Monday, April 22, 2013

365 - Terumah

The second half of Sefer Shemos, from Terumah onward, describes the building of the Mishkan. The placement of this portion of the Torah is described by the Ramban in his introduction to Sefer Shemos wherein he outlines the contents of the Sefer: 

"The Torah finished Sefer Bereishis which described the creation of the world and the events of the forefathers . . .and Sefer Shemos was designated to describe the first exile and the ensuing redemption . . . and the redemption wasn't complete until they returned to their proper place and to the level of their forefathers. When they left Mitzrayim, even though they had left the house of bondage, they were still considered in exile since they were not in their homeland, but wanderers in the desert. When they came to Har Sinai and built the Mishkan and Hashem rested His Shechina upon them, they finally returned once again to the level of their forefathers who were the "throne" of Hashem and then they were considered redeemed." 

Rav Wolbe (Da'as Shlomo Geulah pg. 30) comments that we might have understood from the Ramban's words, "and the redemption wasn't complete until they returned to their proper place" that in order to be considered redeemed, they would have to enter Eretz Yisrael. However, it is clear from his subsequent words that this is not the case. The point of redemption did not occur when they left the home of bondage since they were still in exile, nor did it occur when they entered Eretz Yisrael for at that point they had already been redeemed. Rather, the redemption occurred when Hashem placed of His Shechina upon Bnei Yisrael. 

Chazal say (Avos 6, 6) "Whoever repeats something in the name of the one who originally said it brings redemption to the world as it is written, 'And Esther repeated it to the king in the name of Mordechai.'" Repeating something in the name of someone else is an attribute which demonstrates one's ability not to disconnect something from its source. This is the characteristic which defines redemption. Our world is disconnected from the Creator. Redemption is what reunites the world to The Creator - its original source. When Hashem placed His Shechina on Bnei Yisrael they experienced true redemption since the world was reconnected to its source.

The Ramban describes Hashem resting upon Bnei Yisrael as, "returning to their place." In other words, the very nature of Klal Yisrael is one that includes Hashem's Shechina in their midst. Every person has the ability to become an abode for the Shechina, as Chazal tell us, Hashem said, "Make for Me a Mikdash and I will dwell amongst you." Every person has the ability to take his body and turn it into an abode for the Creator Himself!

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