Friday, February 27, 2009

Parshas Terumah

There’s one topic which I never understood and I still don’t understand. I’ve always heard stories as a kid, where one person gave up their olam haba to another, or gave up a mitzvah or something for the other person to have, and this just doesn’t make sense to me. If we are supposed to be doing mitzvos and getting schar, why is it a good thing to give it up to another?

Something To Say:

From every person whose heart is giving (25:2)

Hashem told Moses to tell the Jews to set aside contributions for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. The Midrash tells us that Moses himself did not donate anything at first – and then could not because sufficient materials had already been provided. God comforted him, saying, “Your words are dearer to Me than anything.”

Rabbi Chanoch Tzvi of Bendin asks: Why didn’t Moses give to the Mishkan? and if he had a reason not to do so, why was it a source of aggravation to him? The Rebbe explains that Moses was afraid that by giving a donation, he might complete the necessary sum and preclude someone else from giving. Moses decided not to contribute because he understood that at times giving up a mitzvah can be an even bigger source of merit than performing it. However, at the end, he saw that a miracle had occurred: The Mishkan was built with all the donations that were made, even those that had not been needed, and he was therefore distressed that he had given nothing.

Now doesn’t this go against Zerizus, to do a mitzvah right away? I guess it really is a good thing to give up on mitzvos, but they just don’t tell children that, because then you would give up a mitzvah out of laziness and not for the right reason. Although here Moshe lost out by giving up the mitzvah. Since at the end Hashem made it possible for everyone's contributions to fit, and Moshe hadn’t gave anything, had he gave it would have fit.


rickismom said...

Once I heard a story where someone was willing to "lose" some Olaam HaBa to slander someone. The Rav told him, if you are willing to give it up so easy, you never believed in it in the first place! (This is not quite the same as your stuff here....)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I guess in general there isn't that much of a lesson for us here, though one place it could be applicable is Aliyot and stuff like that. Moshe (according to this explanation) "gave it away" because it's a limited mitzva that's it's honorable to perform. In "shul" too, one can buy an Alyiah or Petichah or something, and honor someone else with it.

Another possible example is two very wealthy Jews who are in competition for the main donations necessary for a new yeshiva building (in which their name would appear), in certain situations it might be laudable to "give it away".

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Ricki'sMom: yea, I was thinking somewhere along those lines at one point.

Shlomo: right, so it gave a story with an example of that, where a Rav gave up the honor of an alyah for his fathers yartzeit or something cause a new person came to the shul and wanted it. So for peace sake he gave up his mitzvah for a greater mitzvah.

right, so there it makes sense too, thanx for explaining!

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