Share the Torah by Yoni Chambre


            Parshat Terumah teaches us about giving.  Am Yisrael was asked to give gifts to the communal Mishkan which was used by the entire Am to worship its Creator.  The placement of this Sedra is not coincidental, but teaches us many important lessons.  It is placed after Matan Torah and right after one of the Torah's heaviest sections of Halacha in Parshat Mishpatim.  We learn that as important as Torah observance is, it must always be done with the community in mind.  As important as following every Halacha down to the smallest detail is, it cannot be done at the expense of others.

            Conversely, we also learn the importance of Torah over personal wealth and comfort.  Not all of one's money should go to your materialistic well being.  Money should be spent on observing Mitzvot of the Torah; including the Mitzva of Tzedaka.  Additionally, it is important to set aside time for Talmud Torah.

            The Midrash speaks about why Torah is such a "good merchandise."  It tells of a pepper merchant and a ginger merchant.  They were in a sharing mood; each gave his goods to others and they personally were left empty handed.  The Torah never leaves someone empty handed.  If one person knows a certain Perek very well, and a second knows a different Perek very well, each can teach their Perek of expertise to the other and in the end they will both know each Perek.  This is the beauty of Torah.  Its goal, and our goal in Talmud Torah is to bring all people together under the banner of Hashem.

Oil for the Soul by Yitzchak Glass

God Stacks the Deck by Meir Dashevsky