Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parashat Truma

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Teruma. The portion begins with G-d's commandment that the Jews contribute gold, silver, copper and many more items to construct the Mishkon (Tabernacle/ temporary Temple), which will be a dwelling for Hashem. The portion continues describing all the artifacts and utensils needed for the services in the Mishkon. For every article, Hashem gave exact specifications for every article. The contributions were to be, from everyone according to his/her desire.

The commentaries explain the relation between the portion of Mishpotim (last weeks portion), which discusses the laws related to someone else's property, finances etc. and Teruma (this weeks portion) in which donations for the Mishkon is discussed. One shall not think because he does good deeds with his money he is free to earn it as he wishes, first he must adhere to the laws of Choshen Mishpot - proper monetary relations (Mishpotim), and only then can there be Teruma (contribution).

An additional relation between the two portions can be explained by the following Medrash in this weeks portion: As soon as the Jews said Naase Venishma (We will do and we will hear), immediately Hashem commanded them to make a Mishkon. The Bnei Yisoschor explains the phrase in Tehilim whereby the Angels ask Hashem to leave the Torah in Heaven for them (Tno hodcho al Hashomayim). The Angels argued that they have first rights, for they are closer to Hashem. The law is, that when one sells a property, he first needs to offer it to the closest property owner (neighbor), and if he/she refuses he can then sell it to someone else. This applies only when there's no loss by selling it to the neighbor, however if there's loss involved, then he's not obligated to sell it to the neighbor. Says the Bnei Yisoschor, Hashem answered the Malochim, to you there's no challenge, therefore it's cheap the Jews have a Yeitzer Hora, therefore their service is much more valuable and they get the Torah. The Medrash says that when the Jews said Naase Venishma, the Yeitzer Hora left them, based on the Bnei Yoisoschor, the Satmar Rebbe adds that now the angels may request the Torah should remain in Heaven, therefore Hashem said immediately "create a dwelling for me so I will be present among you". This way we gain the neighbor status, and we keep the Torah. Perhaps this also the connection between the end of Mishpotim where the Torah describes the Great event of Kabolas HaTorah, and Terumah.

May we merit to see the days of glory with the construction of the permanent Bais Hamikdosh (Temple) speedily in our times.

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