Weekly Parsha Review Laced with Humor and Sarcasm from The Oisvorfer Ruv

Teruma 2014 – This Lovely Home

shiloRaboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:

This lovely home

Ershtens: though the Oisvorfer’s parsha review is now being seen by mamish hundreds of thousands, only one reader chapped an error in last week’s Toirah. Kudos then to Dr. Shelley Green, both a doctor and an attorney who was particularly interested in last week’s parsha which gave birth to the entire medical and legal professions. And what was the error? None of your business: read it again and find it!

Earlier this week at a shiva house, the Oisvorfer ran into one of his dedicated Woodmere based readers who told the Ruv that at times he wishes the review would be shorter and at other times, he mamish enjoys its length and taka this week, because we have previously covered many of this parsha’s topics (see archives www.oisvorfer.com  for the very entertaining prior postings), the review will be a shtikel shorter. One topic only, efsher two.

Welcome to parshas Teruma where if you are a shtikelmetro sexual, not that there’s anything wrong with that, you are in parsha heaven. And if you are in denial about your tendencies or are  stamazoy drawn to architecture and interior design, you will still very much enjoy. Just two weeks ago (parshasYisroy), the Yiddin married the RBSO and received His heylige Toirah as a wedding present. Esfarshteytzich (it’s plainly understood) that following the wedding it’s time to move in together and this week the RBSO is doing just that. Says the heylige Toirah (Shemois 25:8) azoy: And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst. Volumes have been written about this sentence and even more, about the list of unusual contents the RBSO instructed the Yiddin to secure in scavenger hunt fashion, for this building project. We will explore this topic soon. And mamish just as we discussed last week, kimat (nearly) every parsha has a letter, word or sentence that has everyone up in arms. This week, it’s this very instruction. We are to build a house for the RBSO and not just any house. And as you can only imagine, this one possik (verse) is arguably the most famous one in the gantze parsha.  Who are we to build a house for the RBSO and what does that mean? The very idea is almost absurd and taka asks the Michilta; How can the RBSO who is unlimited and creates all existence ‘fit’ into a house? If the RBSO is infinite, and avada He is, wouldn’t building Him a house, mean the opposite? Ver veyst. Says Rashi: : the Mikdash (sanctuary) must be solely dedicated to the RBSO. “And they shall make in My name  a house of sanctity.” And what does that mean? The purpose of the Mikdash, was seemingly to create a consecrated environment wherein finite man can encounter infinite Hashem. Shoin!


Nu, if the RBSO is coming and moving in, the house zicher needed to look good, and be custom built. Seemingly the RBSO didn’t trust the Yiddin to build one of their own designs and instead gave Moishe very specific instructions. He provided incredible detail about the materials to be used, and had very specific ideas about its construction, size and design. No detail was omitted and none left to the imagination of the mortals that would be charged with its construction.

After hearing and digesting 53 mitzvois just last week and the Aseres Hadibrois (Ten Commandments) two weeks ago, this week, here in ParshasTeruma and as we welcome in Adar Rishoin, we’re down to  a more manageable mitzvah count; three in total which include one big ah-say (the building of the Mishkan) and two loi’s. Seemingly even this number of loi-sah-says (thou shall not do) will prove to be problematic for the Yiddin as we will sadly learn in two weeks.

Did the RBSO mamish need a house, one built by mere mortals? Avada not! And many have pontificated over this very question; why taka did the RBSO need or want the Yiddin to build Him a house? Could pshat  be something quite simple? Was the RBSO merely creating yet additional jobs and professions? Ver veyst?  Could this entire project to which the heylige Toirah dedicates large portions of five different parshas all have been part of a shtikel, or, maybe even a major  midbar stimulus plan to keep the Yiddin busy and out of trouble? Ver veyst!  Taka, when you read the mamish intricate instructions, the varied building materials, the exact measurements,  the design specs down to the curtains, you will mamish chap, how this midbar mishkan  project could  lead to a job stimulus. This was not a job for one person, Es ken zyn (could taka be) that the RBSO chapped, and of course He did, that not all the Yiddin could or would be busy studying the newly minted heylige Toirah day and night. At least a shtikel of the Yiddin, maybe even a big shtikel, weren’t cut out to be yeshiva bucherim, Toirah scholars, and were efsher better suited to be hockers and kloppers. Some chevra do very good work with a hammer, if you chap.

