Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – February 19-20 (8 Adar 5781)

February 19-20, 2021                                                                                      Parashat Terumah

8 Adar 5781                                                                                                    Shabbat Zachor


Would we do the right thing if weren’t told to do it? This week’s parasha describes the design of the ancient Tabernacle (mishkan = dwelling place; mikdash = sanctuary). The Tabernacle was a large tent that the Israelites carried with them through the wilderness. This was a place for sacrifice and also a place where the Divine could dwell along with the people. The people are commanded to bring construction materials as voluntary offerings: “…from every person whose heart so moves him” (Exodus 25:2). The people are commanded to bring offerings voluntarily. Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin understands this to mean that religious obligation relies on a willing heart.


For Reflection:

  1. Is there a contradiction between being told to do something and wanting to do it?
  2. Is there a connection between being told to do something and wanting to do it?



Shabbat Zachor is the second of four special Shabbatot before Pesach. This week we remember Amalek’s cowardly attack upon the people of Israel as they traveled in the wilderness. We are commanded to remember Amalek’s deed and blot out his name, similar to the way we blot out Haman’s name with our graggers (noisemakers) during the reading of the megillah.



Ta’anit Esther is Thursday, Feb 25 – This is a minor fast day that commemorates the fasting by the Jews before the battle against Haman’s forces. The fast is named for Esther in remembrance of the 3-day fast she proclaimed for all the Jews before she pleaded for their lives before the king.



Purim is Thursday night, Feb 26 and Friday, Feb 27 – Get your costume ready and check your activities calendar for Purim celebrations.



Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 (Residents Only):

Friday at 4:30 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings



Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:

Friday evening at 5:21 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:17 PM



Shabbat Shalom!                                                                                Rabbi Sherman