Simcha's Torah Stories - Terumah

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Simcha's Torah Stories

Parshat Terumah



"Chaim, what's an amma?"

"Are you referring to the measurement of length used in the Torah?"

"That's right Chaim."

"An amma is translated as a cubit."

"What's a cubit?"

"In today's measurements it is about 21 inches."

"Chaim, why couldn't G-d make things simpler?"

"Avi, you had better be careful what you are saying. We are not allowed to criticize G-d."

"I am not criticizing, Chaim. It is just my way of asking."

"What did G-d make that seems complicated to you?"

"In this week's parsha we learned about the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and its vessels. The measurements of the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) seem so complicated. It is two and a half amos long, one and a half amos wide and one and a half amos tall. Why are all of the measurements fractions?"

"That is an excellent question, Avi. Rav Shlomo Efraim from Lontshetz, who is known to us as the Keli Yakar, asks the very same question."

"What is his answer, Chaim?"

"The Aron Kodesh represents Torah, the source of a person's spiritual growth. By learning and observing the Torah, a person can rise to the greatest spiritual heights."


"Yes, but there are certain conditions. As you said, Avi, the measurements of the Aron Kodesh are all fractions. Fractions are incomplete numbers. In spiritual matters, a person must always look at himself as 'fractional' or incomplete."

"How do we do that, Chaim?"

"We look for an area where we can improve. Let us take patience, for example. How is your patience, Avi?"

"It could be better. It is surely an area where I could improve. Do you have any suggestions to help me?"

"There are many essays written by our great Rabbis about the virtues of patience. They also give techniques how to become more tolerant. Studying them, and putting their suggestions into practice will surely help."

"I see. I would really like to develop my patience. This could be a great thing for me."

"Excellent, Avi. That is what G-d wants. Self improvement."

"Chaim, I see that G-d really did not make things overly complicated."

"Right, Avi. Every word written in the Torah has deep, deep meanings. Even the simple measurements of the Aron Kodesh are not as simple as they seem."

"This is another area for me to work on. Looking for deeper meanings when I learn Torah."

"Avi, you are on your way to being a spiritual giant. Just keep looking at yourself in that way and you will see that there is always . . ."

"Room for improvement."

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