Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest post: Dara on Parshat Terumah

So far my most hit blog post was Dara's acceptance speech. As she recovers from surgery, let's see if we can cheer her up by sending around her dvar Torah from a couple of weeks ago. (I asked for it last week, but hey, she's been distracted)

As for Dara, She's feeling ok today, but probably won't feel up to talking on the phone, but you can send her an email at dara@unterbergs.com. 

For those wondering what was wrong, here is the wiki info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

Parshat Terumah
Dara Unterberg
The בית המקדש is a prominent feature of the Jewish landscape. The Tanach emphasizes its centrality, and our tefillot are full of petitions for it to be rebuilt. Rabbi Joshua Berman, in his book The Temple, notes that over one third of the pesukim of the Torah as well as over half of the 613 mitzvot relate directly to the בית המקדש or to the activities that take place within it. The mikdash is also firmly entrenched in the hearts of Jews everywhere. Jews from all walks of life stream to the Kotel every day and stand closely together before the ancient stones. The Kotel in actuality and the Bet Hamikdash in memory are symbolic of Jewish strength and success. Ideally the mikdash represents Jewish unity and dedication to our national mission; to be a light unto the nations.
The first reference to G-d’s desire for the building of a mikdash dedicated to Him is found in פרשת תרומה:
א וַיְדַבֵּר יקוק, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹרב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ-לִי תְּרוּמָהמֵאֵת כָּל-אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ, תִּקְחוּ אֶת-תְּרוּמָתִי.  ג וְזֹאת, הַתְּרוּמָה, אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ, מֵאִתָּםזָהָב וָכֶסֶף, וּנְחֹשֶׁתד וּתְכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי, וְשֵׁשׁ וְעִזִּיםה וְעֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וְעֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים, וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּיםו שֶׁמֶן, לַמָּאֹר; בְּשָׂמִים לְשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה, וְלִקְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּיםז אַבְנֵי-שֹׁהַם, וְאַבְנֵי מִלֻּאִים, לָאֵפֹד, וְלַחֹשֶׁןח וְעָשׂוּ לִי, מִקְדָּשׁ; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, בְּתוֹכָם.

The process by which the mikdash is to be built demands commitment on both G-d’s and Bnei Yisrael’s part. Bnei Yisrael must contribute the materials for the construction of the mikdash. In turn, G-d graces us with His presence.
Understanding the precise definition of the word תרומה enhances one’s appreciation of this partnership. According to the Da’at Mikra, the root of the word is רום, as in to raise. When one separates and sets aside part of his possessions for a G-dly purpose, he raises the value of those items. The process of sanctification/הקדשה has occurred. Another possibility is that the tradition was to literally raise the item that was to be contributed as a symbolic expression of its now elevated status.
In response to Bnei Yisrael’s outreaching to G-d vis a vis the terumot, G-d comes to dwell among them. Note that the verse does not say ושכנתי בתוכו, and I will reside in it, but rather ושכנתי בתוכם, among the people. Just as Bnei Yisrael has elevated their belongings by donating them for the building of the mikdash, Hashem elevates the spiritual status of His people by dwelling among them. In Chasidic thought, the mikdash brings Bnei Yisrael closer to Hashem in that they will feel His presence in their inner selves. That is why G-d’s house is called a mikdash; it is named for its future mission- to sanctify the Jewish people. The Rashbam explains the phrase בית מקדש as בית מועד; a place that is designated as a meeting place for G-d and the Jewish people. Similarly, the chagim are called מועדים, for they too are designated times for G-d and His people to come together.
The crowds of Jews that throng to the Kotel every day is a remarkable testament to the strength and resilience of the bond that exists between G-d and His people. Although the mikdash is not standing, the site on which it stood is a beacon that calls out to all Jews. It cries out a silent cry that is heard and felt in the souls of Jews everywhere. We have responded to that call in our prayers and Torah study for thousands of years. Today, thank G-d, we have the ability to physically return as well, and stand on holy ground. And yet we must continue to pray for the completion of the redemption process and for the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash as this is the ultimate expression of the coming together of G-d and the Jewish people.

"יהי רצון מלפניך...שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו, ותן חלקני בתורתיך, ושם נעבדך ביראה, כימי עולם וכשנים קדמוניות..."

Shabbat Shalom.

I don't know who this dude is, but he's recovering from the same surgery that Dara had. (found it online)                         Man, the wrapping looks a lot bigger on her. 

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