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Three Ideas for Life

Parshas Terumah has three ideas that tie together as good advice for life.

"Make me a sanctuary and I will dwell within them" - them is plural. G-d will dwell inside each and every one of us, and the sanctuary is our personal holiness.

"You shall make a menorah...shall the menorah be made...." The menorah is shown to Moshe, but according to medrashim it is too complicated so it is miraculously made by G-d after as much work is done as possible by people.

Regarding the altar, "Four copper rings at its four edges." These represent Torah, mitzvos, deeds of kindness, and good personality traits, which one should be surrounded with on all sides.

To put all these ideas together, a person is assured that in surrounding him/herself with Torah, mitzvos, kindness, and personality, he/she will have help by G-d with the things that seemed out of reach, and in holiness there will be G-d's presence in his/her life.

- Heard from Rabbi Jeff Forsythe

There are many references, in the prayer book for instance, that reciting and carefully studying portions of the Torah dealing with the Temple have the effect and reward of actually doing the deed. This is because the Temple has been destroyed and studying the portion is the closest we can come to actually doing the commandments regarding the Temple. So the Meam Loez advises in its conclusion to its commentary on this week's portion to carefully study the requirements for the Temple as taught in this week's Torah portion (Exodus 25:1-27:19).

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