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ועשית שנים כרובים זהב

You shall make two Keruvim of gold. (25:18)

The Baal HaTurim writes: Keravia, like children (corresponding to the pasuk), Ki naar Yisrael v’o’haveihu, “When Yisrael was a lad, I loved him” (Hoshea 11:1). The Alter, zl, m’Kelm explains the connection between this pasuk and the Keruvim, who had the countenance of children, as alluding to the youthful manner, the approach one must maintain with regard to Torah study. We are to approach Torah study and mitzvah performance with raananus, youthful vitality. Excitement, passion, freshness: these are appellations that apply to youth. Horav Yisrael Salanter, zl, explains the above pasukim (from Hoshea) that Hashem especially loves Klal Yisrael when…

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ועשו ארון עצי שטים ... וצפית אתו זהב טהור ... ועשית עליו זר זהב סביב

They shall make an Ark of acacia wood… You shall cover it with pure gold … and you shall make it on a gold crown. (25:10,11)

The zer zahav, gold crown, was an attachment which symbolized the kesser Torah, crown of Torah (Yoma 72b). Chazal (Shemos Rabbah 34:2) teach that three kessarim, crowns, exist: Kesser Malchus, crown of Monarchy; Kesser Kehunah, crown of Priesthood; and Kesser Torah. The crown of Monarchy is symbolized by the zer, crown, that was on the Shulchan, Table. The crown of Kehunah is symbolized by the zer on the Mizbayach, Altar.  Interestingly, concerning the construction of the crown of both the Shulchan and Mizbayach, the Torah writes, V’asissa, “You shall make l’misgarto, for its molding (Shulchan);” V’assisa lo, “You shall make…

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ויקחו לי תרומה מאת כל איש אשר ידבנו לבו תקחו את תרומתי

And let them take for Me a portion from every man whose heart motivates him you shall take My portion. (25:2)

Horav Gamliel Rabinowitz, Shlita, interprets this pasuk homiletically, employing it to establish the guideline for tzedakah, charitable giving. Ish asher yidvenu libo; a man whose heart compels him to give, who gives sincerely, has attained a lofty achievement. We all give, because we can, because Hashem has commanded us to give. Do we give out of shame, afraid of what our friends will say? Do we give out of a sense of guilt? How does one reach the plateau of honest, heartfelt giving? He must believe that it is not his money that he is giving to the poor man,…

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דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה

Speak to Bnei Yisrael and let them take for Me a portion. (25:2)

“Them” refers to the people, to those in charge of collecting funds. It definitely does not refer to Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaKohen. They could not be the collectors, because If Moshe and Aharon were to come knocking on someone’s door and state that they were going door-to-door collecting money, would anyone be so audacious as to say, “no!”? Certainly not. One does not turn his back on the leaders of Klal Yisrael. This is not the way Hashem wanted the Mishkan to be built. It had to be the product of free-will contributions. Furthermore, as Horav Reuven Karlinsky, zl,…

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ועשית מנרת זהב טהור מקשה תיעשה המנורה

You shall make a Menorah of pure gold, hammered out shall the Menorah be made. (25:31)

All of the Menorah’s varied shapes and forms had to be hammered out of one large ingot of gold. Nothing could be made separately and later attached. Chazal (Midrash Tanchuma) teach that this feat (the making of the Menorah) proved to be difficult for Moshe Rabbeinu to conceptualize. He simply could not visualize how the Menorah should appear. Hashem showed Moshe a Menorah made of fire. Still, our leader and Rebbe could not properly create the Menorah. Hashem instructed Moshe to fling the ingot into fire, and a completed Menorah emerged. This miracle is alluded to by the words, “shall…

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ועשית מנרת זהב טהור מקשה תיעשה המנורה

You shall make a Menorah of pure gold, hammered out shall the Menorah be made. (25:31)

Chazal (Midrash Tanchuma) teach that Moshe Rabbeinu had difficulty visualizing the completed Menorah. Hashem showed him a Menorah of fire. Moshe still had difficulty in making it. Hashem then instructed Moshe to hurl an ingot of gold into the fire – and a completed Menorah emerged. This Midrash is laden with commentary addressing Moshe’s difficulty, in as much as we only find two other places in the Torah in which Moshe experienced difficulty understanding Hashem’s command. Obviously, the idea of a Menorah fashioned of fire has a profound message. I came across an inspiring story concerning Chanukah which I think…

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וצפית אתו זהב טהור מבית ומחוץ תצפנו ועשית עליו זר זהב סביב

You shall cover it with pure gold, from inside and from outside you shall cover it, and you shall make on it a golden diadem all around. (25:11)

Rashi explains that the zer, diadem, was a sort of crown, going all the way around to the top of the Aron, above its edge… This zer, crown, is a symbol for the Kesser Torah, Crown of the Torah. In Pirkei Avos 4:13, Rabbi Shimon says: “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah; the crown of Kehunah, the Priesthood; the crown of Malchus, Kingship; and the crown of a shem tov, a good name, goes above them.” The question is obvious. The Mishnah states that there are three crowns, and then mentions a fourth crown, the crown of a good…

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דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה

Speak to Bnei Yisrael, and they shall take for Me a portion. (25:2)

Shlomo Hamelech says in Sefer Koheles (12:1), U’z’chor es Borecha b’yimei bacharusecha, ad asher lo yavou yimei ha’raah, v’higiu shanim asher tomar ein li bahem cheifetz, “So remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the end days come, and those years arrive of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” Mar Ukva says (Kesubos 67b), “Bring me my charity records… my provisions are light and the way is long…” He went ahead and lavished half his assets on charity. The Maharasha explains that tzedakah, giving charity (as in v’yikchu li terumah, “Take for Me…

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ויקחו לי תרומה

And they shall take for Me a terumah/tithing portion. (25:2)

The command to build the Mishkan was not a one-time command, but rather, it is relevant to every Jew, every day of his life, at every juncture in history. The command begins with an ambiguous term, v’yikchu, “and they shall take,” when the correct vernacular should have been v’nasnu, “and they shall give.” Obviously, we can derive much from this. We will focus on the Midrash that equates the v’yikchu in this pasuk with the v’yikchu in the pasuk in Mishlei (4:2), Ki lekach tov nasati lachem, Torasi al taazovu, “For I have given you a good deal – My…

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דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה מאת כל איש אשר ידבנו לבו

Speak to Bnei Yisrael and let them take for Me a terumah/tithing/portion, from every man whose heart motivates him. (25:2)

Nedivas ha’lev, a donation from the sincerity of one’s heart, is the loftiest level of generosity. It is easy to write a check – if one has the money to back it. Easy come – easy go. Generosity of the heart demands sincerity; it is not about the amount of money that one gives. It is how much of himself he gives with that money. The purity of money is based upon the sincerity behind it. When one seeks to establish an abode for Hashem, a place where the Divine Presence will repose, it must be the result of funds…

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