Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dvar Torah for Parshas Terumah

       In this week’s parshah, Parshas Terumah, Hashem begins describing to Moshe the design and structure of the Mishkan and its’ utensils. The parshah begins with Hashem telling him the materials that will be required for the building and how they will be collected. “דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי. וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם זָהָב וָכֶסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת." “Speak to the Children of Yisrael and they shall take to Me a portion, from every man whose heart will motivate him you shall take My portion. This is the portion that you shall take from them: gold, and silver, and copper” (Shemos 25:2-3). Rashi asks in Pasuk 2, how come the pasuk mentions this “תְּרוּמָה”, the donations, three different times? He explains that there were three different things Bnei Yisrael had to donate for. The first donation was the Half-Shekel donation mentioned in Parshas Ki Sisa, and which we read about last week in Parshas Shekalim, which was required for all adult males and was used to pay for the sockets of the pillars of the Mishkan. The second was also required of all adult males and was used to pay for the communal korbanos. The third one was for materials for the Mishkan building, and was optional and open to every person.
       The Kli Yakar asks several questions on these pesukim. First of all, how come the first two תרומות are applied to Hashem (“they shall take to Me a portion”, “you shall take My portion” [25:2]) and the third is not (“the portion you should take from them” [25:3])? Secondly, how come by the first two, the language of “יקח”, taking, is mentioned before the תְּרוּמָה and by the third it’s mentioned afterward? Finally, we brought Rashi who explained that the first two sets of donations, mentioned in Pasuk 2, were mandatory while the third was optional. So how come in Pasuk 2, by the two mandatory donations, the Torah writes, “מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ“from every man whose heart will motivate him”, it’s a required donation! It has nothing to do with how a person feels about donating!
       The Kli Yakar begins by explaining that since the first two sets of donations were required, no one could stop the collectors from collecting the money from the people. Therefore, the pasuk mentions the taking before the donating itself since the money will be taken regardless of whether the people want to give it. The third donation, however, is optional so the donating is mentioned before the taking. This is also why the first two donations are attributed to Hashem, since you are required to give them up. The third however, is completely up to the donator to give or not. Therefore, the donation is completely attributed to the people.
       He then proceeds to explain the pasuk thusly: “דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה”, appoint people to collect the donations from the people; however, the collectors must first donate themselves. “מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי” When you collect from the nation, there will be people for whom “דוה ליבם”, their hearts will be sad from having to give (similar to the words in the pasuk, “אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ”). The collection from these people should be done by Moshe and Aharon themselves since no one will argue with them over having to give. When the pasuk says, “תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי” “you shall take my portion”, “you” it is referring to Moshe and Aharon.
       The Kli Yakar then gives a second answer the first question. We have seen in many places that Hashem rests his shechinah only where people act with humility and removes himself when there is arrogance. The fact that the first two donations were mandatory means that everybody was giving the exact same amount. As a result, there could be no arrogance connected to the first two  תרומותsince no one person’s donation was more than the anyone else’s. Therefore, Hashem connects his name to them. (“they shall take to Me a portion”, “you shall take My portion”). However, the donations to the Mishkan had no set amount; some people gave more and some less. Because of this, there was a potential for people to hold themselves above the others because of their larger donations. Therefore, the Torah does not attribute the donations directly to Hashem.

Shabbat Shalom!    

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