Exodus spend so much time offering a verbal blueprint for the Mishkan? Usually, the amount of textual space a given story occupies in the Bible is reflective of its relative importance. So, if God created the world in only one chapter of Genesis, why does it take six chapters to build the Tabernacle?