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Parashat Terumah – Nation Building


Parashat Terumah (gifts), which details the building of the sanctuary and the donations which were to be accepted from the nation, is placed immediately after the fiscal and social laws which govern a just society.

This connection, as well as everything else in the Torah, is not by accident. The Torah means to teach a profound moral lesson, that donations to the sanctuary are acceptable only if they were acquired honestly, by observance of all the laws that concerns monetary transactions. Gifts that are tainted by dishonesty are not suitable for the Temple.

The laws and commandments of the Torah are commonly classified as those that are primarily between man and his fellow man and between man and G-d. However, our sages tell us that the two are inseparable. It is only after honesty in ones financial dealings and the just protection of the defenseless widow and orphans, as described earlier, can we then be able to give to G-d’s sanctuary.