Home > From the Bimah > From the Bimah – Feb/Mar 2017

The book of Exodus is crucial to our sense of identity, because in essence it is a recap of our Jewish Journey.  It forms the basis on which we celebrate the upcoming Passover festival, describing in painstaking detail our historical past, and the long road from Egypt and slavery, until the moment we were able to claim our freedom.  But freedom does not of course mean doing as we please, but rather doing that which is right.  And so it is that at the commencement of last week’s Torah portion namely, Terumah, a commandment is given to the Jewish people concerning a voluntary contribution in support of the first collective house of worship of the Jewish people, the “Mishakan”.  The terminology is intriguing though.  The Torah surely should have said, V’yitnu Li Terumah, ‘They shall give’, but instead it says, ‘V’yikchu’ which means that ‘they should take for themselves a contribution for me’.  What is clearly being inferred, is that when we give of ourselves for the benefit of others, we in turn receive. We do so, because through giving and supporting the needs of others, we ourselves become uplifted, and in the process we elevate our own lives.

Daniel Rosenthal