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    Inside & out – T’rumah

    The building of the Tabernacle and the Sacred vessels, from the 1728 Figures de la Bible

    The portion of T’rumah details the layout and appurtenances of every part of the Tabernacle.

    One of the most famous verses is Ex. 25:11, which says, mi-bayit umichutz tz’appennu – “you shall overlay the ark with gold, both inside and out”.

    The Talmud (Yoma 72b) applies this verse to the human being, and says that these words define a talmid chacham.

    He must be a golden-class, superior person both inside and out. If his greatness is all on the outside whilst on the inside he is a fallible, problematical personality, he is no talmid chacham. We have to judge someone by how he (or she) is, as an overall human being.

    We can extend the Talmudic comment and say that someone who is high-quality in the street shows only part of himself. The other side is what he is like inside his own house.

    A person who is a tzaddik in his public life but a mean, nasty, tyrannical husband and father at home is no tzaddik. Instead he is a misken, a poor unfortunate who deserves to be pitied, not to be admired.

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