Posted by: mosesfromsinai | February 15, 2010

Terumah – Voluntary Giving

This week’s portion, Terumah, deals with the material given to build the Mishkan, the Temple in the dessert, and how it was to be built.  This includes the unique items in the Mishkan, including the, Ark of the Covenant, the Alters, the Menorah etc.,  as well as the garments for the Kohanim, Priests.  Moses was instructed to collect from those who would “feel it in their heart to give”  (Yidvenu Leebo).  Rashi, the famous commentator, describes the giving as “Ratzon Tov”, “good will”.  The aspect of giving with a positive feeling.

This concept is essential to Judaism.  This comes about when we all feel connected to one another.  This takes us back to how we prepared to accept the Torah, “Bilev Echad”, with one heart, as we camped, as a unified nation, around Har Sinai, the place where the Torah was going to be given.  This also connects to the concept of not “If you will lend” but rather the correct translation of the word “Em” is “When – you will lend”.  We have an obligation to help out and we will do so with a “Ratzon Tov” a “good will”.

Thus we will see at the conclusion that the quantity given to Moshe exceeded the needs.  The first-born of each tribe had laid back waiting to see what would be lacking and they would fill in the gaps.  Well, as it turned out, there was nothing lacking.

We find the expression that the Jewish people will be redeemed because of the merit of Tzedaka, “Giving Charity”.  This may now be understandable as it once again suggests the “unity of the Jewish people, “Bilev Echad”-  “with one heart” and with a giving that displays  “good will” – “Ratzon Tov”.  This apparently was a requirement in order to have the Mishkan – Temple built.  May we continue to develop a “Ratzon Tov” a “good will” that will lead again to building the 3rd Temple.

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