<i>Terumah</I>: Appeasement

What great difficulty is being imposed?

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
The parsha begins with the words, "Speak [daber] to the people of Israel and they should donate the material that is needed for the Mishkan."

Why is the word daber used? Daber is usually associated with "harsh language" when something hard or difficult is being presented. What great difficulty is being imposed on the Jewish people at this time? The half-shekel they gave was not a big burden, neither were the other donations to the Mishkan. All were given voluntarily, out of their wish to be part of this great occasion.

Rabbi Yitzchak Isbee, z.l., went further, to quote the Baal HaTurim that daber has the connotation of appeasement, piyus, as found in the Navi: "Dabru al lev Yerushalayim." But why is appeasement needed here?

The Baal HaTurim goes on to explain that the need for appeasement is when there is a monetary loss. After Churban HaBayit, monetary loss obviously played a significant role, but in the case of the donations to the
In the case of the Mishkan, we are creating a place for the Divine Presence to come down and dwell amongst us.
Mishkan everyone was wealthy with the gold that they had when they left Egypt. Why the need for appeasement? What is so difficult here?

The Sukkat David gives an explanation based on a Rashi on the parsha: you have to give the donation to the Mishkan "in My Name." All other mitzvot also need pure intentions; however, we can gain certain benefits from them. By bringing sacrifices, for example, we gain a personal benefit of atonement even though our full intentions are to bring it to HaShem. The Gemara also says that if a person gives tzedaka on condition that his son gets a healthy recovery or that he gains a portion in the World to Come, he is still referred to as a tzadik.

However, in the case of the Mishkan, we are creating a place for the Divine Presence to come down and dwell amongst us. This specific mitzvah needs our undivided attention. We have to concentrate all our kavanot for this unique action, denying any personal benefit whatsoever. This is why daber is used, to understand the focus and concentration we need in building a Mishkan even with these hardships.

Similarly, when we pray for the return of Am Yisrael to their homeland and the rebuilding of the Temple, we understand that the Temple is the source of blessing for the world and needs to be treated with the utmost respect and reverence. May we merit the return to our homeland and Yerushalayim, where we will be willing to bear all hardships in order to be one step closer to the Divine Presence.
Rabbi Chanoch Yeres is the rabbi of Beit Knesset Beit Yisrael in Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem.

The foregoing article was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.