by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple
The sidra opens with a command to Moses to tell the people v’yik’chu li t’rumah, “They shall bring Me a donation” (Ex. 25:2).
Most expositors concern themselves with the purpose of the donation and the manner in which it was to be brought; the Chida focuses on the word li – “to Me”, which can also mean “My”. Rashi translates the verse, “They shall bring My donation – i.e. a donation dedicated to My Name”. The Chida takes li literally to indicate that God Himself promises a donation… God’s name is at the top of the donors’ list!
In what way does God contribute? Maybe the rest of the verse provides an answer: me-et kol ish asher yid’vennu libbo tik’chu et t’rumati – “From everyone whose heart moves him shall you accept My donation”. God’s donation is the spirit of generosity implanted in the human donors. Where do the donors get that spirit? From the Creator. What motivates them to exercise it? The Almighty.
As I read the dvar Torah above about generosity, I immediately thought about a video clip which I had been sent by email this morning, which truly embodies the spirit of giving.