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Shabbos Parshas Terumah

   6th Day Of Adar I, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sissa

Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, Parshas Shekalim

1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Pikudei

Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, Parshas Zachor

Ta'anis Esther, 5749

Purim, 5749

Motzoei Shushan Purim, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Tzav, Parshas Parah

Machne Israel Special Development Fund


Shabbos Parshas Shemini, Parshas Hachodesh

Shabbos Parshas Tazria

Shabbos Parshas Metzora, Shabbos Hagadol

Motzoei Shabbos, Parshas Metzora

Maamar Matzah Zu

Tzivos Hashem/Pesach

6th Day Of Pesach, 5749

Shevi'i Shel Pesach, 5749

Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749

Maamar Vehechrim

Shabbos Parshas Acharei


Shabbos Parshas Kedoshim

2nd Day Of Iyar, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Emor

Shabbos Parshas Behar,

Eve Of Lag Baomer, 5749

Evening Following Lag Baomer, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Bechukosai

Address To The Women's Convention

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 4th Day Of Sivan, 5749

1st Day Of Shavuos, 5749

2nd Day Of Shavuos, 5749

Yechidus Following Shavuos

12th Day Of Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 13th Of Sivan, 5749

Sichos In English
Volume 41

Shabbos Parshas Terumah
6th Day Of Adar I, 5749
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 13th Day Of Adar I, 5749  


The seventh of Adar commemorates the birthday and yahrzeit of Moshe. This date always occurs close to the portion of Terumah and Tetzaveh. This year the seventh of Adar is Saturday night after Shabbos Terumah, the first day of the week of Tetzaveh.

There is clearly some connection between these portions of the Torah and the seventh of Adar. The theme of these two portions is the Divine ordinance to build a Sanctuary, first mentioned in Terumah:

G-d spoke to Moshe, saying: "Speak to the Israelites and have them bring Me an, silver, copper.... They shall make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell among them." (Shmos 25:1-8)

After the initial command to gather material and build the Mishkan, we are told of the various vessels to be made for the Mishkan. Then in the portion of Tetzaveh we are commanded to kindle the Menorah, to make the vestments for Aharon and the other kohanim and to build the golden incense altar.

The commandments concerning the Sanctuary were directed to Moshe and through him to the Jewish people.

The Midrash explains that only Moshe was able to bring the Shechinah back to the physical world -- and this took place "on the day the Sanctuary was erected."

For this reason the Tabernacle is commonly called "The Mishkan which Moshe made" (see Rambam, Laws of Sanctuary 1:1) or "the work of Moshe's hands."

We may further suggest that the Mishkan was not merely a detail in Moshe's personal responsibility, rather it is a fundamental and basic aspect of Moshe's total Divine service. The aspect of building a Mishkan to serve as a dwelling place for the Shechinah is bound up with the ultimate purpose of creation and of the development of all the spiritual worlds, so that the physical temporal world can become a Sanctuary and Tabernacle for the Holy One, Blessed be He -- "a dwelling place for the Shechinah in the nether world." Here G-d will be "at home" and "reveal" Himself just as man is at home in his own dwelling place.

For this reason the Divine command given to Moshe, "Make Me a Sanctuary," applies in all generations and all places and comprises the purpose of creation of all the worlds. For it represents the presence of G-dliness in the individual life of every Jew.

Clearly then, G-d's words to Moshe were fundamental to his Divine service and essential to the fulfillment of his role in the world. Thus, the Seventh of Adar clearly has a very important association to the portion of Terumah and Tetzaveh. When a tzaddik is born he is given the potential to accomplish everything he has to do throughout his lifetime. In the case of Moshe this was even more manifest for it came in a revealed way as related in Talmud and commentaries. The Gemara states:

When Moshe was born the house was filled with a brilliant light. (Sotah 12a)


Right from his birth he was destined to illuminate the whole world through Torah. (Bacheya in Kad HaKemach)

At the time of passing, when all his accomplishments have come into reality this light is even more intense and in the case of Moshe this was more evident since he died on the same day he was born. Furthermore on that day "all his deeds, teachings and Divine service are revealed...and bring salvation in the world." (Iggeres HaKodesh 27-28)

On the seventh of Adar there is a revelation of "Make Me a Sanctuary", an essential part of Moshe's lifework. The portions of Terumah and Tetzaveh express this aspect very clearly. In this there are actually two levels, the first in Terumah and the higher level in Tetzaveh. Terumah begins with Moshe's name, "G-d spoke to Moshe." Tetzaveh on the other hand begins with the pronoun you, "You command." In fact, Tetzaveh is the only portion of the Torah -- after Moshe's birth -- in which Moshe is not mentioned by name. At first glance this might seem to be critical of Moshe, but further analysis will reveal that the anonymity really points to a higher and deeper aspect of Moshe.

When we speak of intrinsic reality we know that a name is not the essential being of a person. Rather, a name represents an aspect of revelation that sets up a relationship to others. For himself, man needs no name for self-identity. In other words, a name is a descriptive title whereas the true being of a person is higher than names and adjectives. Consequently, the omission of Moshe's name in Tetzaveh represents and emphasizes the aspect of Moshe which is loftier than names.

We may further say that although Moshe is not mentioned by name in Tetzaveh, the anonymity emphasizes the essence which is far loftier than the name that is used in the previous portion of Terumah.

The source of Moshe's name is, "he has been drawn out of the water." Chassidus explains that the source of Moshe's soul is very high, from the hidden spiritual world represented by "covered waters." When his soul descended, in a sense, he was "drawn out of the water," the hidden world, and brought into the revealed world and then into this physical existence.

Moshe referred to himself as one who was "difficult of speech," the reason was that being from the "hidden world" which is beyond communication he was not privy to the power of revelation through speech. However, the Holy One, Blessed be He, did give him the special power so that even his lofty level could become communicative through speech.

Why was Moshe's soul sent down to corporeal existence? to redeem the Jewish people and to give them the Torah. To this we may add that he was also given the role of teaching and directing the Jewish people how to make a dwelling place for G-d in this world. To effect the indwelling of the Shechinah in the lower worlds there must be a revelation of the loftier concealed powers, "out of the water."

Despite all these important aspects of Moshe's name, in the final analysis it still remains only superficial -- a title or attribute -- while the essence is on a much higher scale.

In a parallel fashion, G-d's Holy Names, as it were, are connected with the "radiated light" revelation of G-dliness, whereas the essence of G-dliness remains unnamed, far beyond any title or description. In tzaddikim, too, their essence is way beyond their names.

Now when we note that Moshe's name is not mentioned in Tetzaveh this would indicate that Moshe's essence is much higher than his name. In Terumah we were given the power to make a Sanctuary by virtue of Moshe's name. Subsequent to that we reach a loftier state of understanding in the portion of Tetzaveh when the essence of Moshe is tapped. In this manner we also reach the Supernal Essence for which we are providing the nether dwelling place.

In this context our actions in making the Sanctuary are all the more effective and comprehensive.

The power received from Moshe that is connected to the name Moshe is superficial and cannot penetrate to the lowest level. Only by revealing the essence of Moshe can the action to make the Sanctuary reach the nethermost levels.

"You command" clearly alludes to the essential being of Moshe, beyond the name, and the revelation of Moshe's essence is tied to the true supernal You, the essence of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The word command (tetzaveh) has the same root as tzavsa, connection, for it connects the Jewish people with the Holy One, Blessed be He. This effects the ultimate indwelling, the revelation of G-d's essence among the Jewish people in the lower world. And at the same time it conveys the power for future Sanctuaries.

This level is loftier than the level attained in Terumah which does not penetrate to the nethermost levels below. Only the inner essence of Moshe can accomplish the unification of all the Jewish people and their connection with G-d.

We may now comprehend why the portion of Tetzaveh begins, "And you shall command..." (VeAtah). This reason is now obvious. Tetzaveh comes as a sequence to Terumah; whatever was accomplished in Terumah through the revelation of Moshe's name is now surpassed and added to in Tetzaveh where the essence is revealed and reaches the highest and the lowest point.

The Zohar (beg. Vayikra) says, "the letter Vav is the letter of truth." The Vav serves as the middle bar which extends from one end to the other end, connecting beginning, middle and end. Also, the word E'M'eS' truth, is composed of the letters Alef, Mem, Tav. Alef is the first letter of the Alef-Beis, Mem is the middle letter and Tav is the last of all the letters. Thus, the Zohar means that the letter Vav represents the middle road of truth for Emes is in every level.

This aspect in Divine service is the function of revealing the truth of the Master of the world. His true existence is in all beings, from the highest to the lowest, the Tav of creation. This is congruous with the Vav of VeAtah Tetzaveh -- the addition of Tetzaveh over Terumah. Vav alludes to the truth of His being as it descends to the lowest level; in every level we must create a dwelling place, a Sanctuary for G-dliness.

In the ongoing Divine service of every Jew, to make a Sanctuary for G-d, in all generations, the enpowerment to carry this out comes from G-d through the command given to Moshe.

In this function another force comes into play. Tanya explains that every Jew has a spark of Moshe in his soul which influences him in this. Just as Moshe himself had two facets, his name and his essence, so, too, this dual force is given to every Jew, to reveal his hidden potential, and even higher, to reveal his essence, which is bound to the essence of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

In this way the individual will bring about the indwelling of the Shechinah in a way that he is connected to the Holy One, Blessed be He.

Everything a Jew does must be geared to provide a Sanctuary for G-d. Large or small, holy or profane -- all a Jew's actions should be directed to the goal of making a Sanctuary where G-d will say, "I will dwell among them." These efforts must not only stem from the "Moshe" in every person, but they must also reach the higher level of "You," the holiness tied to G-d.

