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Show the love

Thursday, 16 June, 2016 - 11:28 am

2 Jewish rules about serving G-d:

1) It should be a service of love; the service of a generous heart not just backbreaking labor and

2) In Judaism, there is no such thing as a free lunch, the human needs to do his part and then G-d will do the rest. One cannot rely on miracles. As the saying goes, it took 10 years of hard work to become an overnight success.

These rules come from the Torah.

After the Mishkan, Tabernacles, was completed, the Jews brought the tent and all its furnishings, its clasps, its planks, its bars, etc. to Moses. Why did they bring it before him? Rashi explains, from the Midrash, for they could not erect it. No human being could erect the Mishkan because of the heaviness of the planks; and no human was strong enough to put them up, but Moses was able to put it up. Moses said before the Holy One, blessed is He, “How is it possible for a human being to erect the Mishkan?”  G-d replied, “You work with your hand”. Moses appeared to be erecting it, and it arose by itself. This is the meaning of what it says: “the Mishkan was set up” (Exod. 40:17); it was set up by itself.

The Jews could have found a way to set up the Mishkan. They had experience in backbreaking labor when building pyramids in Egypt. Yet, this did not qualify as “the service of a generous heart”. G-d was schooling Moses to the second rule; do your part and I will do the rest. 

For their part, the leaders of the tribes wanted to contribute towards the Mishkan. After the Mishkan was built, the leaders desired to bring a gift of wagons to make it easier for the Levites to transport the Mishkan.  They brought their offering before the Lord: six covered wagons and twelve oxen. They presented them in front of the Mishkan, for Moses did not accept them from their hands until he was instructed to do so by the Omnipresent.

Why did Moses refuse to accept the gift without G-dly approval? For he was concerned that the wagons would not allow the Levites to fulfill their physical obligation; thus not allowing G-d to do His share.  Moses was instructed by G-d: Take [it] from them, and let them be used in the service of the Tent of Meeting. You shall give them to the Levites, in accordance with each man's work.

Do your part to show and share the love, and Hashem will take care of the rest.

Have a great Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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