It’s time for a hot take.

While angry fighting is discouraged all week long, it is especially important for families to avoid machlokes on Shabbos (Mishnah B’rurah 262:9). This idea has been connected to the beginning of Parshas VaYakhel: “You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwelling places on the day of Sabbath” (Sh’mos 35:3). The simple and literal understanding of this pasuk is that one may not strike a match on Shabbos. However, the Zohar extracts a deeper message as well: You shall not ignite a “fiery” temper in your house on Shabbos (Tikunei HaZohar 48).

Now that we’ve read Mishpatim, we can proceed to T’rumah

The Beis HaLevi, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l (d. 1892), makes a sharp point in his opening remarks on this week’s Torah portion. Parshas T’rumah begins the story of the most successful fundraising campaign in Jewish history: collecting donations for the Mishkan. Hashem informs Moshe of all the materials that will be necessary to construct a sanctuary worthy of housing the Sh’chinah. The Beis HaLevi notes that it is very telling that this topic appears immediately after last week’s reading of the civil laws of Mishpatim. In a sense, the Torah is teaching us the prerequisites for having the privilege of contributing to the Mishkan: In order for there to be a t’rumah (donation), there must first be mishpatim (laws). Only money that is gained legally and ethically can be accepted for G-dly endeavors.

Isn’t it a little late for that?!

After spending 40 days together atop Har Sinai, Hashem hands Moshe the Luchos, which are simply described as “written by G-d” (Sh’mos 31:18). Just as Moshe finishes packing up and begins to head down, Hashem breaks the terrible news to him: Your people have committed the ultimate betrayal by creating a golden calf! Faithful Moshe stays and davens persistently on behalf of the nation, until Hashem finally relents and agrees to not destroy B’nei Yisrael. Moshe then picks up the Luchos and comes “down to Earth,” where he proceeds to smash them in plain view of the people.

We are obligated to feel as if there is no obligation at all.

One of the many laws in Mishpatim is the mitzvah to provide interest-free loans to those in need: Im kesef talveh es ami (Sh’mos 22:24).

What can the light of the Menorah teach us about avoiding “burnout”?

Parshas T’tzaveh opens with the mitzvah to light the Menorah in the Mikdash, which must be done “tamid” (Sh’mos 27:20), a word typically translated as “constantly.” However, as Rashi points out, in this context, that cannot be its meaning, as the candles were not up in flames 24/7. Instead, Rashi comments, the light of the Menorah was “tamid” in the sense that it was lit “consistently,” every evening without fail. It may not have burned continuously at all hours, but the fact that it was ignited each day at its proper time allowed it to achieve the status of tamid.

How much of Hashem’s kindness happens behind the scenes?

After hearing of all the miracles of Y’tzias Mitzrayim and K’rias Yam Suf, Yisro traveled to the desert to join the Jewish camp and faith. Moshe provided him a first-hand account of the events, giving Yisro goosebumps. He exclaimed, “Now I know that Hashem is greater than all other powers, for with the very thing that they plotted against the Jews, He punished them” (Sh’mos 18:11). Rashi explains that Yisro was impressed with Hashem’s measure-for-measure response to the Egyptians and all of their schemes against the Jews.