Terumah 5774

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The first vessel mentioned in the building of the mishkan is the Aron. The Gemara in Yoma says that a miracle occurred and the Aron didn't take up space. Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that this miracle teaches us to be just like the Aron. Just as the Aron held the Torah inside it, so too we are to fill ourselves up with Torah knowledge. But once you do so, you are to act with humility as if you didn't fill yourself at all. Act as if the Torah doesn't take up space inside you and continue to learn without end.

Mishpatim 5774

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In the middle of the parsha we learn about the mitzvah of giving tzedakah. In the very same verse, we are commanded not to charge interest. Chazal say in many places how harsh the punishment is for doing so. Why are these two mitzvos next to each other? Rav Chaim Shmulewitz explains that tzedakah is a great mitzvah due to being done out of pure chesed. Charging interest is taking that chesed you've done and tainting it; you look to gain something in return for your good deed. By being selfish, you lose your place in the World to Come.

Beshalach 5774

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Later on in the torah portion of Bamidbar, Moshe blesses Yehoshua to save him from the spies. Rashi there says the blessing was "Hashem (Yud-key) will save you". The Tzeidah Laderech asks why did Moshe use that specific name of Hashem as opposed to others. He answers based on the story at the end of Beshalach where Yehoshua defeats Amalek. Hashem swears at the end of the story to fight a continuous war against Amalek using the name (yud-key). Moshe made sure to protect Yehoshua with the swear made by Hashem, especially since the spies had mentioned Amalek in their report back to Bnei Yisroel.
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