The Mishkan is constructed out of the generosity of the people. It has to be this way.
Shemos 35:21. Every man whose heart uplifted him came, and everyone whose spirit inspired him to generosity brought the offering of the Lord for the work of the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.
Consciousness derives itself out of itself and only by the internal relationships that may be characterized as ‘giving.’ One thought binds with another and so on until one day holiness is achieved. In a sense this is the evolution of thought but when combined with a people that are especially chosen to be the recipients of holiness this becomes the twofold plan of service in the name of Hashem.
It is twofold because it evolves out of giving which means on the one hand there is a giver and consequently a receiver. This describes our relationship with Hashem. Why is it necessary for the people to give freely from their heart in order to build the Mishkan. After all Hashem could simply bring it into being? The answer lies in the relationship all of us have to holiness. We cannot approach holiness without being open to it which means open both to giving and receiving because each is part of the other.
This is the fundamental principle of Moshe’s relationship with Hashem, Moshe’s relationship with the people and also in parallel fashion the people relationship with Moshe and Hashem. This principle is that of recognizing that Hashem lives within us and that all our gifts are by way of reflection. It is a reflection not only about how we feel about Hashem but also about ourselves. All of this is tied together in a synthesis of higher thought.
Shemos 35:22. The men came with the women; every generous hearted person brought bracelets and earrings and rings and buckles, all kinds of golden objects, and every man who waved a waving of gold to the Lord.
By giving these material things the people are internalizing the Hashem in their lives saying that nothing is more important than Hashem and that these gifts are directly a result of what has been given to them from above. The symbolic gestures here make everyone who participates in the giving a part of this Mishkan that is being built.
Shemos 35:29. Every man and woman whose heart inspired them to generosity to bring for all the work that the Lord had commanded to make, through Moses, the children of Israel brought a gift for the Lord
Torah is specific in its purpose. This entire second section, the second Aliyah in the Torah reading is devoted to the generosity of the people of Israel and that relationship to Hashem that has been commanded in order to build the Mishkan representative of the people’s wishes for all of their aspirations on high. What Torah is telling us here is that Hashem meets us halfway. We do the work and Hashem raises all to holiness. It is a lesson that travels across multiple levels of existence from the smallest kindness to the overflowing of mercy that comes from above. All is revealed in order to show that heaven will always mirror our actions. When we act in a righteous way towards Hashem or each other the returning flow cannot help but be merciful in its emulation of those actions. This is how it has been set up from the beginning when we read,
Genesis 1: 10. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas, and God saw that it was good.
So it is that when things first starting appearing they were good. This is the paradigm behind all of this giving with the heart and the generosity of the people. It is to emulate and participate in that which is good. B”H.
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