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           flowersTerumah

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In Parshas Teruma Hashem tells Moshe to tell the Jewish people to take aside a donation for the Mishkan. Rashi explains that there were actually three donations taken, two of them were the same amount for each person, and the third teruma was any amount the person wished to donate. The Chazal say that the donations for the Mishkan came as a kapara for the sin of the golden calf, and in this vein Kli Yakar explains why three different terumot. Actually, there were three different sins that the people sinned with regard to the golden calf. Firstly, they called the calf "adon"- master-and god of Israel. All participated in this sin. Secondly, they all sacrificed to the calf. And thirdly, they donated of their gold and possessions for the calf,but not all gave the same amount. Back to the three donations: the first was a set amount of silver from each man to be used to make the "adanim"-silver sockets and this was a kapara for calling the calf "adon". The second donation, equal from all, was money to buy the communal sacrifices as a kapara for the sacrifices to the calf. The third donation of any one or more of 13 different materials to build the Mishkan or make the cohen's clothing, had no specified amount and each person brought what he wanted as a kapara for the third sin which each person committed to a different extent. The Chassam Sofer brings a Ramban that states that those people who didn't give away a lot of their fancy gold ornaments for the calf had beautiful gold to donate for the Mishkan. However, those that gave away their gold for the sin could give only the leftover plain gold ingots for the Mishkan. It was lifted up and shown and announced to all who brought which kind of gold and people understood why there were those who had no fancy gold leftover.(Our actions will catch up to us one way or another!)

Before the sin of the golden calf Hashem's presence was obvious and public, such as His "appearance" on Mt. Sinai when He gave the Torah. The sin, however,caused Hashem to remove His presence far away from us. Only after Moshe Rabbeinu pleaded and prayed did Hashem forgive the Jews and command them to build the Mishkan where He would bring His presence to earth. The Mishkan was a sign that Hashem forgave the Jews.

Many commentators discuss why the Torah says "and you shall take for me a donation" when in reality one gives a donation. One explanation is that really the whole world and everything in it belongs to Hashem and one takes from this wealth in order to donate. What then is the big merit if we are just taking what belongs to Hashem? That is answered later in the verse: "what his heart donates"- this means the intentions and feelings of joy and goodwill that one has when making the donation. The Chassam Sofer clearly states that man's portion in the giving of the teruma was not the actual piece of material, but man's feeling of joy and goodwill when giving for the Mishkan. In today's society where wealth and materialism are considered most impressive, it is important to keep in mind that the Torah gives precedence to one's feelings and good intentions when it comes to donations.

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In Loving Memory Of Our Father, Mr. Joseph Black (Yosef Ben Zelig) O"H
In Loving Memory Of Our Mother, Mrs. Norma Black (Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh) O"H
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