Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Mishkan of the True Tzaddik - Reb Itchie Mayer Morgenstern on Teruma

Here is Reb Itchie Mayer Morgenstern's Torah on Parshas Teruma, with English excerpt and full text in both English and Hebrew in pdf form. You can send an e-mail to this address to subscribe to receive Rav Morgenstern's Torah in your e-mail box every week. Sorry it's late. Server issues at the end of last week.

After the Jewish people sinned with the golden calf, Moshe Rabbeinu ascended to heaven to advocate on our behalf so that we would be forgiven. His appeal was what led to the command that we build the Mishkan toward which the Jewish people would have to contribute. The fundamental offering, however, is each person’s willingness to participate in the construction of Hashem’s dwelling place, a place for the honor of the tzaddik where Hashem’s presence will be revealed in the world. This is a fitting response to the sin that prompted the command for its construction, since the golden calf came about because the erev rav planted a seed of doubt among the Jewish people about Moshe’s return to them. “For the man Moshe who brought us up from Egypt, we know not what has become of him.”[1] The yetzer hara misled them so that they would assume that the tzaddik had died, but their reaction should have been to redouble their faith and seek out the Torah of the tzaddik that must have forever remained with his brother Aharon HaKohein and with his student Yehoshua. The hidden agenda of the erev rav was to convince the Jewish people that, after the true tzaddik leaves this world, he does not leave anything of himself behind. And the Jewish people fell into their trap.

Yet Moshe Rabbeinu worked to reveal that which rectifies this failing down through all the generations to come—the tikkun of the Mishkan. The Mishkan embodies the principle that even after the true and original revelation of the tzaddik is gone, his Mishkan remains to be discovered in the batei medrash of his followers and students throughout future ages. Even in the exile, the batei medrash that are miniature sanctuaries remain, and through them we can experience the fullest connection with the tzaddikim of previous generations. “Make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell within them”—not within it, but within them. Hashem’s light which is revealed by the true tzaddik will be revealed within each and every one of us.[2]

No one should make the mistake of thinking that if he lived in a prior age or was somehow a different person his spiritual task or situation would be significantly altered. “I am Hashem, I have not changed.” There is no difference between then and now; Hashem dwells within each and every one of us at every time, in every place. At every moment we have the ability to connect with the point of the tzaddik and the ultimate truth. We see this from the narrative of what precipitated the sin of the golden calf itself; there was a brief period when it seemed as though Moshe Rabbeinu’s light had gone out, and the Jewish people were tested. Would they seek out his light among Aharon and Yehoshua even though it didn’t seem to be of the same quality or magnitude? Yet every person at any time can tap into the light of the tzaddik if he only seeks it out, if he believes that all of the holy efforts that the true tzaddikim made have not gone lost, G-d forbid. He must trust that they can still help him to rectify himself and build the holiness of the Mishkan and reveal that Hashem does indeed dwell within him.

[1] Ibid., 32:1
[2] See the commentary of the Alshich on Shemos 25:5.
CLICK HERE for the full pdf of Toras Chochom.

CLICK HERE for the full pdf of Toras Chochom in English.

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