Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Terumah

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

The Chumash writes in Shemos 26:15 that Moshe is commanded to make the kerashim (boards) for the mishkan out of "atzei sheetim omdim". Rashi explains that these boards were made from cedars which were planted by Yaakov when he went down to Egypt. Yaakov told his children when they went down to Egypt that one day they would leave Egypt and build a mishkan. He instructed them to use these cedars which he was planting now, as the boards for the mishkan.

R' Frand mentioned that this Rashi is based on a medrash in Sefer Bereishis on the pasuk in Bereishis 46:1 which stated that Yaakov stopped in Be'er Sheva on his way down to Egypt. The medrash explained that Yaakov cut down trees which Avraham Avinu had planted in Beer Sheva when Avraham made his hospitality there. After cutting down the trees, Yaakov replanted them in Egypt and they were used for the mishkan.

R' Frand quoted R' Yaakov Kaminetzky who explains the pasuk in Shemos 26:15 that the boards were made from atzei sheetim omdim, based on a gemara in Yoma and Sukkah which states that Moshe was commanded to make the mishkan from the type of trees which will last forever and ever. These boards will never be destroyed or burned down (like the two Batei Mikdash). But how would Moshe know whether the mishkan will last forever? If the Jews were not zoche, how could the mishkan last forever?

The answer given by R' Frand was that Moshe was instructed not to take "just any trees." Instead, Moshe was to take the trees which were planted by Avraham for a dvar mitzva and transplanted by Yaakov. R' Frand explained that something which is used for a dvar mitzva and is built from the start with pure intentions will last forever.

R' Frand then applied this concept to a gemara in Kesubos and Bava Metzia wherein R' Chiya said that he would insure that the Torah would never be forgotten. How? By teaching children Torah which was then retransmitted and retransmitted. The gemara explains that R' Chiya did not just teach Torah. R' Chiya planted flax and harvested the flax and made nets from the flax to catch deer. R' Chiya then caught the deer and skinned the deer so that he could use the parchment to teach Torah to Jewish children.

The question can be asked, why couldn't R' Chiya just go and buy parchment and use that to teach Torah? The answer is that he planted the flax in order to start this process and ensure that it was pure from the beginning. By putting the effort in to start the process from the beginning for the right purpose, the Torah will last forever.

R' Frand also quoted a ma'amar of the Vilna Gaon in connection with the building of a shul. The Gaon states that if the wood for the axe handle which was used to cut down the trees to build the shul was prepared by a Jew for the sake of Shamayim, there would never be a tefillah without kavana in the shul. This is because the very foundation of the shul began with the proper intent.

Moshe was instructed to build the mishkan in a way that it would last forever. In order to do that, he had to start with trees which were pure. These trees were planted by Avraham to fulfil the mitzva of chessed. These trees were next transplanted by Yaakov with the pure intention of having the trees available for the mishkan. With this form of beginning, the Mishkan could last forever, unlike the Batei Mikdash which were built with the assistance and gifts of outsiders.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: