Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Terumah

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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 Parsha states at Shemos 25:8 - you shall make for Me a Mikdash and I will dwell there.

R' Frand quoted Rashi who explains that the pasuk means that Hashem wants a person to build for Him a house of holiness. 

R' Frand then mentioned an email that he received two years ago during the week of Parshas Terumah which had a story about the Tscherbiner (sp?) Rav. (R' Frand said that he had heard from his youth that the Tscherbiner Rav was the gadol hador). The email contained the observations of a R' Booksbaum (sp?) who saw that R' Aryeh Levin was crying outside the house of the Tscherbiner Rav. R' Booksbaum asked him - why are you crying? R' Levin responded that one of his children was sick and he wanted to go to a holy place to pray, but (since this was pre-1967) he could not go to the Kotel easily, so he went to another holy place - the house of the Tscherbiner Rav.

R Frand said that R' Booksbaum once repeated what he had seen to R' Shlomo Zalman Oyerbach who was also a resident of the Shaarei Chessed neighborhood where the Tscherbiner Rav resided. R' Shlomo Zalman said - this is certainly a holy place and I too look up and pray when I walk by it.

R' Frand closed the vort by saying, this is the meaning of the pasuk - a person can make for himself a holy place.

Along similar lines, R' Frand quoted the pasuk at Shemos 25:11 which states that the aron was covered on the inside and outside with gold. R' Frand observed that the aron which held the luchos is compared to a talmid chacham and that just as as the aron was gold inside and outside, the talmid chacham must be the same on the inside and the outside - tocho k'baro.

R' Frand had a few illustrations as to this point, but the one that caught my attention was the famous story in the gemara about how R' Gamliel used to exclude men who wanted to learn from the beis medrash if they were not similar on the inside and outside. 

The gemara explains that after R' Gamliel was removed from office for a particular reason, the numbers of students who learned increased tremendously and R' Gamliel became upset. R' Frand quoted the Chidushei Harim, who explains that the reason R' Gamliel was upset was that he saw that these new students were succeeding and that they now were similar on the inside and outside. Upon seeing this, R' Gamliel realized the error of his ways as he saw that the power of the Torah can transform someone and make him good on the inside and the outside.

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