Friday, February 27, 2009

Parshat Trumah - Tzedakah's eternal gift

Teaching taken from Shira Smiles' lecture: A Give and Take Relationship, Parshat Trumah. Video available at Na'aleh

Parsha Terumah begins: Hashem spoke to Moses saying - Speak to the children of Israel and let them take for Me a portion from every man whose heart motivates him.

The question the commentators ask is why take for me when Am Yisrael is supposed to be giving to the mishkan.

A gemara is sighted where a man whose family has saved money for many generations during a famine decides to split it up amongst the people. He is questioned "your family have saved for generations how could you just spend it all like this"

He answers"My forefathers stored it down here. I will store it up in heaven" "I have stored it in a place where no one can touch it" "They stored it for this world I have stored it for the next."בגמרה( ב''ב יא

This is the answer to why it says take and not give. The money that we give to charity is the only money that is really ours because it (or in the parsha the mishkan) is eternal. NO OTHER MONEY BELONGS TO YOU. In addition the poor person is giving us much more than we are to them.

May we be blessed to always have our hand open. To give the 10-20% of our maaser with complete joy, remembering our money is just on loan from Hashem. Like in the story when times our rough like today our tzedakah should not decrease but increase. Only our chesed truly effects both this world and the next.

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