Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Trumah

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken

My grandfather, Nosson Yitzchak ben Tzvi Herschel, Isaac Golubitsky, passed away last Friday. This week's LifeLine is dedicated in his memory.

"G-d spoke to Moshe, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for me; from every man whose heart desires [to give], take my offering.'" [25:1-2]

The Bais HaLevi, Rabbi Yosef Soloveitchik of Brisk, discusses why this week's reading, Trumah, follows last week's reading of Mishpatim in the Torah. As we mentioned last week, Mishpatim describes an abundance of interpersonal laws. He explains that before a person gives charity with his money, he or she must first ensure that his or her money was acquired honestly, and not through theft or dubious business practices. If not, the "charity" will be of no benefit to the giver, meaning that it will not be considered a Mitzvah at all.

In the laws of Sukkos, we learn that one cannot use a stolen Lulav, referring to the palm frand taken during the holiday. If one uses a stolen Lulav, he has not fulfilled the Mitzvah, and has recited a blessing in vain. According to the Bais HaLevi, the law here is the same.

This is why the profit Isaiah says ["So says HaShem, 'Guard judgment and do Tzedakah'" [56:1] (Tzedakah means either justice or charity), because one must first do one's business with judgment, and then give charity. Therefore, HaShem first gave His judgments, and only then commanded Israel to bring their donations to the Tabernacle.

Here we see the close ties between the interpersonal laws and those between man and G-d. One cannot take a stolen Lulav and do a Mitzvah. One cannot take stolen money and give it to charity. The principle is the same - and the bottom line is: one cannot steal.

Before describing the commandment to build the Tabernacle, the Sefer HaChinuch, the Book of (Mitzvah) Education, offers a preface, in which he explains the underlying reason why HaShem gave us His commandments: in order that we perfect and prepare ourselves to receive the great good that G-d wants to give us. He discusses this in great detail - the Sefer HaChinuch is available in English as well as Hebrew, and you should try to see at least a section of this in Mitzvah 95.

Whatever the Mitzvah, be it a ritual or matter of personal ethics, one should always aim for self-improvement when doing it. And taking a Lulav should also make us better people, and remind us to be certain that it and the money which was used to purchase it were acquired honestly.


Text Copyright © 1996 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.

The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Of Zealots and Eretz Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Holidays, Technologies & the ‘Reel’ World
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Pursue G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

An Untaught Law
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Tempered Blessing
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Making A Difference
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Going Home to a New House
Shlomo Katz - 5762

On Who's Honor?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Lead Us and We Will Follow
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

> Been There, Done That
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5761

Forever Sensitive
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

ArtScroll

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Truly Humane
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

A Hopeful Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Peace Pursued
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information