Friday, February 23, 2007

Tosefet Bracha - Terumah

“they shall make the Aron (ark)” (25; 10)
Regarding all of the other items in the mishkan the verse says ‘you shall make’, directing the instruction to Moshe. Only with the Aron does it state ‘they shall make’, directed at all of Israel. The Aron represents Torah, as it contains within it the two stone tablets. The verse states “You shall place the Edut in the Aron” (verse 16) and edut refers to the tablets of testimony. Therefore we can say that the verse uses the third person plural to teach us that when it comes to supporting Torah everyone is equally obligated, rich or poor.
This is implicit in the Yerushalmi (Sotah 7; 4) where it expounds the verse (Devarim 26; 26) “Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of the Torah”. This means that even one who has not learnt and not taught, but strengthens and supports those who learn Torah, is included in the blessing of “that upholds the Torah”. (The blessings in that parsha are the inverse language of the curses). This is clearly said to everybody, as it states, ‘even someone who has not learnt and not taught’. Even a person who has no direct connection to learning or teaching Torah is still obligated to uphold the Torah.
The reason for this is clear, based on the verse in Mishlei (3; 18) “It is a tree of life to those that uphold it”. Every person needs life, wise or foolish, rich or poor. Therefore the verse is teaching us that everyone must support Torah learning.

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