Parshas Teruma 5777
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March 3, 2017
Volume 13 Issue 16
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Dvar Torah

No Pain, No Gain
 By Rabbi Yakir Schechter
 
The verses in the beginning of the parsha tell us of the various materials that were donated for the construction of the Mishkan. They included gold, silver, copper, leather, oil and more, totaling eleven raw materials. At the end of the list appear two additional items: the Shoham Stones and the stones for the settings, both to be used for the Kohen's breastplate. The Ohr Hachaim points out the peculiarity of the placement of these two sets of stones in the verses. Ostensibly, precious stones are the most valuable, even more valuable than gold. Why, then, are they mentioned at the end of the list? It would have made more sense to place them at the beginning!

In order to appreciate what the Torah is teaching us we need to look ahead in Parshas Vayakel to see who made these donations. In chapter 35 verses 21-29 the Torah records that everyone donated whatever they wished from the aforementioned list (Rashi in our parsha alludes to this - see chapter 25 verse 3). However, in verse 27 it says that it was specifically the Nesiem, the tribal leaders, who brought the stones. The Gemara in Yoma (75a) says that the stones were delivered by the ananei hakavod (the clouds of glory). The tribal leaders then gathered the stones and brought them to Moshe for the Mishkan. The Ohr Hachaim explains that those who donated the other materials suffered some loss by donating their personal items. The tribal leaders, however, incurred no loss. It took little effort to make their donation and therefore it was indeed less valuable than the other materials. It is for this reason that their donation is listed last.

From here we learn a tremendous lesson. The value of something is much greater when it was earned through hard work and sacrifice. As Chazal say, l'fum tza'ara agra - through the pain and suffering comes the reward. Though this idea can be applied to many areas, perhaps one of the most important is learning Torah. While learning Torah may be tough at times, the reward we get by pushing on and toiling in Torah is invaluable.

There is a well-known story said over in the name of Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman zt"l. Someone once came to him and posited the following: the law is that one must stand up for a Torah scholar in honor of the Torah that he knows. The Gemara also tells us that a child in utero is taught the entire Torah. Perhaps the law should be that one is required to stand up for an expectant woman in honor of the Torah that her unborn baby knows. Rav Gustman cleverly answered that the Torah knowledge of the unborn baby is worth much less since no toil and effort was exerted in its acquisition and is thus undeserving of such respect.

Whether one learns five minutes a day, five hours a day, or fifteen hours, one must always remember the lesson of the stones. May Hashem give us the strength to toil over the Torah with vigor, fortitude, and excitement.




 
Dvar Halacha
Laws of Borer part 7
By  Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi

As previously discussed it is permissible to separate from a mixture if all three of the following conditions are met: 1) you must separate the item you want from the item you do not want [good from bad], 2) it must be for immediate use, and 3) you can only use your hand as opposed to a utensil.
This includes even if the mixture contains mostly good [and only a minority was bad] (Shulchan Aruch 319:3). As an aside, even though in this situation, when separating on Yom Tov one would be obligated to remove the bad from the good [because there is less effort involved, which is included in the mitzvah of enjoying Yom Tov], on Shabbos you may only take the good (Mishneh Berurah 319:18).
It is important to note, in terms of defining what is considered "good" and "bad," in addition to a situation where there is clearly something spoiled or rotten, if there are two perfectly good items, one you want and one you do not want, the desired item is considered "good" and the undesired item is "bad" (Mishneh Berurah 319:12).
Consequently, it is prohibited to pull out bones from meat or fish (Biur Halachah 319:4 s.v. mitoch), seeds from melon (Chazon Ish 56), flies from a drink or soup (Taz 319:2), or the fat on top of the soup (Mishneh Berurah 319:55). In each of these cases the undesired was removed from that which is desired.
This concept applies even if the only way to reach the sought-after item is to remove the unwanted item.  For example, if there is an excessive amount of fat on top of soup, blocking access to the food, it is prohibited to remove the fat (Mishneh Berurah 319:55, 61 & 62).  Seemingly, this raises a question: is it permitted to peel a fruit [e.g. an orange], for one removes the "undesired" peel from the "desired" fruit?  
The Biur Halachah [321:19 s.v. liklof] explains it is permitted to remove the peel away from the fruit since it is impossible to reach it any other way, and additionally, this is the normal way of eating, for in order to be permitted you need both conditions: 1) no other way and 2) it is the normal way of eating (i.e. a natural step towards eating).  However, in the above scenario of removing the fat away from the soup, since in many situations one does not have to remove before eating the soup [e.g. it was already skimmed off] it is not considered the normal process of eating and not included in the permissibility of peeling (Zachor V'Shamor pg. 284 ftnt. 56).
If one does not want either food now, but he does want them both at a later time, even though they are technically both "good" it is nevertheless prohibited to sort them (Biur Halachah 319:3 s.v. ha'yu).
It is important to note that the above halachos only apply when there is a mixture of both something desired and undesired.  If, however, there is a mixture of two things which are undesired, the implication of the Biur Halachah [319:3 s.v. ha'yu] is that it is not a violation of borer to separate one from the other.  Therefore, it would be permitted to pour soup containing particles of food that is being thrown out through a drain [which is a utensil that is designed to separate], thus separating the solids from the liquids, since both the soup and the particles are considered "undesired" (Sefer Aiyal Meshulash 7:42).

 

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