שְׁמוֹת / shemos / shemot / Exodus 25:1-27:19
Whoops – Edited to add: please sing to the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine.” And I’m sorry.
In the mishkan, in the kodesh, in the kodesh hak’dashim,
Sat an aron, never barren, held the luchos in its gleam.
Two k’ruvim formed above it, shining faces turned within,
Wings outstretched and their features etched, each beside its golden twin.
Only one man, could go in there, only the kohein gadol,
Dressed in all-white, Yom Kippur sight, with ketores in a bowl.
Then he came out, through the curtains, to the holy outer place,
All of the Jews, watched for his cues, saw the glow upon his face.
There were three times, in the whole year, that they came before Hashem,
Pesach, Sukkos and Shavuos were the times He called for them.
To the courtyard came korbanos, to the massive copper ramp,
They brought their best; it was a test, of loyalty within our camp.
Before kohanim went to work there, they would have to wash their hands,
From the kiyor, water pure; cleansed of dust and desert sands.
In the kodesh, past the curtain, they would set the weekly bread,
It stayed so sweet, so fine to eat; never stale, as Moshe said.
Every day the kohein gadol would ascend to light the flame,
Purest oil, he would toil; once a year, we do the same.
On an altar, clad in pure gold, sacred spices burnt each day,
Mixed up just right, fresh every night, in exactly the right way.
Every thing was built as He said; every single fine detail,
Staying so strong, lasting so long, that no enemy’d assail.
Oh, the sights there; oh, to see them – but those sights are lost today;
Sent away and gone from our land… to return, we daily pray.
“Build a mishkan, I will dwell there,” Hashem’s promise still holds true,
Always learning, keeps it burning… and He’s always close to you!