Saturday, March 21, 2009

Motzei Shabbos Maaseh #1

I've decided to start a new series, although this one is not purely my own. I was discussing with Mr. NMF how much I really enjoyed his Divrei Torah this Shabbos, (as I do every Shabbos) and I offered to write them down. Jokingly, he remarked, "How 'bout on your blog?". And so, I think I'll take him up on it. Motzei Shabbos Maaseh it is!

Parshas Vayakhel:

In this week's parsha, Bnai Yisroel are commanded to build the Mishkan, the tabernacle, which would serve as a place to worship Hashem. All of Bnai Yisroel were asked to donate items for the Mishkan, and they did so hurriedly, causing the Or HaChaim to remark on the words "M'Lifnei Moshe"- "from before Moshe"- that they even beat Moshe to the punch, they were so quick.

The Nasi'im, the princes and leaders of each tribe, however, did not donate immediately. As Rashi states- their name is written without a "yud"- incomplete, marking a criticism of the Nasi'im because they said, "We won't donate right away, but whatever is missing, we will make up the total."

Rabbi Flaum, zt"l, comments that that seems to be a praise of the Nasi'im, not a criticism. After all, who collecting donations wouldn't want someone who said, "Collect all you can, and I'll make up what ever is missing." That seems to be a major praiseworthy act, not a wrongdoing.

The answer lies in the parsha. Bnai Yisroel ran to give. They wanted to give no matter what, even if there was nothing needed to give. They gave and gave, because there was a spirit of giving, of chesed inside them. And when there is that spirit, that drive to give, everyone should jump on the bandwagon and give. And for that, the Nasi'im are criticized- for not joining in the spirit of Hisorrirus- of elevation- of giving with a full heart, even if it's not needed.

That is true chesed, true giving to others.
How do we know?

Because of Avraham Avinu, the epitome of chesed. Avraham sat, the third day after his bris (circumcision) and waited for guests, but no one came. He was so saddened, that Hashem sent him angels in the guise of guests. Why was Avraham sad? Thank G-d, no one needed his charity and open house that day- he should be happy! But no- Avraham was such a giver, such a person of chesed, that he wanted to give no matter what- even if it was not needed. That is true chesed- the spirit of giving no matter what.

That is what the Nasi'im were lacking- they felt they only had to give if there was a need. But Bnai Yisroel gave without the need.
And that's true chesed.
Gut Voch and Shavuah Tov!


chanie said...

Nice one. :)
Your husband's divrei Torah get my approval, if they're all like this one.

nmf #7 said...

Chanie- I'll pass on the compliment and return you a thank you from me.

chanie said...