Weekly Torah Commentary – Terumah

This week’s Torah portion is Termuah. One of the elements of Termuah is a detailing of the instructions for the construction of the Tent of Meeting or Tabernacle in the desert. Of course, one of the elements of construction is the need for materials and supplies.

To get these supplies/materials/tools G-d says in Exodus 25:2, “Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.”

A key clause is “whose heart so moves him” (and her). Giving to the community holy place is voluntary, regardless of one’s capacity, capability and willingness to give.

Rav Kook writes about the mitzvah of tzedakah (righteousness – the closest word in Hebrew to “charity”). In the midst of this drash is the following,

There are two objectives to the mitzvah of tzedaka. The first concerns the one receiving. Through this mitzvah, we assist the poor and help provide what they are lacking. The second aim concerns the one giving. By donating our time and money, we express in the world of action our inner qualities of chesed and kindness. The act of tzedaka actualizes our feelings of generosity, and contributes towards our own spiritual growth.

Read the rest of the drash here.

Go and Learn and Give!

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