Posted on February 15, 2024 (5784) By Rabbi Yissocher Frand | Series: | Level:

This dvar Torah was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: #1283 I Want To Take Back The Keser Torah I Donated: Should the Shul Agree? Good Shabbos!

There is an interesting Medrash Rabbah in the beginning of Parshas Terumah. The Medrash links the pasuk at the beginning of the parsha about taking gold and silver (Shemos 25:3) with the pasuk in Mishlei “For I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah.” (Mishlei 4:2) The Medrash states: Do not ever abandon this great acquisition that I gave you.

A person can buy a golden item, but not have silver. He can buy something of silver but not have gold. However, the acquisition I gave you (Torah) has both. Torah has within it silver, as it is written “The words of Hashem are pure words – like purified silver…” (Tehillim 12:7) (Here, Dovid Hamelech refers to Torah as silver). And the acquisition I gave you has within it gold, as it is written “They are more desirable than gold, than even much fine gold…” (Tehillim 19:11) Torah is both gold and silver; there is no other such acquisition.

We must ask, if someone has gold, why does he need silver? Gold is more valuable than silver! What is the advantage that the Medrash is boasting about, that Torah is compared to both gold AND silver? The Abir Yosef answers by referencing an insight from Rav Chaim Soloveitchik on the Hagaddah. The author of the Hagaddah writes: Baruch HaMakom, baruch Hu, baruch shenasan Torah l’amo Yisrael, Baruch Hu, which introduces the “four sons about which the Torah speaks” – the wise son, the wicked son, the simple son, and the son who does not know how to ask. Everyone asks why this section of the Hagaddah begins with the expression “Blessed is He who gave Torah to His nation, Israel.”

The answer is as follows: By almost all disciplines in the world (Chemistry, Physics, Math, English, etc.), a curriculum that is appropriate for a six-year-old child is not appropriate for a sixty-year-old. If I take a basic arithmetic book (2+2 = 4, 4+4 = 8) and show it to a professor of math, he does not need to learn that and he does not learn it. It is the same with all endeavors. But this week – and so it is every week – our children or our grandchildren will come home from school and share what they learned about the parsha… the story of the Mishkan and all the events in Parshas Teruma. Likewise, great talmidei chachomim will discuss the same parsha.

In the great Yeshivos of the Torah world, the world famous roshei yeshiva will say over their weekly Torah lessons this week on Parshas Teruma. Every rabbi will be speaking about Parshas Teruma. Every little child will be talking about Parshas Teruma. How can the same parsha, which works for a six-year-old, work for a sixty-year-old? What other discipline is like that?

Perhaps the only other discipline that this can be remotely compared to is music. Music can be appreciated on a very basic level and on a very sophisticated level. That is why Torah is compared to song: “And now write for yourselves this Song…” (Devorim 31:19) A great musicologist appreciates great music on his level and a little child may appreciate it at his level. So too, a great rosh yeshiva can give a deep shiur on Mishnayos Bava Kamma at the same time that his eight-year-old grandson learns those Mishnayos in cheder.

That is the meaning of the Medrash. Torah is both gold and silver. Someone who appreciates the deeper mysteries of Torah appreciates it as gold. The little school child who comes home with a picture of the Menorah with its knobs and flowers appreciates Torah on his level, at least like silver.

“Ki lekach tov no’sati lachem; Torasi al ta’azovu” (For I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah) (Mishlei 4:2)

Transcribed by David Twersky; Jerusalem [email protected]

Edited by Dovid Hoffman; Baltimore, MD [email protected]

This week’s write-up is adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissochar Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Series on the weekly Torah portion. A listing of the halachic portions for Parshas T’rumah is provided below:

  • # 044 Changing Nusach: Ashkenaz vs. Sephard
  • # 087 The Microphone on Shabbos
  • # 135 Living Above a Shul
  • # 182 Davening Towards Mizrach
  • # 228 Selling a Shul
  • # 272 Chazakah B’Mitzvos: Is This Maftir Yonah Mine?
  • # 318 Taking Out Two Sifrei Torah
  • # 362 The Mechitza-How High?
  • # 406 Shul Elections
  • # 450 Bais Hakeneses & Bais Hamikdash–Differences & Similarities
  • # 494 Bima In The Center Of The Shul
  • # 538 Preventing the Building of a Shul
  • # 582 Silk in Halacha
  • # 626 The Po’roches
  • # 714 The Bais Hamedrash Is Not a Chat Room
  • # 758 An Atara for a Talis?
  • # 802 Birthday Cakes on Shabbos
  • # 846 A Pasul Sefer Torah – Where Should It Be Kept?
  • # 890 Shul Windows: An Open or Closed Case?
  • # 934 Kohanim Face the Nation
  • # 977 Remodeling A Shul: Is There A Problem?
  • #1021 Should a Yahrzeit Make His Own Minyan in Shul to Get the Amud?
  • #1065 The Breakaway Minyan – Permitted or Not?
  • #1108 Being From The First Ten At Davening
  • #1151 Shul Shortcuts – Does Saying A Pasuk Really Help?
  • #1194 Your Father’s Nussach Or Your Grandfather’s Nussach
  • #1238 Pushka and Tzedaka Shailos
  • #1283 I Want To Take Back The Keser Torah I Donated: Should the Shul Agree?
  • #1370 They Want To Build A New Shul? N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Backyard)
  • #1414 Shul Issues: Shortcuts, Davening Towards Mizrach and More
  • #1458 Can A Man Daven In the Ezras Nashim Rather Than In the Main Shul?
  • #1502 Mizrach is One Direction; The Aron Kodesh Is in Another; Which Way Should You Face?
  • 1545 How Kodesh Is the Aron Kodesh?

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