Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Terumah

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"And they shall make a Temple for Me, and I will dwell among them..." [25:8]

In the (Medrash) Pesikta, it says that when G-d said this, Moshe trembled. "How is it possible to build a house for G-d, who encompasses and transcends all the heavens?" And G-d replied, "not by my standards, but in accordance with their abilities: twenty boards in the North..."

Then when G-d began to discuss the sacrifices, Moshe said, "would all the animals in the world provide even a single fitting sacrifice?" And G-d replied, "not like your thinking, but a single sheep in the morning..." And when G-d began to discuss the annual gift to the Temple, "each person in redemption for his soul," Moshe again said "how could a person ever give enough to redeem himself?" And once again, G-d replied, "not like your thinking, but one-half Shekel according to the sanctified Shekel measure..."

The Chofetz Chaim learns from this Medrash that G-d does not make impossible demands upon us. Every person is obligated to do only that which he or she can. As King Solomon said in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 9:10, "All that you find within your ability to do, act upon it..." which is to say, only that which is within your ability. We must do only that which has been placed upon us.

Every person is obligated to study, but according to one's abilities -- be that Mishna, Talmud, or Codes of Law. Similarly, a person is obligated to give charity according to his or her wealth. A wealthy person cannot give only the amount expected of a poor person, and claim to have fulfilled his or her obligation, but neither should a poor person give away everything trying to meet the standards of the rich.

A person must not become discouraged, worrying that it is impossible to do everything -- and then do nothing. On the contrary: we must do everything that we can!


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Do It For the Kids
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

School of Soft Knocks
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Prayer's Gate
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

No Excuse Not To 'Do Teshuvah'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Heartspeak
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Paying Attention to the Voice of the Almighty
- 5767

ArtScroll

Personal Business Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Going in the Direction of Teshuva
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

In Good Standing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Follow Your Conscience, Not Your Heart
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Parting Words
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

The 'New' of the New Year
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

> Just One More!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Spiritual Impressions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

A Hundred Bucks vs. Regrets
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

G-d's Concealment
Shlomo Katz - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information