True Generosity or Natural Inclination? by Jonathan Gardner


The Torah records the workers of the Mishkan as telling Moshe, “Marbim HaAm LeHavi Midei HaAvodah,” “The people are bringing more than enough for the labor” (Shemot 36:5).

The Mei HaShiloach raises a difficulty: the Torah seems to praise the people for donating their money to the Mishkan as if they were being extremely generous.  Would not, however, everyone want to donate to the building of Hashem’s home, thus rendering this perceived generosity as mere common inclination?

The Mei HaShiloach answers by explaining a phenomenon in the performance of Mitzvot.  Usually, the first time one does a Mitzvah, he is extremely excited and enthusiastic about it.  But after he does the Mitzvah a few times, the enthusiasm starts to disappear, showing that the performer is not really a dedicated person.  Regarding donations to the Mishkan, however, the Torah states “more than enough,” indicating that the nation kept bringing more and more without giving up their enthusiasm.  This statement of the Torah proves that the nation truly was generous and did not donate to the Mishkan simply because it was the home of Hashem.

A Mirror Image by Shlomo Klapper

It’s Not My Fault! by Eli Lehman