Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Terumah I

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This week we read Parshas Terumah. It tells of Hashem’s complex commands to Israel to build the Mishkan – Tabernacle; this was the “portable” Temple with which the Jews traveled for the forty years during which they wandered in the wilderness.

The Jewish people built the Mishkan from materials they donated in the desert. Hashem told Moshe to[1] “speak to the Jewish Nation, and have them take for Me an offering….” Rashi cites the words “and have them take for Me” and explains as follows. “for me, (in other words) dedicated to My name.”

There is a well-known question that many commentaries ask regarding this verse. Why were the Jews told to “take for Me an offering?” It would seem to have been more appropriate to command them to “give Me an offering!” They were not taking the donations for Hashem’s sake; they were giving them!

We can answer this question and understand our verse together with Rashi’s comments in a more profound way. We are all aware that we must give Tzedokoh for Hashem’s sake, i.e., for the sake of the Mitzvah. However, it seems counter-intuitive for one to take, to receive a donation for Hashem’s sake. After all, he accepts the donation to feed himself and his family. The Torah is telling us here that we must also receive Tzedokoh for the sake of the Mitzvah.

It is written in holy books[2] that Hashem created the world so that the poor must receive from the wealthy so that Tzedokoh and kindness should exist in the world.

That is why one who is impoverished must receive money from one who is wealthy. The wealthy person must do this for Hashem’s sake. Only in this manner is it assured that we will fulfill G-d’s purpose in creation; there will be goodness and kindness in the world.

May we all share what we have with those around us. Then we can be sure that the redemption will come in the merit of Tzedokoh.

I wish one and all a good month and a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 3, Beginning with Page 908


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 25:2.

[2]. See Sefer Hamaamorim 5628 (1868) the discourse beginning with the words “Tiku.” See also Shemos Rabbah Chapter 31, 5, and the Midrash Tanchumah, ibid.

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