פ’ תרומה – תשע”ה
Volume 7, Issue 7
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם
“They shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell among them.” (25:8)
QUESTION: Presently, they were building the Mishkan and not the Beit HaMikdash. It should have said “ve’asu li Mishkan”? Furthermore, it should have said “betocho” – “in it” – instead of “betocham” – “in them”?
ANSWER: The first Beit HaMikdash lasted for 410 years, and the second Beit HaMikdash for 420 years. This verse is hinting this by saying “ve’asu li Mikdash” – “They shall make for Me a Beit HaMikdash.” The word “veshachanti” (ושכנתי) – “and I will rest” – can be read as two words: “ושכן” – “and I will rest [in it]” – “ת”י” – 410 years (ת = 400, י = 10). The word “ושכנתי” can also be arranged to read “ושני ת”כ” – “and the second, 420.”Since the verse is alluding to Hashem’s dwelling in the first and second Beit HaMikdash, it says “betocham” – “in them”. (Ba’al HaTurim)
ככל אשר אני מראה אותך את תבנית המשכן ואת תבנית כל כליו וכן תעשו
“Like everything that I show you, the form of the Sanctuary and the form of the vessels, so shall you do.” (25:9)
QUESTION: The words “vechein ta’asu” – “so shall you do” – seem superfluous?
ANSWER: When Hashem conveyed through Moshe the command of building a Mishkan, He said, “They shall make, for Me a Sanctuary – so that I may dwell “betocham” – “among them”. Grammatically, “betocho”, in the singular, should be used. The Shelah explains that in addition to the physical Mishkan, Hashem requests that each Jew should transform himself into a Sanctuary, so that He can dwell in them – in each and every Jew. Thus the Torah adds, “vechein ta’asu” to indicate that in addition to the construction of the physical Mishkan, “so shall you do” – make yourself a Sanctuary for Hashem.
This is accomplished by living a life in accordance with the significance of all the details of the Mishkan. The Sanctuary contained the Ark, menorah, table and altar. The Ark represents Torah study, the menorah, depicts mitzvoth (ner mitzvah), the table alludes to hospitality and kashrut, and the altar signifies mesirut nefesh – dedication. Likewise, the home of every individual should have seforim and Torah study, the performance of mitzvoth, a table with kosher food and guests, and mesirut nefesh to maintain the highest standards of Judaism. The Jew who builds such a home can be assured that just as G-d abides in the Mishkan, so He will also dwell in the home. (Siftei Kohein)
“And they shall make an Ark.” (25:10)
QUESTION: Why for all the vessels made for the Mishkan such as the table, menorah, etc. does the Torah command in a singular form – “ve’asita” – “And you shall make,” while only for the Ark and efod (apron) does it say “ve’asu” – “And they shall make?”
ANSWER: The Ark contained the Tablets and represents the idea of studying and observing Torah. The word “efod” (אפד) has the numerical value of 85, which spells the word “peh” פה = 80, ה = 5 – “mouth” – and is a hint for Torah Sheba’al Peh – the Oral Torah. With the plural expression Hashem is alluding that both the Written and Oral Torah belong to Klal Yisrael. Each and every Jew has a share in it, and no individual can claim ownership of Torah. (Korban He’ani)
בטבעת הארן יהיו הבדים לא יסרו ממנו
“The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.” (25:15)
The ark symbolized the crown of Torah. The poles are the means by which the ark was carried. Unlike the altar and the table which also had rings for poles, the poles of the ark remained at all times, even when they were not needed to carry the ark. This symbolizes the connection between those who study Torah and those who financially support Torah study. They are considered as one unit. Those who financially assist Torah study should continue to do so, at all times without ceasing. (Meshech Chochmah)
The Torah supporters who develop this attitude will not wait for Torah institutions to call upon them to make donations. Rather they will continuously take the initiative to ask the Torah institutions what they can do to help. (Growth Through Torah)
ועשית שנים כרבים זהב
“And you shall make two cherubs of gold.” (25:18)
The ark symbolized Torah study. The reason two cherubs were placed on top of the ark was to teach us that we should always consider ourselves as young children when it comes to studying Torah. No matter how much you know, compared to what there is still to learn you are as if you have just begun. For this reason a Torah scholar is always called a Talmid Chochom, that is, the student of a wise man. The greater wisdom one has the more one realizes that one is lacking wisdom. (Chochmah Umussar)
ופניהם איש אל אחיו אל הכפרת יהיו פני הכרבים
“And their faces shall look one to another; towards the Ark-cover the faces of the keruvim shall be.” (25:20)
QUESTION: The Gemara (Bava Batra 99a) asks why in the MIshkan the keruvim faced each other, whereas in the Beit HaMikdash “ufeneihem labayit” – their faces were to the walls of the house” (II Chronicles 3:13). The Gemara answers: When the Jews fulfilled Hashem’s wish, the keruvim faced each other. When they conducted themselves contrary to His will, then the keruvim faced the wall.
What is the connection between the direction of the keruvim and the will of Hashem?
ANSWER: The Gemara’s explanation of the direction the keruvim faced may be explained as a metaphor: “Each man facing his brother” (the literal translation of “ish el achiv”) can be taken as a symbol of the brotherly relationship between one Jew and another. This complies with the will of Hashem, who desires that a Jew always be concerned for a fellow Jew.
“Facing the walls of the house” means that one turns his back on the other and is totally preoccupied with only what takes place within the walls of his own home. Such selfish behavior is contrary to G-d’s will. (Ksav Sofer)
This week’s Dvar Torah is sponsored by Moossa Soleimani in memory of his father, Rachamim ben Moshe. For future sponsorship opportunities or to receive this publication, please call Steve Zuckerman at 516 652 5266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Lichter at email@example.com. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.