As dean of the school, one of my responsibilities is its fiscal management; obviously, therefore, one of my favorite parshios is Terumah, which describes the major building campaign that Klal Yisroel was solicited for. The parshah begins with a posuk that describes how all the gifts had to come from those who were yidvenu libo, those whose hearts desired to give. Sefer Ohel Moshe asks an important question: Who else would they collect from other than those who wanted to give?
He answers that conditional gifts, gifts that were forced, or those inspired by peer pressure, embarrassment, or for the purposes of obtaining honor may not qualify as heart-driven gifts.
The Sefer Nachalas Dovid explains that the posuk teaches us that a building so important and spiritual required ongoing hashroas haShechina, flow of Divine Inspiration, as the Mishkon needed to be built from altruistic gifts – given from the heart.
Rav Moshe Feinstein, in his sefer Dorash Moshe, tells us that the commandment was only given to those who were yidvenu libo so that those who did not necessarily give for the perfect reasons still received the reward for giving but not at the same level as a heartfelt gift.
Rav Aharon Kotler, in Mishnas Rav Aharon, explains in a similar fashion that all charitable gifts count and the reward is great for their giving – but a building as holy as the Mishkon required heartfelt gifts.
The Vilna Gaon reminds us in the name of the Zohar that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s talmidim studied in the field, as they were always fearful that the study halls may not have been built with the appropriate holiness and kavonoh.
Using all these thoughts, I would like to mention that after watching our siddur party this week led by Rabbi J., as well as the weekly mishmar and nightly kollel learning, I realize that this is a building filled with the spirit of Torah. Schools and yeshivos require financial support in order to operate. I am always gratified that our parent body finds itself stretching to support the school. I am especially grateful to a group of very dedicated parents who solicit many tickets. Our school raffle is taking place this week, which leaves everyone the opportunity for personal support and giving, as well as soliciting their friends and family for last-minute gifts. Tickets can be purchased online at www.phdschool.org/raffle until the day of the drawing.
The Yalkut Shimoni reminds us that although the Jews all left Mitzrayim with great affluence and indeed actually had gems that rained down with the mon, they still needed to be reminded and asked to give. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Let me therefore remind and ask all our families and friends to please support this important fundraiser through personal gifts as well as personal solicitations. Wishing you all much hatzlochoh in the raffle drawing!
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman