Friday, March 3, 2017

Mussar Drosha: Terumah

Mussar Drosha: Terumah:

What a privilege it is for us to be able to continue moving on in the Torah - now getting to the part talking about the instructions for the Mishkan and its Vessels!  So, with Hashem’s Help, let’s get started:  

Perhaps the most “all-encompassing” and preliminary verse to the Mishkan (and more than that, as we will soon see, Hashem willing) is in the first Aliyah:  Hashem says to Moshe Rabbeinu ‘And you shall make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst.’

Now, there is a beautiful theme that many of our Gedolim teach us on this - with slightly different variations (and I will quote different ones which I have seen):  

#1:  Says the Alshich HaKadosh:  The verse does not say ‘I will dwell in its midst’; but rather ‘I will dwell in their midst’.  This teaches us that Hashem won’t just dwell in the midst of the People of Israel - but within all of us.  He is ‘within our midst’.  And the Shelah HaKadosh says essentially the same thing.  

#2:  Writes the first Lubavitcher Rebbe - Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi zt”l in Tanya: “This is what man is all about.  This is the purpose of his creation and of the creation of all the worlds, higher and lower - that there be made for G-d a dwelling in the lower realms."

#3:  Similarly, Rebbe Aharon HaGadol of Karlin zt”l teaches in Beis Aharon that a person needs to make themselves a Sanctuary - a holy person - and then Hashem will dwell within them. (HaRav Shimshon Refoel Hirsch zt”l says basically the same thing - just about Hashem dwelling in the midst of Yisroel as a whole).  

Those insights are extremely inspiring and enough to think about in and of themselves, but, with Hashem’s Help, I would like to “go further” - and add a beautiful insight from the Nikolsburger Rebbe (Rebbe Yosef Yechiel Michel Lebovits shlita):  

Teaches Rebbe Lebovits shlita:  Hashem is always close to us - but that doesn’t mean we are close to Him.  He never distances Himself from us, but if we, Chas V’Shalom commit transgressions, then we are distancing ourselves from Him!!  

And the same goes for the constant blessings He sends us, explains the Nikolsburger shlita:  Hashem always sends us blessings - however, if we are sinning and distancing ourselves from Him, Chas V’Shalom, then the blessings just don’t reach us!! (From

But now let us put all these incredible teachings together:  Hashem wants to be close to us and dwell in our midst:  And He does His part!  But we also have a part to do:  We need to ascend closer to Him.  And we do this by keeping His Commandments and serving Him properly - sanctifying ourselves.  

Hashem revealed Himself to us at Har Sinai, gave us the Torah and took us as His People - drawing close to us.  And He always dwells in our midst, making it easier for us to access Him - reaching out His Hand, so to speak, for us to grab.  Now we must sanctify ourselves and make ourselves a Sanctuary - thereby drawing close to our Holy Father in return, and taking hold of His outstretched Hand.  

A Gut Shabbos to all!

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