This week, when the parsha discusses the building of the Mishkan, we in Providence also strengthened our Mishkan; and we did so through partnership. The Providence Community Kollel/Project Shoresh embarked on a fundraising project and raised over $80,000 in 24 hours. This is a feat worthy of mention; but more importantly, we must mention the many NEAT students and PHDS/NEAT parents and families who volunteered for over 12 of the 24 hours, making phone calls to help the Kollel/Shoresh achieve its goal. They are responsible for enhancing the Torah learning of the Kollel/Shoresh, one of the Mikdashai Me’at: a modern-day, local place of learning and outreach. We congratulate the Kollel Rabbonim and volunteers on their hard work and success.
At times we face a daunting task that seems impossible, but we plow on, persevere, and accomplish the task. Rabbi Yaakov Menken, a modern-day commentator, describes a similar process with the building of the Mishkan, in the following D’var Torah:
“Everyone whose heart lifted him up, and everyone whose spirit moved him, came and brought the offering of G-d for the construction of the Tent of Meeting, and for all its work, and for the Holy garments.” [35:21]
The Ramban says that “everyone whose heart lifted him up” refers to the work itself, which was also an offering. “For there was no one among them who had learned this from a teacher, or [had been an apprentice with] someone to steady his hands. Rather, they found within themselves that they knew how to do it, and their hearts lifted them up in the path of Hashem to come before Moshe and say, ‘I will do whatever Hashem says.'”
We find this same concept later: “And Betzalel, and Ahaliyav, and everyone with a wise heart, to whom Hashem has given wisdom and understanding within them, to know how to do all the Holy works, [they] will do all that Hashem commanded.” [36:1] The greatness of Betzalel was not that he was a fine artist, or a skilled tradesman (the Betzalel School of Art notwithstanding). His heart moved him. His spirit pushed him. And because he dedicated himself to doing this Holy work, G-d gave him the necessary talents.
Rabbi Asher Zelig Rubenstein of Jerusalem said that this concept is permanent. “Open up your mouth, and I will fill it.” If someone wants to build a Holy Tabernacle, G-d will help him to do it – a school, a synagogue, a House of Study. This applies just as well to the Tabernacle that we can build within ourselves, and within our homes. We may look at the amount that must be done and conclude that it is impossible — that we lack the necessary skill. But it is those who push these thoughts aside, and move forward, who eventually succeed.
Words can’t express our thanks to Mrs. Rachel Lewin, coordinator of this year’s Divine Providence auction, and to the many parents who are selling tickets. We are all very busy, and have limited time to devote to helping many local agencies. Our situation is like that of Betzalel, who was not necessarily trained in each aspect of building the mishkan, but whose spirit and drive pushed him forward to keep trying, eventually leading him to tremendous success.
With only a few weeks left, we need everyone’s help to please purchase or sell tickets for the auction. Please be reminded that there are a $360 grand prize, a second prize of $250 in auction tickets, and a third prize of $125 in auction tickets, for the families who purchase or sell the most tickets.
Good luck selling!
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman