Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah by HaRav Eliezer Chrysler
Formerly Rav of Mercaz Ahavat Torah, Johannesburg

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Vol. 23   No. 19

This issue is sponsored l'iluy Nishmas
Tzvi Meir ben R' Shimon Baruch z"l
by the Iskowitz Family

Parshas Terumah

The Mishkan & Matan Torah

"And they shall make for Me a Mikdash, and I will dwell in their midst" (25:8).

* In Parshas Ki Sissa (31:18) Rashi, based on the principle that the Torah does not necessarily follow a chronological order, comments that the Parshah of the Mishkan ought to have been written here following the sin of the Golden Calf, since its construction served as an atonement for the terrible sin.

The Medrash Tanchuma however, precisely because of the juxtaposition of Parshas T'rumah to Matan Torah, comments in connection with the former - 'This is what the Pasuk says in Mishlei (4:2) "because I have given you a good acquisition, My Torah, do not forsake it!"

Two questions arise, according to the Medrash: 1). What is the connection between Matan Torah and the Mishkan? 2). Why did G-d see fit to build a House for the Shechinah here on earth? Surely it would have been more befitting for the Master of the universe to fix His abode among the holy, righteous angels, who dutifully serve Him and who do not sin?


To explain the connection between Matan Torah and the Mishkan, the Medrash cites a parable - of a king who was marrying of his only daughter with whom he had an extremely close relationship. "I beg of you", he said to his son-in-law, as the wedding-day approached, "Prepare me a room near my daughter, as I cannot bear to part with her".

The king, of course, is Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu, the daughter, the Torah (His offspring, Kevayachol), the son-in law, K'lal Yisrael and the wedding day - Matan Torah.


G-d gave Yisrael the Torah, because it was us that He took out of Egypt and it is we who have parents, and who possess a Yeitzer-ha'Ra that causes us to murder and steal etc.- not the angels. The Medrash now tells us that G-d fixed His dwelling here with us because He cannot be separated from the Torah, which is an intrinsic part of Himself. This presents us with the triumvirate 'Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu, Yisrael and Torah' - which, as the Medrash informs us, are one.

It turns out that G-d chose to fix his abode here on earth, because He is inseparable from Torah, and that is why He instructed Yisrael to build the Mishkan immediately after giving Yisrael the Torah on Sinai.

With this we can understand the Ba'al ha'Turim, who points out that the word "T'rumah" contains the letters 'Torah mem', because the command to construct the Mishkan followed the giving of the Torah that was given after forty days.


Finally, in answer to the question what Yisrael did to earn the distinction of joining the above-mentioned triumvirate (a prerequisite to all Divine blessing - 'Ani le'Dodi ve'Dodi li'), the Tana de'Bei Eliyahu writes that, no sooner had Yisrael proclaimed 'Na'aseh ve'Nishma', Hashem responded with "And they take for Me a separation" and proceed to construct the Mishkan.

* * *

The Two Adars

The month of Adar that precedes Nisan is always 'chaser', i.e. it has twenty-nine days. In a leap year, Adar Rishon is always 'molei', thirty days.


Whereas the Mazel of Adar is fish, says the Arugas ha'Bosem, Adar Rishon has no Mazel.


Someone who is born in an ordinary year and who turns twelve (a girl) or thirteen (a boy) in a leap-year, becomes bar or bas-Mitzvah only in Adar Sheini.


It is possible for a boy (or a girl) to be born later than his (or her) contemporary, yet he becomes bar (or bas-Mitzvah) before him (her). Take, for example, a boy who is born on Rosh Chodesh of Adar Sheini, whilst his contemporary is born on the twentieth of Adar Rishon (ten days earlier). Should their thirteenth birthdays fall in an ordinary year, then the younger boy's bar-Mitzvah will precede the older one's by ten days.


Based on the previous paragraph one would assume that in a leap-year, it is always Adar Sheini that is the main Adar. Indeed, it is in Adar Sheini that we celebrate Purim and Lein the four special Parshiyos (Shekolim, Zochor, Poroh & ha'Chodesh).

Yet this assumption is not at all clear-cut, as we will now see, with regard to the Dinim of Yohrtzeit. It goes without saying that, if someone dies in Adar Rishon or Adar Sheini in a leap-year, in subsequent leap-years the yohrtzeit must be observed in the corresponding Adar. The question arises however, as to when one observes the Yohrtzeit in an ordinary year of someone who died in a leap year. The Shulchan Aruch maintains that one fasts in Adar Sheini, whereas the Rema cites others who hold that one fasts in Adar Rishon. Presumably, lighting a Yohrtzeit light and reciting Kadish are subject to the same ruling. Although the Rema concludes that the Minhag is like the latter opinion, he adds that there are those that require one to fast on both days, which, ideally speaking, says the Mishnah B'rurah there, is the correct thing to do (See Mishnah B'rurah, 568:42).

* * *

Pearls From the Ba'al ha'Turim

"And He performs kindness up to two thousand generations " (20:56).

The words "and He performs kindness" appears four times in T'nach - once here, once in the Aseres ha'Dibros in Va'eschanan, and twice in connection with David ha'Melech - in Tehilim and in Shmuel , where it says "And He does Chesed with His anointed one".

This teaches us, says the Ba'al ha'Turim, that someone performs kindness to others (like David, who performed kindness with Chanun, the King of Amon) merits Divine kindness.


" to those whom I love and to those who observe My Mitzvos" (Ibid.).

The Ba'al ha'Turim tells us that, from the juxtaposition of this phrase to the following Pasuk "Lo Sisso .". (not to swear by G-d's Name falsely) we can learn a). that swearing falsely is as severe as all the other Mitzvos (that are not subject to Kareis), and b). that, when keeping all the Mitzvos, one should take care not to keep them 'in vain' (without the correct Kavanah - with an ulterior motive).


"Remember the day of Shabbos to sanctify it" (20:8).

This is the seventh Pasuk (of the Asares ha'Dibros), and it begins with a 'Zayin' the Ba'al ha'Turim points out - bearing in mind that Shabbos is the seventh day. Correspondingly, seven 'people' are mentioned in Pasuk 9 - "You, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animals and your converts within your gates", and seven 'Menuchos' are ,listed in Atah Echad' (at Shabbos Minchah).

* * *

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