Monday, March 12, 2007

donating your time and energy

Parshat Va'Yakhel

The parsha starts off with Moshe describing the need for people to donate the various items for the mikdash construction. He goes through the whole list of items; gold, silver, copper , various cloths and hides, various expensive dyes, oils, spices, stones and gems. Then in 35:10 the passuk says, "וכל חכם לב בכם יבאו ויעשו את כל אשר צוה ה" - and all wise people among you should come and make that which Hashem has commanded. Then it continues listing more items.

Why is this handiwork donated by the wise-hearted person in the middle of the list of items to be donated?

Not everybody can donate. Sometimes it is beyond a persons means to donate an expensive item to a shul, or in this case to the mikdash. He just cannot do it. He might feel bad that everybody else is donating while he is not, but he still cannot.

But maybe he has a skill. Maybe he can help out in a way other than by giving his money. Maybe he can donate his time, roll up his sleeves and physically do things for the shul/mikdash..

The passuk is telling us, I believe, that this type of a donation is equal to the donations of the gold, silver, spices, and boards of wood for the beams of the mikdash. A person who cannot donate the money, or prefers to donate of his unique skills, is on equal footing with other donors.

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