Midreshet Amit


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Contributions and Community

By: Zenna Brandt Rauff

In this week's Parsha, Parshat Vayekel, Bnei Yisrael are instructed to build the Mishkan. Moshe asks them to donate to the Mishkan in any way that they can. Some of them bring actual items such as herbs, linen, dyed wool and personal items such as mirrors and jewels, and others brought their natural talents in building the Mishkan. Those who could not afford to donate items of monetary value, it was sufficient for them to express their genuine desire to give. It was this desire to be able to give that fueled Bnei Yisrael to bring so much that they exceeded Moshe's initial expectations.  In fact, they brought so much that Moshe had to tell them to stop bringing as the storehouses were full.  
How can we reflect and compare this to our lives? Just as Bnei Yisrael contributed different materials and skills to the Mishkan, we have the same opportunity to contribute in our own lives as well. Although we do not have a physical mishkan, our communities represent a spiritual mishkan, while everyone's set of personal tools may differ from one another, we all have qualities within ourselves that we can contribute. Some are gifted with physical attributes such as athleticism or ability to paint and play music. Others are gifted with patience, kindness or desire to give. Often we desire the attributes that we have not been gifted with, but if we learn to give with our unique talents the world will be that much brighter. Discover your tool. Take pride in your personal gift and use it to serve Hashem in your community. Like Bnei Yisrael, we must go above and beyond, in this case there is no limit.