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Home » Terumah

Teruma: The Size of a Sacrifice

Submitted by on February 22, 2006 – 2:55 amNo Comment | 1,963 views

A Cause for Wonder

Moshe was instructed to build a Mishkan (tent) in which G-d would manifest his presence. Gazing into the future Moshe saw King Shlomo marvel that “A G-d who is not contained by the vast heavens would fit into the small confines of the Beis Hamikdash!”  Moshe reflected that if Shlomo marveled at the Divine presence in the larger Beis Hamikdash how much so should we marvel at such presence in the smaller Mishkan!

Making Space for G-d

The Shem Mishmuel (Reb Shmuel Bornstein, Rebbe of Sochaczev, 1855-1927) translates Moshe’s marvel in the following manner. G-d’s presence descends to this world only when we, the people of this world, love him. For man to develop a love for G-d he must first relinquish his love for the material. The vacuum left behind in his heart is then filled with a love for G-d.
Herein lies the secret of Moshe’s wonder. In King Shlomo’s day, Jews were at the pinnacle of material success. In giving up their love for material pleasures they were able to open a vast space in their hearts for G-d. The people in the Desert lived meagerly. They did not have much and could therefore not give up much. Even if they relinquished their entire love for the material the space left for G-d would, by comparison, be insignificant. Hence Moshe’s wonder.


Despite the apparent paucity of their sacrifice G-d’s presence manifested itself in the desert. Indeed, the size of a sacrifice is less important than its sincerity.
Does your sincerity outweigh your sacrifices?

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