Vol 26.19 - Terumah 1                Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5745) Rashi (Ex. 25:8): "And make for Me a sanctuary"; The innovation of "And make for Me - for the sake of My Name" over "and take for Me - for the sake of My Name" (ibid 2)  , 



Separating and Uplifting
The Torah portion of Terumah begins1 with G‑d telling Moshe to have the Jewish people “take unto Me an offering” — terumah. Rashi2 explains terumah to mean “separation”; the Jews were to “separate” an offering “for His Name’s sake.”

The verse then goes on to explain what is to be done with this offering: “You shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will rest within them.”3 Rashi4 explains this to mean: “You shall make for My Name’s sake a Holy edifice.”

Why does Rashi find it necessary in the latter verse as well to explain that “for” means “for My Name’s sake”? In the former verse, where the Jews are commanded to detach their own mundane funds, the verse already explains that the money must be separated and earmarked “for My Name’s sake.”

Here, however, when G‑d describes how the money — which was already set aside for a sacred purpose, and thus within the domain of holiness — should be used, the explanation that this also was “for My Name’s sake” seems superfluous.

As mentioned earlier, Rashi explains “Sanctuary” to mean “a Holy edifice,” i.e., not only an “edifice for Holiness,” wherein holiness is found, but a “Holy edifice; the edifice itself is holy.

We thus understand that erecting the Sanctuary caused a transformation in the objects used in its construction; they themselves became holy, part of the Holy edifice. Prior to this, their sanctity lay merely in the fact that they had been donated to a sacred cause; now, however, they became part and parcel of the “Holy edifice.”

Since the construction of the Sanctuary brought about a much loftier degree of sanctity within the items used for its construction, it was therefore necessary that the construction itself be performed with an added measure of sanctity — “for My Name’s sake.”

According to the above, we may explain an additional matter in Rashi. As mentioned earlier, Rashi explains terumah to mean “separation.” Terumah may also be translated as “raising and uplifting.” It now becomes clear why Rashi chose the first translation.

“Separation” implies that the object involved was merely detached from other similar objects, i.e., it remains essentially the same as the rest, the difference being only the domain in which the object finds itself.

“Raising and uplifting,” on the other hand, implies an essential change within the object itself — the object has become transformed into something much higher than it was.

According to Rashi, this is the difference between the verse “take unto Me an offering — terumah ” and the verse “You shall make for Me a Sanctuary.”

The first verse, which had the Jews donate to a sacred cause, involved mere “separation.” For although the money or objects underwent a change of ownership from the mundane to the holy, they remained essentially the same.

But by transforming them into “a Sanctuary for Me,” the objects themselves were “raised and uplifted” to a strikingly higher degree of holiness.

There is an important lesson here in terms of our own spiritual service. Our Sages tell us5 that every Jew is to transform his home into a Sanctuary for G‑d.

Here too, the two levels of service — “separation” and “uplifting” — are extremely germane. First and foremost, the Jew is to “separate” his home from its environment. In his house, all things are done “for the sake of Heaven;”6 he engages in mundane activities, but they are intended for a spiritual purpose.

Thereafter, the individual transforms and uplifts his home so that it becomes a Sanctuary. During this stage, the house itself becomes more than a dwelling for holiness, it becomes a dwelling of holiness, permeated with Torah and mitzvos.

(From https://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/92037/jewish/Chassidic-Dimension-Volume-3-Terumah.htm)

1.    Shmos 25:1-2.

2.    Ibid.
3.    Ibid., verse 8.
4.  Ibid.
5.   See Reishis Chochmah, Shaar HaAhavah ch. 6; Sheloh, Terumah 325b, 326b; Likkutei Torah, Naso 20b, et al.
6.  Avos 2:12.






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