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.

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.

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).

Was Pharaoh really roaming around in pajamas in the middle of the night?

We may not have a way to verify that bold claim, but the sentiment is certainly true. When Makas B’choros struck at midnight, Pharaoh “got up” and called for Moshe and Aharon (Sh’mos 12:30-31). Rashi adds just one word, “mi’mitaso,” to explain that Pharaoh got up “from his bed.”