Midreshet Amit

Torah

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The Merging of the Individual and the Community

By: Shoshana Behar

 

This weeks parsha, Parshat Terumah, begins with a call from Hashem for donations from all of Bnei Yisrael for the purpose of building a Mishkan. Hashem asks for everyone to bring anything they are able to, so that all of Bnei Yisrael can be included in the Mishkan and the creation of it. The Mishkan’s purpose was to have a physical place for the Jewish people  to connect to Hashem in their everyday life.

 In the description of the Mishkan we read in perek 25:22

 ֣ ֮ ֒ ֨ ֜ ֣ ֗ ֙ ֣ ֔ ֖ ֣ ֑ ֣ ׇ֧ ֛ ֖ ֥ {}

There I will meet with you, and I will impart to you—from above the cover, from between the two cherubim that are on top of the Ark of the Pact—all that I will command you concerning the Israelite people.

We know that it is Moshe’s job to speak and listen  to Hashem on behalf of Bnei Yisrael, but where is Moshe standing when he is communicating with Hashem? According to Rashi, Moshe stood outside the curtain behind which contained the ark and from heard the voice of Hashem coming from in between the keruvim. But why would Moshe stand outside the curtain when we know that  he is permitted to go past it and that he communicates with Hashem on a regular basis? The answer is that there is a difference between Moshe speaking to Hashem in relation to himself and Moshe speaking to Hashem in relation to Bnei Yisrael. When Moshe speaks  with Hashem about himself they do not use the Mishkan to communicate, but rather communicate outside the Mishkan's walls. However, when speaking for behalf of Bnei Yisrael they communicate in the Mishkan. The reason for this being that the Mishkan was created for all of Bnei Yisrael and from their personal belongings, therefore, they each have a part in it.

 

:

֙ ֣ ֔ ֖ ֑ ֤ ׇ֙ ֣ ֣ ֔ ֖

Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.

 

:

֥ ֖ ֑ ֖

And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

 We can understand from this, that when Moshe is communicating with Hashem for the purpose of himself it is important and holy, when Moshe communicates for the purpose of Bnei Yisrael it is even more holy. This can also be another reason as to why he does not cross the barrier and step past the curtain containing the ark. Furthermore, we learn that personal study and connections to Hashem are important, however, it’s even more important to teach that to others and use it as an opportunity to allow others to connect even more with Hashem. This year in Israel I am doing a lot personal growth through learning and while it is important I am so excited to bring my learning home and share it with others.