An Israeli singer once told me that he started a Kickstarter crowdfunding project even though he doesn’t really need everyone to give him 100 shekels. He has other ways of getting the money. He did it in order to create a sense of involvement, interest, care. In a certain sense, this principle is at the basis of the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), in this week’s Portion: There is value to a mass funding project. G-d can build the Mishkan on his own, but each and every one of us is required to give a little, so that all of us together will feel that we are part of the story. G-d does not need our money, He needs our heart. Since the Exodus of Egypt until the erection of the Mishkan in this Portion, we were passive. Indeed, we received the Torah and Mitzvot, but we did not take an active part in the actual doing. Starting this week we are active, we give something of what we had, we started taking responsibility, and this is the best way to commit to the new values that we received in the desert. After all, also when it comes to education, the best gift you can give a child or a student is to let them participate, give them small tasks, allow them to contribute, instead of always doing things for them.
Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.