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GIVE AND TAKE

by Yitzchak James Saltz    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

In the beginning of this week's Torah portion, Hashem tells Moses to "take for Me a portion" (Exodus 25:2) referring to the items which were to be brought for the construction of the Tabernacle.

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In the beginning of this week's Torah portion, Hashem tells Moses to "take for Me a portion" (Exodus 25:2) referring to the items which were to be brought for the construction of the Tabernacle. The Sforno, a 16th century classical Italian commentator, poses a very interesting question. If Hashem wanted the Jews to give a portion to the Tabernacle, then why didn't Hashem say "give" instead of "take"?

The Sforno answers by saying that Hashem wasn't telling Moses to go to all of the Children of Israel. He wanted Moses to go to the Levites, the collectors of the materials to be used in the mishkan, to tell them to go and take a portion from the Children of Israel. The directive was issued at the Levites and not the Jewish nation.

We can draw out an extremely important lesson from this understanding of the verse. One might think that only the person who gives charity gets a reward. But we must also realize that the person who works hard collecting the charity also deserves credit.

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Yitzchak James Saltz, currently studying at Ner Israel in Baltimore.

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