תש”פ פ’ תרומ ה
Volume 32, Issue 7
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, Vedibarta 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 Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, The Vilna Gaon, Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin and The Call of the Torah.
דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה מאת כל איש אשר ידבנו לבו תקחו את תרומת י
“Speak unto the Jewish people and they shall take for Me an offering from every man whose heart makes him willing, you shall take My offering…” (25:2)
From this parsha, where for the first time the Jewish people are requested to donate of themselves and their possessions, many of the commentators derive insights into the nature of the mitzvah of tzedakah. Various interpretations are given to the unusual wording of the verse. One “gives” charity, therefore it should have said “and they shall give” rather than “and they shall take.” Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried zt”l remarks that “they should take” connotes the very essence of the mitzvah. One who gives charity is really taking for himself since he himself gains as a result of the performance of the mitzvah. עשר תעש ר – You shall surely tithe (Devarim 14:22) to which the Talmud remarks, עשר בשביל שתתעשר – “give a tenth so that you shall increase your wealth” (Ta’anit 9a). When one gives charity, he is in reality “taking” for himself, and the one who receives in turn becomes the “giver,” since he is the vehicle through which this reciprocal support system takes place.
Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin tz”l infers from the difference in the wording, that the hardships associated with raising funds for private and public purposes, is not in finding “donors” but rather in finding those individuals who are willing, able, and properly suited to dedicate themselves to the difficult and thankless task of fund-raising. (Peninim on the Torah)
ועשית שנים כרבים זה ב
“And you shall make two cherubim of gold.” (25:18)
Rashi explains that they had the form of the face of a child. The Holy Ark which contained the Torah, symbolized the importance of the proper attitudes necessary for the study of Torah. The faces of the keruvim which were placed above the Ark had the form of children. There are various lessons to be derived form this. Rabbi Yosef Ber Soloveitchik zt”l inferred that educating children is the foundation for the Divine Presence to dwell among us, since children are the guardians of the Torah, and therefore the security of maintaining the Jewish people as an eternal nation. Rabbi Reuven Margolis zt”l viewed the proximity of their being above the Ark as an emphasis of educating one’s children as taking precedence over one’s personal educational development.
The word terumah is mentioned three times in the opening verses of the parsha. The Talmud explains that there were three different offerings, one was a half-shekel for every person from which the sockets of the beams of the mishkan were made, the other offering was a half-shekel from which to purchase communal offerings, and the third was the free-will offering which was used to build the mishkan.
The Alter of Kelm tz”l viewed the facial form of the keruvim as a lesson in one’s necessary attitude to Torah study. Even one who is thoroughly versed in the Torah should approach its study as a young child, with an unquenchable thirst to study even more, to reach greater depths of knowledge and erudition. One must seek to enhance his studies and not view himself as having achieved an end to his studies. One does not graduate in Torah studies. With the realization of one goal, there is a greater demand for the accomplishment of yet another goal. (Peninim on the Torah)
ונתת את הפרכת תחת הקרסים
“You shall put the partition under the hooks…” (26:33)
The side of the Partition leading into the Holy of Holies was directly under the hooks. This may symbolize the overriding importance of unity among various segments of Klal Yisrael. The hooks linking together different curtains – different constituencies of Jews – remind us that bringing peace and unity was (and is) a necessary prerequisite for Hashem’s Presence in the Holy of Holies. (Chasam Sofer)
ושמת את השלחן מח וץ לפרכת ו את המנ רה נכח השלחן על צלע ה משכן תימ נה והשלחן תתן על צלע צפו ן
“You shall place the Table outside the Partition, and the Menorah opposite the Table on the south side of the Tabernacle, and the Table you shall place on the north side…” (26:35)
It is noteworthy that these utensils are mentioned here in a sequence that varies. At first, the Shulchan is mentioned, suggesting the need for a secure financial base for Torah study. On the other hand, in the latter half of the verse, which discusses the location of the utensils, the Menorah is specified first. This teaches us that success in financial undertakings, represented by the Shulchan, is contingent upon turning to the Menorah, symbolizing intensive Torah study. By immersing oneself in Torah study, one’s financial status may improve.
The relationship between Zevulun, upholding Torah study, and Yisachar, immersed in Torah study, is quite similar. Although Zevulun is always mentioned first, it is abundantly clear that he derives his material blessing solely from his support of Yisachar’s scholarship. (Chasam Sofer)