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Devar Torah - Terumah

Thursday, 19 February, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Dvar Torah
By Rabbi Shimon Raichick

This week's parsha is Terumah which explains the building of the Mishkon. The first thing one would expect is to be told is to make a Mishkon, as the Torah says later; "Make for me a Mikdash and I will dwell within it". Instead this week's parsha begins with donations as it says; "Take for Me a Terumah" before even describing what it will be used for!

Also, why does the Torah explain the building of the Mishkon which was a temporary dwelling instead of the Mikdash, which is a permanent dwelling.

In a sicha the Rebbe quotes two opinions about what the pasuk "Basi L'Gani, I came to My garden" refers. One opinion is that it was said when the Mishkon was first erected. The second opinion says that it refers to the moment of Matan Torah. The Rebbe explains that the two opinions do not contradict one another. Hashem began to "Come into his garden" by the giving of the Torah. The world stood still at the great revelation; the birds did not chirp and the oxen did not gore. Still the actual location of Har Sinai did not retain the kedusha. The world was shocked by the awesome revelation yet the world did not change. It only effected the world temporarily but it started the process of changing and gave us the power to accomplish.

The job of every Jew is to make Hashem's presence known within the world. By doing this he or she completes their shlichus, their purpose for having come into this world. By doing learning Torah and doing mitzvos we make a permanant Mishkon and Mikdosh for Hashem. We start by bringing a terumah, a donation for the construction of this Mishkon. Our donation is to separate, bit by bit our energies our focus and our possessions in the service of Hashem. It's not just one thing at one time. It's many things, in all areas of life throughout our lifetimes, a bit at a time. Our primary focus is to attend to what we are contributing. Then we are able to say that we have made our lives into a Mishkon for Hashem.

At times we may wonder where we are going to find something to donate. We look around and we see a transitory desert. We see a world filled with strife, pressures anxiety and uneasiness. It looks at times like a desert with scorpions and snakes, an uninhabitable place. We are being told in this parsha that because we have a neshama we have the power and the resources to provide all the material necessary  for the the building of our individual Mishkon. It's not shock and awe, but when we donate bit by bit we accomplish what is necessary and bring the 'Shechanti b'socham' the dwelling of Hahsem's presence into this world. This has an everlasting effect.

This is an important answer to questions that arise when we look at the world and see obstacles and challenges in every direction. Every time we feel overwhelmed by a gap between the enormity of how much is necessary to make this world into a Mishkon for Hashem compared to the wherewithal  we feel we have we need to remember the message of parshas Terumah. We remember that we have all that we need to accomplish our mission. We need to take matters into our hands and do our part and then we effect everlasting change.

Preparing for Moshiach means that we don't sit and wait for anything because we can see more clearly than ever before what the opposite brings. Also, with all the advances in technology and global trouble making is it obvious the power of one good deed, and that one good deed can  tip the entire situation to the good and bring the return of the Shechina to this world with the coming of Moshiach Now!

A good Shabbos

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