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“And the Nesiim brought their offering before the Altar.” (7:10)

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The Torah goes on to enumerate the various gifts offered by the Nesiim for the dedication of the Mishkan. The Midrash notes that, although the korbanos were all identical, they are nonetheless each mentioned separately to indicate their individual uniqueness. Each Nasi formulated his gifts independently, reflecting his own ruach ha’kodesh, Divine inspiration, and symbolizing the various traits and history of his tribe.  Inasmuch as externally the korbanos were the same, their inner essence, the reasons and reflections behind them, differed, thereby creating twelve distinctive korbanos. Hence, the Torah lists them separately. We derive from here that although two activities may appear to be the same, they can be totally disparate from each other in essence. How are we to understand this phenomenon?

Horav Yaakov Y. Ruderman, z.l., explained this Midrash in the following manner: Every substance or activity is comprised of two aspects, the rnuj, external matter, and the vrum, the inner essence. Although their collective activities appeared to manifest the same form, the disparate aspect of chomer, reflected their individual intentions.  In the spiritual arena, the chomer implies the material makeup of a given endeavor, while the tzurah suggests the spiritual foundation of an activity. In addition, the inner essence is the determining factor in any spiritual endeavor and the overriding element in its success.

As Horav Ruderman notes, two bachurim, students, may be studying Torah together in the same Bais Ha’Midrash. On the surface level, they seem similarly engrossed in their studies. The one who maintains a greater enthusiasm and love for Torah, however, is driven to delve into and ponder the profundities of the “blatt Gemora” with a greater thirst for knowledge. He will ultimately have greater success in his studies. The tzurah, inner intentions, which underscored each individual Nasi’s korban, created twelve different sacrifices which the Torah enumerates separately in order to illustrate their independent nature.