PARSHAS TERUMAH 5778
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending
out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you
this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of
Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.] The views and opinions
expressed in this article are those solely of its author(s).
THE EFFORTS COUNT TOO
This week's Parsha (Parshas Terumah) describess the various vessels that were used in
the service of the Mishkan [Tabernacle]. One of them was the Menorah.
The Gemara in Menachos tells us that Moshe had difficulty comprehending how to
"construct" the Menorah. After Moshe struggled to make the Menorah and was
unsuccessful, Hashem told him to throw gold into a fire. A miracle occurred and the
Menorah was created.
If Hashem knew that Moshe would be unsuccessful in creating the Menorah, why did
Hashem tell Moshe to put forth effort that would seemingly be for naught?
A fundamental principle concerning Torah study is that not only the Torah knowledge one
attains that counts; rather, it is also the effort and exertion that one puts into the learning
that is significant.
The great Chofetz Chaim, Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan, cites the origin of the aforementioned
principle in the language of the Hadran-the prayer said at the completion of a section of
Torah. We read ' we [Jews] toil and receive reward, whereas they [the gentiles] toil and
don't receive reward.'
The obvious question that begs our attention, is that even Gentiles receive reward in this
world for their actions! When they sell something, they are paid for it, so what does this
The Chofetz Chaim answers that the language of the Hadran is that we [Jews] toil and
receive reward, whereas they [the gentiles] toil and don't receive reward. In the business
world, gentiles are rewarded for their actions, but only for a finished product. It doesn't
matter how much effort a tailor puts into making a suit; if the suit is incomplete, no one will
pay him for the incomplete garment. This is in contrast to the Torah world, where Torah
study is what matters. Even if one doesn’t completely understand the Parshas Ha'shavua
he is studying, or is struggling with grasping a Gemara or a commentary, that is okay. He
will be rewarded for it.
What's important in Hashem's eyes is how much EFFORT and TOIL we put into our
Our Sages tell us that the different vessels in the Mishkan [Tabernacle] and Beis
Hamikdash [Holy Temple] correspond to the various elements of our lives. The Menorah
corresponds to the wisdom of Torah.
Perhaps we can now answer our original question: Hashem specifically commanded
Moshe Rabeinu-the one who exemplified Torah study, who received and transmitted to us
the Torah, and whose neshama [spiritual soul] is in every Torah Giant- to struggle with the
creation of the Menorah to teach us this fundamental principle about Torah study; that it is
the effort, and not the finished product, that counts in Hashem's eyes.
Editor: Baruch Leib Gross
|Bais Medrash Shomrei Mishmeres Hakodesh