URIM VETUMIM, THE JEWISH ORACLE

March 6th, 2019

The “Urim” and “Tumim” were a means of divination for the Jewish nation created together with the Mishkan. While the Urim Ve’tumim are never actually described in the Torah, they must have been a material object, as they were physically located in the breastplate of the High Priest, as recorded in Tetzaveh (Exodus 28:30).

Used at critical moments in Jewish history whenever divine guidance was required, the Urim Ve’Tumim played a central role during our formative years as a nation.

What were they, and why were they necessary? How exactly did they work? Why was this supernatural medium given to the High Priest and not the prophet? And what happened to them after the destruction of the First Temple?

Rabbi Dunner takes a look at these questions, and the more confounding puzzle of the Urim Ve’Tumim’s absence from Pekudei, examining a range of sources, and revealing the background and history of this remarkable biblical phenomenon.

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