Parshat Terumah begins with the phrase, “Viyikchu Li Terumah,” “Take for me a tithe.” Many commentaries think that the language of the Pauk should have been “Viyitnu Li Terumah” “Give for me a tithe. My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, explained that there is a deeper meaning in giving charity. When we pay a bill or give Tzedaka, it is natural for our Yetzer Hara to make us wish that we didn’t have to write this check. When the Mishkan was being built, Hashem wanted Moshe to teach Bnei Yisrael “Viyikchu, Shebiyatzro Hatov Vilimud Torato Umaasav Upaal Shetabao Veyihiyu Tov, “And they shall take: that their desire and philosophy should be that giving is like taking.”
The Gemara states, “Tanna Dibay Eliyahu Bishaa Sheamru Yisrael Naase Vinishma Miyad Amar Hakadosh Baruch Hu Viyikchu Li Terumah” “When Bnei Yisrael said ‘We shall do and we shall hear’ immediately Hashem said ‘Take for me Terumah.’” The Al Hatorah explains that one must learn this lesson of devotion to Hashem by immediately realizing that we are not givers but we are takers.
Too often, we take our health for granted, our Nachat as assumed but thought our wealth as a sign of our brilliance. This is absurd! It takes only one second and we become important in our health, joys and personal life.
In Kriat Shema we say “Veahavta… Bechol Levavicha” “And we must love… with all our hearts.” Rashi comments “Bshnei Yitzrecha,” “With both our Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Hatov.” How do we love Hashem with our Yetzer Hora? I believe that by realizing the tendency to attribute all of our successes to our own efforts, we can saddle our Yetzer Hora and turn it into a Yetzer Tov. Since we are all taking from Hashem, we should give Tzedaka or Chesed in the spirit and in the art of taking.