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Simcha Groffman

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Parashas Trumah

Inside and Out

"And so we see that this p'shat in Rashi can answer the thirteen questions that we asked from these seven Gemoras."

The talmidim look at each other in amazement.

"That shiur (lecture) was absolutely brilliant."

"I agree. It was a masterpiece. The Rebbe is a true talmid chochom in every sense of the word. We have not discovered any subject in Torah that he does not know fluently."

"It's no wonder. He learns day and night. He delves into every gemora deeply and reviews it many, many times."

"I have another way to identify him as a true talmid chochom."

"What is that?"

"He has exemplary middos (character traits). He is so patient with all of the talmidim (students). Although they are far below his level in Torah learning, he takes the time to patiently explain even the simplest points to them."

"Now that you mention it, I notice other outstanding middos. He is warm and friendly to everyone, greeting them with a smile. He is so reserved, never asserting his authority or flaunting his greatness. Even his movements are so gentle and thought out. He carries himself so humbly."

"He is like the Aron Kodesh!"

"What an unusual statement. Why do you say that? And furthermore, what do his good middos have to do with his being a talmid chochom?"

"The two questions have one answer. Look in the parasha, where the Torah describes the Aron Kodesh. 'You shall make the aron of shittim wood...and you shall coat it with pure gold outside and inside' (Shemos 25:10,11)."

"One minute. I understand the reason for the outside coating of pure gold. It will beautify the Holy Ark. However, why does the inside have to be gold? No one ever sees that."

"Brilliant! The Gemora (Yuma 72b) addresses this point. 'Any talmid chochom whose inside is not like his outside is not a talmid chochom.' What are the inside and outside referring to? The Keli Yakar on the parasha elaborates. Those who learn Torah must take special care to purify their hearts. Hashem Alone can look into a person's heart. A person must sincerely become an embodiment of the wisdom that he learns. That is a truly wise man, a genuine talmid chochom."

"I see. One's thoughts, emotions, and actions must be as well thought out as his Torah learning. Giving a brilliant shiur is only part of the story. One must be brilliant in his middos also."

"Well said. We should all become living examples of the Aron Kodesh - inside and out."


Kinderlach . . .

Growing up to be a talmid chochom is a lofty goal in life. You should merit achieving it. As you know, much serious learning is required. Just as important is the work on perfecting ones middos. Patience, mercy, kindness, perseverance, understanding, seriousness, as well as many other middos all require effort to improve. That is part of growing in Torah. A true talmid chochom is as brilliant in his middos as he is in his Torah knowledge. Become a real talmid chochom - inside and out.

Beautiful Music 316 words

The experiment was about to begin. The special soundproofed room was absolutely silent. In the middle sat two musical instruments - a small violin and a huge bass fiddle, both perfectly tuned. The violinist expertly drew his bow across the string, bringing out a perfect "C" note. Everyone waited with baited breath. Yes, they could hear it. The string of the bass was vibrating, also playing a perfect "C". The instruments were in perfect harmony, and the bass could be played without even touching it.

¶The Malbim uses this parable to describe the relationship between man and the world. Hashem designed the universe with a master plan. All of the forces and the events that He executes in all of the worlds are all directed by the actions of . . . man. We are compared to the little violin, and the universe to the big bass. If we listen to and play the sweet tunes of Hashem's mitzvos, then the universe will reverberate with beautiful music. Wonderful events, filled with blessing are the result. However, if we play the sad, lamenting music that comes from sins, the big universe will respond with destruction and suffering.

Kinderlach . . .

Many people are putting much thought into shaping world events. There are so many crises, and so many situations that seem helpless. We just keep hearing more and more sad music. We can change all of that. If we begin playing happy tunes, the world will respond. The next time you pray, sing a beautiful song to Hashem. Tell Him how much you love Him and His mitzvos. Give tsedaka with a big smile on your face, thanking the poor person for giving you the opportunity to fulfill this mitzvah. Let the melody of Torah learning fill your heart. Waltz through the day, twirling around mitzvah after mitzvah. Make beautiful music and change the world.


What was the ultimate purpose of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and its counterpart, the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple)? The Malbim describes the scene during the Holy Festivals. There in Yerushalaim, the city where heaven meets earth, all of the souls of the Jewish nation united like one man. This one united soul contained all of the ruchnius (spirituality) which illuminates the entire world. Each and every person directed his heart to one place. This completed the spiritual structure of the Beis HaMikdash. As the verse states, "Make a mikdash for Me and I will dwell among you" (Shemos 25:8) -- within your souls which are united in this holy place. If each individual Jew is a musical instrument, then the gathering at the Beis HaMikdash was a symphony.

Kinderlach . . .

"For your salvation we wait all of the day" (15th blessing of the daily prayers). Now we have a better idea what we are waiting for. A time of complete unity of the Jewish people, in the holiest place in the world. No more fighting, struggles, or wars. Only peace and harmony and the closest possible connection with Hashem. Oh how we wait.

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