Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dvar Torah- Terumah

Hey everyone,

Sorry for so many posts this week, but I guess I just got a lot to say. Hope everyone is doing well, and getting ready for what I am sure will be a sweet shabbos.

In this weeks Parsha, parshas Terumah, the torah states " Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take to ME a portion, from every person, who's heart will motivate him.... 25:2).

In the sefer Amud Haemes a collection of teachings from the Kotzker Rebbi, Reb Menachum Mendel of Kotzk, it brings down two very beautiful approaches as to how to understand this pasuk.

But first a brief history. Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, better known as the Kotzker Rebbe was a chassidic leader. He is considered to be the spiritual founder, upon which the Ger dynasty is based. He was well known for his incisive philosophies, and sharp-witted sayings.But most importantly in Kotzk it was all about the truth. Nothing was as important as the truth. However The Kotzker, had a best friend, another giant in the chassidic world and his name was Rav Yitzchak Kalish of Vorka. In Vorka Reb Yitzack was famous for his loving kindness , his compassion, and caring for every Jew. These two approaches were very different ,however never prevented them from having such a strong friendship.

Each one interprets this pasuk based on their approach to yidishkeit, however lets start with the Kotzker.The Kotzker starts by explaining, that if we look at the passuk, the passuk is teaching us that if a person wants to make himself Terumah, a portion/person dedicated towards Hashem, then the best way to do so is by separating himself from others. Even others who may be dedicated and " whos heart motivates him" to the same lofty goals of committing themselves to Hashem, the best way to focus on your relationship with Hashem is to separate yourself and focus on yourself.

However the Vorker takes the direct opposite approach. He says that if a person wants to make himself Terumah, a portion/ person dedicated towards Hashem, then the best way to do it is by looking at someone else " whos heart motivates him" , and saying what can I learn from that person. By looking at someone who is motivated and dedicated to living a life that is geared towards service of Hashem, and saying what can I learn from that person, that is how someone will come closer to Hashem. That says the holy Vorker is what the passuk is teaching us.

Each one of us is so unique in our own special way. So many times we fail to recognize and acknowledge how special we and those around us are. We dont see ourselves or others strengths, rather we focus on weaknesses. We must all know that Hashem has blessed us all, with our own special talents. Each one of us is capable of something, that no one else is capable of. Each one of us posses certain skills and ability's that make us great. That makes us unique, that makes us unlike anyone else in the world. We just have to start viewing ourselves in that light. We must look at ourselves and at every single Jew and realize how truly special we are, and how we are capable of achieving anything,because with Hashem by our side nothing is impossible NOTHING. We are all capable of greatness, but we have to start believing in ourselves. Each one of us can do anything we set our minds to, because each one of us is a child of the ultimate and loving King. I hope and pray for all of us that we see how truly special and talented we are, each of us in our own unique way.May we learn from both of the interpretations of the passuk, and may Hashem help use whichever approach speaks to our heart more, in coming closer to Him.


Chaim Yissachar


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