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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Man's Effort

This week’s Torah portion, Terumah, discusses the contributions “Terumot” made by the Jewish people towards the building of the Tabernacle. 

But why is the Parsha about G-d's house named after man's contribution?

Chassidic thought teaches that G-d created the world because He had a plan, but the plan contains a clause. The plan is that G-d's presence be revealed in the world. The clause is that this should occur by man's efforts.

At the giving of the Torah, G-d stated His plan, and He taught us that we could reveal His presence in the world by performing the mitzvot.

Until that moment, everything had come from G-d.

With the construction of the Tabernacle, G-d's clause began to take shape. Now, man had made an effort to help G-d's plan reach fruition.

For this reason, our Parsha, which speaks of G-d's house, is named after man's contribution. For G-d's house could only be complete when His clause for human involvement was adhered to.

A problem with this Parsha is that it appears, at first glance, to be obsolete. The Tabernacle was a temporary structure superseded by the Temple in Jerusalem. So why do we have to read about it at all?

The Tabernacle possessed one advantage that the Temple did not have:

The uniqueness of the Tabernacle is that its contributions were brought to the farthest of places, the desert.

So we read Parshas Terumah, year after year, to remind us of the need to bring Judaism to the most distant places. When the world is filled with the knowledge of Hashem, we will be ready for the time of Moshiach NOW!

Start by lighting the Shabbat candles wherever you are this week! Candle lighting time in NYC is at 5:13 PM. 

Shabbat Shalom!


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