One of the greatest and most inspiring sections in the Torah is the building of the mishkon. The reason for this is that the gifts for its construction were all based on yidvenu libo, a genuine desire to give. The pasuk states: “Veyikchu li teruma – and they shall take for Me a gift.” Many commentators ask the obvious question: grammatically, the pasuk should have stated: “V’nosnu li – and they shall give to Me.” One famous answer is that when a person gives, he is actually receiving; when the pasuk states veyikchu li, it is essentially telling us that the more you give, the more you get.
This past weekend, our PHDS middle-school boys attended the Siyum Mishnayos in Montreal. Upon his return, Rabbi Raphael Schochet, one of the chaperones, immediately reported to me, with great exuberance, about the tremendous kiddush Hashem that our students made at the Shabbaton and that the organizers love our students. Building our mishkon or mikdosh me’at here at the school is not only based on the siyumim, Mishmar, Yedios Klalios, baal peh contests, science fairs, holiday celebrations, or our mock trial winning teams, or the amazing annual NEAT production (see enclosed flier). It is also not just about the many accolades that people share with us regarding our teachers and student learning, or about their success as alumni in the yeshivos and universities of their choices. It is about a community of chessed and caring – one that truly aspires to our school’s continued growth.
Building a mishkon requires gifts, and we must all participate. Tomorrow we will read Parshas Shekolim and learn of the requirement for every family to contribute its personal machatzis hashekel. Rich and poor were treated equally and all had to give a minimum and a maximum of a half shekel. For Prize is Right purposes, let us read the pasuk with a slight difference: he’oshir yarbeh – the rich man shall give more. We ask each of you to give according to your ability, bearing in mind, of course, that “the more you give, the more you get.” This coming Sunday night, our annual Prize is Right event will be held at the Providence Marriott hotel. We need every family to attend – and please bring your friends and other community members. The entrance fee has been reduced to $10, which includes a $10 coupon, Pasta Bar, and a special cooking demonstration and tasting with Elizabeth Kurtz. We realize that there are always competing events, all tremendously valuable and vitally important to the growth of our community. Yet we learn that Yaakov Avinu, before descending to Mitzrayim, sent Yehuda to the land of Goshen in order to open a school.
Support of the school at times means stretching a little beyond our comfort zone – but we do so with the knowledge that every dollar raised at the Prize is Right event allows the school to provide financial aid to families who need assistance. I thank Mrs. Rachel Lewin for her outstanding efforts in preparing this year’s event, as well as the many volunteers who assisted her in making it successful.
I look forward to greeting each one of our families on Sunday night, and to a most rewarding event, b’ezras Hashem.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman