Terumah (5768)

A Drash for Terumah 5768 (2008)

by Marc Mangel

Last week we learned about the importance of giving free loans (Mishpatim is the source text for the Hebrew Free Loan Society).  That begs the question, where does the loaned money come from?  We learn the answer to this question at the beginning to today’s parsha (Ch 25, v 2): “they shall take to me a portion , from every man whose heart will motivate him you shall take My portion”. 

ALL of us should be motivated to give to Tzedaka.  There is no donation that is too small to be appropriate and there is no time that is too early to start an annual donation plan – even the young ones in the back row can do this.  Because, once we have the habit, it is easy to increase our donations as our income increases. It is the habit that we must start.

The Israelites are told to make these donations “so that I may dwell among them”.  The Rebbe explains that each of us must build a sanctuary within ourselves to create a space for God’s presence.  We do this in a four step process:

  1. Begin each day with Modeh Ani, thus accepting God at the start of our day
  2. We articulate that foundation with fixed forms of prayer
  3.  We make specific the intentions of those prayers through actions and learning, by identifying those actions that are in accord with God’s will and those that are not
  4. We finally, and most importantly, take those actions, rather than just thinking or talking about the. The prax (practice) must dominate the dox (thinking)

These are the foundations, the walls and the coverings of our personal sanctuary, recreated every day by our actions and thus going from the general to the very specific and allowing God to dwell within us.

Shabbat shalom

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