4/5 February 2022, 3/4 Adar 5782

I like this Torah portion very much, situated as it is after the moment at Sinai and before the manuals for building the mishkan, sanctuary.

Here is where the congregation of Israel is invited to give gifts to the sanctuary if their heart is willing. יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ, the Hebrew comes from נְדָבָה, an expression of willingness as Rashi teaches us.

I believe strongly that none of us, not even the most altruistic do anything without a certain amount of self interest. It’s a good thing. We need to want to give of ourselves, our possessions or tzedakah. Torah identifies and anticipates a rather modern idea people will give more of themselves if their heart is willing, if they want, if they experience some joy, benefit or learning from it.

I like this reciprocal idea of giving.

I imagine we might think deeply about this as we think more about our synagogue, returning and reuniting with the building and each other as a congregation.

You’ll see from the accompanying poster that the whole month of February is dedicated to different ways to support Food Bank Aid who are struggling after a frugal January. It’s our opportunity to give. I just dropped off a street collection today and when I mentioned FPS the woman who received our goods exclaimed ‘oh my goodness that synagogue does so much for us’. Thank you to all of you who have given.

P.S. donate a laugh, send your jokes for next month’s shofar – all on humour and Jewish humour ()

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Rebecca