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1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. 10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 23 Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway. 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlesticks shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

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1 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "God never wants followers who perform rituals via rote or pre-programmed methods, God only wants what we give him willingly from our heart. The performance of God's laws, the 613 commandments, must come because we want a relationship with Him and want to obey his word. This is why God tells Moses to take offerings only from the people who give willingly with their hearts.  Psalm 51:17 - My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise."
2 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The Hebrew words וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם  literally mean "They shall make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell in them". Meaning, that even though the Tabernacle was the physical home for God's presence, through each person contributing from his heart, God assured the people that he would dwell within every individual."
3 Sarah R = ""This section goes into great detail regarding the divine pattern for the place where the Lord Himself would dwell among His people. The tabernacle and its ministry are the two central features—details of the tabernacle construction, and the precise elements, manner, and persons to be employed in God’s service are carefully specified. The inauguration of the covenant had established God’s kingship over Israel. That kingship was now to be appropriately recognized by the building of a residence for God as a symbol of His royal authority over Israel."- The Reformation Study Bible note"
4 Sarah R = "A replica of the Ark of the Covenant."
5 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "We read in the Parsha  ( Torah portion) the following;They shall make an Ark of acacia wood ( Atzei Shittim), two and a half cubits its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height.. And you shall overlay it with pure gold; from inside and from outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make upon it a golden crown all around.( Exodus 25:10-11) The people were being commanded to place the most precious item in the world into this vessel they were to create. The very words of G-d carved into stone were to be placed into an Ark made of acacia wood lined with gold. On the one hand the Menorah representing G-d's light was to be made of pure gold (ibid 25:31) and on the other these precious tablets were to be placed in an Ark made of  wood that was simply lined with gold. Furthermore, the choice of using Atzei Shittim seemed to have been predestined and predetermined. The  midrash  ( quoted by Rashi ibid  25:5) tells us that that one of the first things the Patriarch Yaacov did when he entered Egypt was to plant Shittim trees for use in the Tabernacle over 200 years later. The use of this specific type of wood was clearly not to be a choice of happenstance. More perplexing is the fact that this type of tree called Atzei Shittim whispers of another more difficult chapter in the history of this newly formed people.: “Israel settled in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moav . They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and prostrated themselves to their gods.”( Numbers 25:1-2) The area and the fountain it contained were called Shittim because of the abundance of Shittim trees in the area. The Midrash Rabba declares "the fountain of Shittim was a place of harlotry and it was the one that watered Sodom." It was that sense of moral lowness that leads to the idol worship. Rabbi Kook describes the process of idolatry that occurred in Shittim and the idolatry of Peor in the following way .  "The source of idolatry's appeal is in fact a holy one - an impassioned desire for closeness to G-d. Ignorance and moral turpitude, however, prevent this closeness, blocking the divine light from the soul. ... Instead of correcting one's flaws, these spiritual yearnings are distorted into cravings for idolatry. The unholy alliance of spiritual yearnings together with immoral and decadent behavior produces the intrinsic foulness of idolatry. "( Shemoneh Kvatzim) One is left wondering why it was these specific  trees from this specific location that were used to create the ark. Our sages teach  that G-d always “prepares the remedy before the illness”. The use of the Atzei Shittim was in fact the cure for the moral failures of the people in Shittim. We have a way of losing our way when we begin to feel unworthy and impure. Bilaam the prophet of the nations realized that he could not curse the people of Israel Instead at Shittim he tried to debase them into a sense of moral unworthiness and in that lowered state they fell into idolatry. The ark of the covenant and the tabernacle were going to be a constant reminder of G-d resting within their midst. The ark built of those same trees would reinforce the understanding that moral turpitude was not a function of trees, or springs of water but a matter of choice.The use of the same wood would be a tikkun ( a spiritual repairing) of the sins related to these trees. The verse in the book of Numbers (25:1) reads  "And Israel resided (vayeishev) in Shittim"  The Gemara in Sanhedrin (106a) asserts that every time the word vayeishev is used in Tanach it foretells of difficulty and pain. VaYeshev  usually refers to a lack of growth and movement. They become used to where they were both spiritually and physically. A person can never remain standing and thereby  become stuck or stagnant. Either he is progressing or he ends up regressing. The people and the land of Israel in our time are undergoing the same dilemma and battle. There are those amongst our people who have lost the vision to grow and progress. Generations of exile mentality has taken its toll. Yet there are others that hear the call of destiny and struggle forward in answer to that call. Rabbi Eliyahu Mali in his book “Orot Mitzion” points to the Midrash Rabba’s deeper connection. The prophets Zechariah, Joel and Ezekiel describe of the  healing waters coming from the Temple mount and healing the bitter waters ” Then said he unto me: 'These waters issue forth toward the eastern region, and shall go down into the Aravah; and when they shall enter into the sea, into the sea of the putrid waters, the waters shall be healed(Ezekiel 47:8) It is in the merit of those that will  not “settle” but will constantly move forward  and grow, that the prophecy of Joel regarding this healing river of water will also be fulfilled. Waters that will heal the plague of unworthiness experienced at Shittim "And a fountain shall come forth of the house of G-d, and shall water the valley of Shittim."  (Joel 4:18) Moshe Kempinski"
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "All of the measurements for the Ark were in half cubits to teach us that it wasn't complete until it joined with Israel.In other words, each person must always feel as if they are half of the equation and God is the other half. Only by joining both do we become whole."
7 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The center portion of the Ark of the Covenant was made from shittim wood which was covered on the outside and inside with pure gold. In essence there were three layers to the Ark. Why was it necessary to make these three layers? It would have been much easier to just make one box out of pure gold instead of separate layers of gold, wood, and gold.This comes to teach us that our service to God must contain an inner portion which is "living" [like wood] so to speak, and once the inner portion is "alive", we can then decorate our external service with niceties. It's what's on the inside that counts."
8 Sarah R = ""This table is to be placed in a special room of the congregation tent with the elements symbolic of God’s place among His people. One of the major elements is the bread of the Presence; it is arranged in two rows of six flat loaves representing the twelve sons of Israel. There is also a pan for holding incense and pitchers for fine wine; all these elements remind God’s people of His loving grace. The golden lampstand stands nearby, bathing the room and its contents in warm light. This special room and all it contains stimulate the senses—sight, smell, touch, and taste—and serve to remind those who enter of God’s tangible blessings."- The Voice Study Bible note for Exodus 25"