PARSHAT VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI: Maintaining Motivation

For the eternal merit to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H

In the first portion of Parshat Vayakhel, the Torah states: “Every man and woman whose heart moved them to bring for any of the work that God had commanded to make, through the hand of Moshe, Bnei Yisrael brought a free-willed offering to God.” (Shemot 35:29). The verse seems to be redundant, as it reports how the men and women brought their contributions, and it concludes by stating that the Jews offered their gifts. We must analyze the verse to understand properly exactly what the Torah is saying.

The Hachid’’a (HaRav Chaim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1806) writes that often, a person is inspired to perform an act of kindness or to do some other mitzvah. Yet, after the initial moment of decision, the person may reconsider his willingness to contribute, and he can either procrastinate in implementing his idea, or he may even completely reverse his earlier preparedness to do the mitzvah. Now, even if the person does complete his plan, he may do so halfheartedly, and the mitzvah will be damaged, as if he is doing it without the necessary motivation.

Rabbi Moshe Pogrow explains that the Jewish people originally responded to the call to contribute the materials for the Mishkan with great enthusiasm. Literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Jews lined up to offer their supplies to build the sanctuary for Hashem’s presence. Yet, we could imagine that there might have been among them a handful or more who later wondered why they were so quick to pledge their assistance. As they stood in line to give their items, perhaps they felt remorse for having opened their mouths to promise any contribution at all, and they only gave these items because they were too embarrassed to simply walk away.

This verse comes to testify that this was not the case at all. Each person came forth and offered his or her contribution with a genuine and heartfelt sincerity. The initial gesture was maintained and preserved from beginning to end. The final presentation was therefore indeed worthy

of being referred. 

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