Last week, with the 53 civil laws handed down, the RBSO gave His chosen people new jobs and professions. Brand new industries mamish which included the legal and medical professions were created. And just like that a portion of the Yiddin had a parnoso (livelihood). Ober can everybody become a doctor or a lawyer? Seemingly not! And this week,  mamish from the goodness of His heart and because He knew what giferliche bums many of you would turn out to be, people who had no interest in sitting and hurrving over the newly minted Toirah, the RBSO again showed His benevolence.  From architects, to craftsman, to interior designers and people who could hock and bang, the project was a givaldige opportunity for artisans who showed flair, to get involved in the big midbar project. And big it was: A full 87 pisukim  in this week’s parsha, another parsha (next week) dedicated in part to the design and wardrobesthe koihanim would don during the avoido (service) and another two parshas (Vayakhale and Pikudei) where we will again learn about all the material and the masterful job the Yiddin did with all of the RBSO’s instructions, are all Mishkan related. All told, the heylige Toirah dedicates nearly 4 complete parshas, some say five, and that’s quite a bit to the Mishkan project.

Efsher (perhaps) you’re wondering why the  heylige  Toirah which does not have one extra letter, word or thought, would dedicate so much space to this project. Why taka does the heylige Toirah provide such color and detail? Did the Yiddin need all this information for a structure that was to last less than forty years? Grada (so happens) that  this question will again be relevant in a few weeks when we learn parshas Vayakhale which repeats kimat every detail of the project found in our parsha. Taka an excellent kasha!

Ober says the medrish mamish so gishmak azoy: This was the RBSO’s way of telling the Yiddin  to  “stop and pay attention!” The devil is in the details and that no real achievement is possible without attention to detail.  The RBSO didn’t want the Yiddin rushing through the job by hocking a few trees together into a hut. The RBSO knew that His Yiddin were an impetuous bunch, with little patience. That behavior deficiency was nebech (sadly)  manifested when Moishe went missing (according to their count) for but one day. The results were mamish disastrous resulting in the Eygel (golden calf). This pshat would fit in perfectly with those that suggest that the  Eygelmyseh (incident) though recorded in two weeks, actually predated the order to build the Mishkan which was built, according to some, to atone for that debacle.  Did the Oisvorfer just confuse you by telling you that theMishkan project predated the Eygel about which we will learn in two more weeks? Indeed he did and of course, when these instructions were given, is avada subject to a shtikel machloikes (disagreement.)

Surprisingly, there are only three opinions offered by our Sages regarding the time at which this took place, let’s taka review them. One is that both the command to build the Mishkan and the donations for the project occurred soon after the heylige Toirah was given, but zicher prior to the sin of the Eygel.

A second holds that both the command and the bringing of gifts took place only after the RBSOhad already forgiven the Yiddin on Yom Kippur. Moreover the building was taka to show the goyim and all other nations  that the Yiddin were taka forgiven for the Eygel debacle. And a  third opinion suggests that that the RBSO’s command came to Moishe before the sin of the Golden Calf, but that he, Moishe, only  passed it on to the people  after Yom Kippur.

What’s the difference and which way did it go down? Ver veyst? And which is true? Ver veyst and says the heylige Gemora azoy: although there may be divergent opinions among our Sages, “All are equally the words of the living G-d.” Shoin, they are all true, why not? In other words, although the construction of the Mishkan and the bringing of donations had to have happened in accordance with only one of these three schedules, all three opinions are true as they relate to the spiritual Mishkan within the heart of every Jew. How could that be? Ver veyst ober gantz (pretty) gishmak!!

Ober the emes is that there is a difference and says a Lubabitch source, maybe even the Rebbe, A’H, azoy:Following the receipt of the Toirah but before the sin of the Eygel, the Yiddin were on the level of tzaddikim, the truly righteous. Of course that didn’t last too long. They built and worshipped the Eygel and were forgiven on Yom Kippur. On that date, they attained the level of ba’alei teshuvah (penitents). Now listen to this givaldige pshat.

