This week’s Torah portion, parshat Terumah, deals with the specifications for the building of the Mishkan, including the materials donated to construct the building.
The previous parsha talked about civil laws. Why were these two parshiot juxtaposed?
The answer is simple. Before one gives charity or does any other good deed, he must do it with the right motives. He must also donate according to the standards of justice and fairness which is taught in last week’s parsha, Mishpatim. Charity given from ill-gotten possessions is not viewed by Hashem as the performance of good, rather just the opposite. To take it a step further the Talmud teaches of someone who steals any or all of the Four Species, which are bound together and waved on the Holiday of Sukkot. It is considered at best as if the person had not performed the commandment at all. It is a Mitzvah performed through sinfulness, and it is not accepted. Through the simple placement of donating for the Mishkan right after we learn the laws of money, we are able to come away with a special lesson.
By: Mark Levy (9th Grade)