Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Terumah

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In this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, Hashem commands us to build the Mishkan and all of its vessels. Regarding the Menorah’s construction, the Torah writes[1], “And you shall make a Menorah of pure gold. The Menorah shall be made of hammered work; its base and its stem, its goblets, its knobs, and its flowers shall be (one piece) with it.

Rashi cites the words “the Menorah shall be made” (in the passive voice) and explains that the Menorah shall be made “by itself. Since Moshe found difficulty with it (making the Menorah), Hashem said to him, ‘Cast the talent (approximately sixty-four pounds of gold) into the fire, and it will be made by itself.’ Therefore, the Torah does not say ‘you shall make it,’ but rather ‘it shall be made.’”

There were numerous vessels in the Tabernacle. Many of them had detailed complicated forms. Why did Moshe Rabbeinu specifically find the Menorah difficult?

The Menorah served to illuminate the world’s darkness. Our Sages declare that the Menorah[2] “is testimony to the entire world that the Shechinah rests in Israel.” Hence Moshe could not understand how a physical candelabra can illuminate the physical world!

Hashem explained to him that it is true that a human being cannot construct such a Menorah. Therefore, Hashem told him to throw the gold into the fire, and I, Hashem, will make it.

Hashem tells each of us that He is not satisfied merely with our spiritual gifts, i.e., davening, learning, and the like. He demands that we use our physical possessions to make Him a sanctuary. However, we must remember that we cannot do this by ourselves. We must cast our possessions into the G-dly fire in our souls, our love of G-d, and He will do the rest.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos 1, Page 174ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY OF Mrs. Chana (Ann) bas Reb Shmuel ע “ה Mendelsohn
Passed away on 7 Adar II, 5752 May Her Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 25:31.

[2]. Talmud Shabbos Page 22.

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