Exodus 27:8
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8  Make it hollow, of boards. As you were shown on the mountain, so shall they be made.

n’-VUV lu-KHOT ta-a-SEH o-TO ka-a-SHER her-AH o-t’-KHA ba-HAR KAYN ya-a-SU

ח  נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָה אֹתְךָ בָּהָר כֵּן יַעֲשׂוּ׃

 27:8   Hollow, of boards

The altar is constructed from hollow boards that are filled with earth whenever the Israelites camp and reassemble the Mishkan in the desert. Only once the nation reaches Eretz Yisrael is a permanent, solid altar of stone constructed. These hollow planks reflect the transitory life of the Israelites in the desert. Only once they reach the Land of Israel can they finally settle into their permanent home. This is a timeless message to Jews in exile: Life outside of Israel should be seen as temporary, and homes and businesses should be built accordingly. The Land of Israel is the only truly permanent home for the People of Israel.

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Exodus 27
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  • “…filled with earth…”? That’s not in the Scriptures. Then the grate would be unnecessary. How would the ashes be retrieved?

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Exodus 27:8

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