And herein lies the difference between the abovementioned opinions: According to the opinion that the command to build the Mishkan and the giving of donations occurred soon after the giving of the Toirah but  prior to the sin of the Eygel, the Mishkan was constructed by tzaddikim. Ober according to the opinion that the command to construct the Mishkan came on Yom Kippur, its erection was the work of penitents. And according to the opinion that the sin  took place between the time of the command to make the Mishkan and its actual construction, even the wicked — those who sinned by the Eygel— were able to participate in the construction of a Sanctuary for the RBSO. OMG!

And the lesson? Seemingly, tshuva (repentance) is not a prerequisite to doing good deeds. Even something as sacred as the building of the Mishkan, the Sanctuary for the RBSO may be built by sinners who have not yet repented. It’s seemingly almost never too late to repent and zicher that’s the best newshockers and kloppers, if you chap,  can hear this coming shabbis.

And says the Oisvorfer: seemingly this pshat has relevance ad hayoim hazeh (until today).  Life is, of course, very hectic, we are busy people. Daily pressures are such that we don’t have time to focus on the details of our lives. Life goes by so quickly and we are mamish missing out on the daily enjoyment we could be deriving. And because we are always in a hurry, we brush milestones off as being insignificant.  All we want is to get to the end product, but sometimes the beauty of life is in the details. Shoin this is getting too serious for the Oisvorfer’s review ober such details include conversations with the eishes chayil, the kids and myriad other such examples.

And says the medrish azoy:  when the RBSO created the world He yearned to have a dwelling place in man’s material world, to complement the one He has in the spiritual world. Why, ver veyst and it’s none of our business. To that end, He commanded “And make for me a mikdash and I will dwell among them. The RBSO’s  intention was that every Jew should create an environment in the material world that would be conducive to housing the Divine Presence. The Mishkan, and after it the Beis Hamikdash, housed this presence on an ongoing basis. Gishmak mamish.

Ober still we’re left with the same question:  why would the RBSO, Master of the gantze (entire) universe, want a smallish portable  structure of approximately 30 amos in size, especially when compared to the expansive space up in shomayim, down on earth and why one in the midbar?  Why not wait until the Chosen People made their way over to the holy land where a more permanent structure could be built in all its glory? Was heaven overcrowded? Were the malochim (angels) and the few righteous taking up too much room? Were they so annoying with their bakoshois (requests) on behalf of relatives left behind to a point where the RBSO needed a shtikel down to earth get-a-way? Ver veyst.

Seemingly, the Mishkan was the portable version of the Beis Hamikdash which the Yiddin used in the desert. Says the medrish azoy: when Moishe was commanded to build the Mishkan, he asked the RBSO as follows:  “How can a man make a house for the RBSO if even the heavens cannot contain You?” Good question, no? Ober answered the RBSO azoy:  “I do not ask them to make anything commensurate with My capacity. I ask of them only that they build in accordance with their own capacity.” Similarly, Moishe later asked, “If all the animals in the world were assembled would that then be considered a fitting enough sacrifice to You?”  The RBSO answered:  “It is not as you think, for Me one lamb a day will suffice, for the rich man an ox and for the poor man a sheep. But if a rich man brings that which is fitting for a poor man to offer, it is a desecration.”

Nu, it turns out that the Mishkan is the first of a series of abodes for the RBSO’s presence and from reading the heylige Toirah and Tanach, it appears that the RBSO had more than one such dwelling place here on earth amongst His people. The Novee will teach us that after 40 years in the midbar (desert), the Mishkan was set up in Gilgal, where it stood for 14 years. Then, a stone roofless structure, which had the curtains of the Mishkan over it, was erected over in Shiloi, where it stood for 369 years. Afterwards, a sanctuary was established in Nov, followed by Giv’oin, for a total of 57 years. Finally, Shlomo Hamelech (King Solomon) built the first Beis Hamikdash over in Yirusholayim.  Years later, the second, was built by the few returning exiles from Bovale (Babylon), and according to at least one medrish, the third, the future Beis Hamikdash, the final one that will mark the coming of the Moshiach, may not be built at all. It won’t? Says one medrish azoy:  the thirds will fall out of the sky fully built and operational. Why not, is the RBSO not capable? Zicher He is!

