Thursday, February 27, 2020

yikchu terumah -- you have something to contribute

1. Mi’shenichnas Adar marbim b’simcha.  How?  It’s hard to decipher the Rogatchover, but at least I get the first line (Shu”T II:23) – “ain simcha b'lo achila v'shetiya.”  You can't rejoice and be happy without food.  I guess it's a bad month for dieting.
2. Wouldn’t it make more sense to say “V’yikchu li nedava mei’eis kol is hasher yidvenu libo” instead of saying “yikchu li terumah...?” 
The Midrash comments: “Ani y’sheina v’libi er,” I am asleep, but my heart is awake (Shir HaShirim 5:2)  Klal Yisrael said, “We are sleep, but Hashem is always awake… we are asleep and not doing mitzvos, but our zechus Avos is awake… we are asleep due to cheit ha’eigel, but Hashem is …. 
What can you tell someone when they feel that their avodas Hashem is asleep, when they feel disconnected? 
Pshat in “V’yikchu li terumah” is not “make a donation.”  Pshat in "V’yikchu li terumah” is “give -- because you have something to contribute.” 
The former is all about the $$$ -- the “nedava”.  The latter is all about the person giving – “terumah” = “haramah,” to lift up, as it lifts up the spirit of the person.  When someone thinks their contribution matters, then they want to be part of the program. 
What does the Midrash mean when it says that Hashem is awake, that zechus Avos is awake, if we are asleep?  The answer is that Hashem’s presence is ingrained within us, zechus Avos is ingrained within us.  The Midrash means that there is always something inside of us, deep down, that remains awake.  We just need a little uplift to get back on track.  We need to be reminded that there is something worthwhile inside of us that we can give over, that we need to give over.
3. “K’chol asher ani mareh oscha….”  We would have expected the pasuk to say “mareh lecha,” as the vision of the Mishkan was shown to Moshe.
The Midrash presents a parable: a Ki   mar  off his daughter, but could not bear to leave her.  He therefore requested that she set aside a little room in her house for him so that he knows there is always a place for him.  So too, Hashem could not part with the Torah, so he asked for us to make a Mishkan for him to be with us.    
Everybody is familiar with the derasha of “v’shachanti b’socham” -– it doesn’t say that Hashem will dwell in the Mishkan, but rather that he will dwell within the people.
To become a kli for hashra’as haShechina is something that requires a role model to achieve, not something you wake up one morning and figure out.  “Mareh oscha” =  Hashem is showing off Moshe Rabeinu, so to speak, and telling people to look toward him, as he is a model of what a Mishkan means.  


  1. 1., 2., 3.

    to "rejoice" with food, first, stay hungry

    hunger keeps us "awake"

    full of ourselves, of our possessions (gold, silver, copper, wool), satiated and sleepy, we must first empty out, "give over" what we've taken, that He can "dwell within"

    Moshe grasped [Yosef's] bones while the rest grabbed keilim. Moshe was buried by G-d Himself; Pharoah [like all Pharoahs] was buried with keilim...

  2. "2. ...we are asleep...but our zechus Avos is awake"

    but when it was decreed that "Klal Yisrael" would have r'chush gadol (Bereishis 15:14) from which to "contribute", Avra[ha]m Avinu was in deep sleep!

    ah, but Rashi points out how zechus Av was at that time awake*! one way or another, an ace in the hole--yado min-ha'chor**--l'olam va'ed {'Herr Eisenheim! Herr Eisenheim! Herr Eisenheim!'}...

    *teshuvah Terach, 15:15b

    **Shir HaShirim 5:4

    1. "2. ..."

      how did Adam ha'rishon, when no doubt feeling "disconnected" [, not from "Hashem's presence"*, but] from all life, reduced to dust at 3:19, how did he find the self-possession to resume the naming "program" [begun at 2:20] at 3:20, or the self-worth "to get back on track"? maybe if we read the double-yuds at 2:7 (va'yyitzer) as indicating that Adam was made with two hearts**, one on which was transferred--with his side--to form the first woman (2:21), we'll understand: while he lay in deep sleep, the woman was receiving the breath of life, "Ani y'sheina v'libi er". as long as she*** would be beside him nurturing new life, he could, even sleeping, carry on:
      v'yikra ha'adam shem ishto Chava, for she was mother of all life...

      *"zechus Avos is ingrained within us": here, zechus Av, the merit of Hashem (Adam's father) [Who'd just created a world (and yesh m'ayin at that)]

      **lamed-beis->yud<, my heart >> libii, yud yud, my heart my heart

      ***yes even she, the woman G-d stuck him with, 3:12...