The Sanctuary was formed from the physical material listed in Terumah. Generally, Terumah alludes to Torah which teaches us the way of Divine service and the way a Jew must conduct his daily life and transform everything to holiness.

The first three items mentioned, "gold, silver and copper," are symbolic of the three pillars, Torah, prayer and good deeds (charity) upon which the world stands.

In truth, these three pillars are an integral part of the Sanctuary. The first vessel that was made for the Mishkan was the Holy Ark which held the Tablets of the Covenant and the Torah. The Sanctuary was primarily "a house of prayer" (Yeshayahu 56:17) and all the prayers of the Jewish people rise up to G-d through the Mount of the Temple, so that it is dedicated to sacrifice and prayer. Immediately after the command to make the ark the Torah says to make a table, upon which there was to be bread. For the Beis HaMikdash was the place through which G-d radiated all His kindness to the world and especially to the Jewish people. "Take to Me" Terumah is also an expression of Tzedakah.

In the area of charitable acts there are actually three levels, "gold, silver and copper." The commentaries explain that charities performed by a person when he is well are compared to gold, the good things one does when he has suffering is compared to silver and the pledges he makes to be distributed after death are compared to copper. (see Baalei HaTosefos on Chumash beg. of Terumah) This concept is further expounded through acrostics of the words gold, silver and copper (Zahav, Kesef and Nechoshes).

Since the mitzvah of tzedakah is the equivalent of all the other mitzvos in the Torah (B. Basra 9a) we may draw an analogy from the three types of tzedakah just outlined to all the other mitzvos of the Torah and to the all-encompassing Divine service of making a dwelling place for G-dliness in the world.

"Gold" points to the perfect form of action, when the giver is healthy in all areas of Torah and mitzvos. Gold was the first of all items enumerated to be brought for the construction of the Tabernacle and clearly it was the most precious of all the materials used.

The second level is "silver," good deeds done when one is suffering and has fears. This alludes to a person who is hampered in his Divine service by worldly worries and temptations and only by his diligent effort to do what is right and serve G-d is he uplifted above his distractions.

The third level is the lowest state where part of the person is already "dead," cut off from the life of Torah. Nevertheless, even this person can give charity, he can still do good deeds and still have a part in the Mishkan. This is the level of copper. Thus. in every level or condition a Jew may find himself, he still has the power to make a Sanctuary for G-d.

This third level is actually the prevalent state of the world in our age for the whole world is in a state of "illness" and only through the Divine service of the Jew is the healing brought to the world.

We learn that on this Shabbos Terumah, on the eve of the 7th of Adar, as we enter the week of Tetzaveh, when all the work of Moshe will be revealed -- especially the work of making a Sanctuary, at such a time every Jew receives power from Moshe to carry out the command, "Make Me a Sanctuary...." This is true for every person, starting with the heart and inner powers, in his home and with his family and in a way that all will see that he has made a Sanctuary where G-d will dwell.

This is especially accomplished through the "gold, silver and copper" which may also be understood as Torah, prayer and acts of loving kindness, which are included in making our own homes houses of Torah, prayer and charity. New edifices of Torah, prayer and good deeds should also be built -- in this Year of Building.

In our generation we have also received special powers from the "extension of Moshe" (see Zohar III, 273a) in our generation -- the Previous Rebbe, the Nasi of our generation who gave of his powers to everyone to help build that personal Sanctuary. And through the work of spreading the wellsprings this potential will be present all over the world. Especially in the institutions which he built and administered, starting with Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch where Torah is studied and prayer and good deeds are practiced.

This school was founded by his father, the Rebbe Rashab, and the Previous Rebbe was appointed as its director, so that his accomplishments continue till this day. The Previous Rebbe appointed his son-in-law to be director of the Yeshivah network and he bestowed upon him the powers to carry out the job, and we can see the fruits of his labors. On this day all his actions stand revealed and accomplish salvation.

[On Shabbos morning Rabbi Shemaryahu Gourary, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Central Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch, son-in-law of the Previous Rebbe, passed away.]

In connection to all the aforementioned I propose during this coming week, starting from Sunday 7th Adar, the birthday and yahrzeit of Moshe, till next Shabbos -- men, women and children should increase all areas of good deeds, in Torah, prayer and charity which make a sanctuary for the Shechinah. Study more Torah qualitatively and quantitatively; give more time for study, learn more subjects, attain deeper comprehension with more enthusiasm; give more charity and do it with a more pleasing countenance.

Increase the kavanah of your prayer. One mitzvah brings another and study leads to action so that this will bring beauty and splendor to all areas of Torah and mitzvos -- including ahavas Yisrael and increase spreading Yiddishkeit and the wellsprings of Chassidus.

All this will speed the coming of the true and complete redemption and those who rest in the dust will rise -- Moshe will lead them and the Third Beis HaMikdash will be rebuilt speedily and in our days, and G-d will dwell therein with the ultimate revelation.

 13th Day Of Adar I, 5749  
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