And what is this Mishkan?We will learn that once constructed and erected (Moishe had epes a problem with its erection, a topic for another day), this was the structure in which Divine service was performed on a daily basis in the midbar. Moreover, and as mentioned above, this little Mishkan was also the forerunner of the Beis Hamikdash to be built later over in Yerusholayim. Mamish givaldige and let’s go veyter (move on).

Efsher you recall from last year and from many years in yeshiva that the mishkan was to be formed of exotic and rare materials including gold, silver, copper, linen, goat’s hair, wool with purple dye, wool with blue dye, the skin of the Tachash, spices, olive oil, Shittim wood, and fourteen precious gems. In previous years we discussed just how these items were found and found their way into the midbar, ober who was underwriting the project? Who was supplying the gelt?

Nu, everyone knows that a building project requires funding and we will learn that the RBSO told Moishe to request from the Yiddin that each person give a donation, each according to the generosity of his heart. Says the heylige Toirah(Shemois 25:2) azoy: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. In Hebrew the word for person is ‘ish’. The word, “ish” (person) in this posik seems superfluous. The posik could have simply written, “From everyone whose heart moves him.” Says the Zoihar this message to the oisvorf bums: one who overcomes his evil inclination, he is considered a person.” One whose inclinations control him, who cannot suppress his desires, if you chap, is an animal, not a person. A person is one who controls his instincts, who can withstand his inclinations; easier said than done.

Anyway, from these donations does the RBSO command that they build Him  a sanctified place, a  Mikdash in their camp. As an incentive bonus, the RBSO promised that if they do so, He will live inside them. Of course every building campaign begins with one thing: money or money equivalents and parshas Teruma is known as the forerunner of this model. Need to build a shul or school? First one must run a campaign and solicit donors and that’s taka how the entire parsha beings. In the very first posik the RBSO tells Moishe to round up the donors- each according to his heart’s motivation- shall donate to the cause. Though Moishe did a masterful job and had some extra materials which he used (as we will learn in parshas Pikudai),  we can klerr that he would have done even better had he held a dinner, prepared nice plaques, sent out a master list of donors or  coerced a few Yiddin to be Guests of Honor. In any event, it wasn’t long before shuls, and schools chapped the model and began schnorring for donations. This model continues to bear fruit ad hayoim hazeh (until today).

And again we ask azoy: how could it be that the RBSO who created the heavens and the Earth, the One who took His people out of Mitzrayim with miracles never again seen, would not  just build his own home? Vusepes (why) did He want our donations and labor? Why did the RBSO,  the one who arranged for the ‘ananey-hakovoid  (clouds of glory and protection)  for His people, the one who arranged for Munn delivery daily (except for shabbis of course), need or want the people to donate their recently acquired riches to this house project and to build  Him a home in their camp?

One answer given is that He did not! Really? Zicher the RBSO could have conceived the Mikdash, and it would have been there. Ober it appears that His people efsher did need this Mishkan to be built. Taka why? Seemingly the Yiddin needed to give of themselves to feel connected.  The Yiddin wanted to partake and to give, to show they took ownership of the project. Had they not given and had the Mishkan suddenly appeared, it would have been viewed as yet one more miracle they were witness to and perhaps they would have missed the opportunity to internalize the project and its meaning. Moreover, let’s not forget that this campaign came following the big sin of the Eygel; they were mamish feeling guilty.

It so happens that guilt always works and that’s’ zicher one of the major tactics used by ourshuls and schools as they invoke the mishkan project to raise capital funds for new structure andor  renovations. It seems to produce results. When we donate to a project, we take a shtikel ownership interest, we feel connected mamish. And the donations to the mishkan, especially from their newly acquired wealth after 210 years of slavery when they had little, was mamish what connected the Yiddin to the Mishkan and by extension to the RBSO. Gishmak mamish.. Zicher not everyone can give the same amount and in the same ways. It’s  seemingly important from the wording the RBSO chose, that  everyone give epes something.

A gittin Shabbis-

Yitz Grossman

The Oisvorfer Ruv


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