Parshas Terumah begins a series of four out of five portions which discuss in detail the construction of the Mishkan, the traveling Tabernacle which would serve as a ‘resting place’ for G-d’s presence among the Jewish people. This week’s portion recounts Gd’s description to Moses of how to construct the Mishkan, beginning with a listing of the various precious materials to be collected from the Jewish people for this monumental project. G-d describes the magnificent golden and wooden Ark which would house the tablets of the Ten Commandments, complete with its dazzling cover depicting two cherubim (angels with faces of children) facing each other. Next, G-d provides Moses with the blueprints of the shulchan (holy table) upon which the lechem hapanim (showbread) would be placed each week. Following the description of the pure golden menorah which was to be hammered from one large piece of gold, G-d describes the structure of the Mishkan itself. It contained splendidly woven and embroidered covers, curtains and partitions, and the sturdy outer walls. The Torah portion concludes with instructions for the copper altar and the Mishkan’s large outer courtyard.
This Shabbos we have a special, additional Torah reading, Parshas Zachor. That text (Devarim, 25: 17-19) teaches us the mitzva to remember to wipe out Amalek.