Rabbi Efrem Goldberg – Terumah – Why Voluntary Giving Is Desired

The collection of money for the Mishkan is different than the solicitation of other forms of tzedaka.  Normally, we can technically force someone to give tzedaka as they are only the stewards of the money, it really belongs to Hashem.  We are to allocate it based on Hashem, the true owner’s will, which generously let’s us keep 90% of it.

Why is the Mishkan different that only those “who give generously form their heart” are invited to donate?  Rabbi Soloveitchik writes:
“Man is basically a homeless being.  No matter how large and opulent his home, he is exposed.  He is subject to the vicissitudes of life, subject to nature – which at best is indifferent to man, at worst is hostile – and subject to an inscrutable future.  

There is only one home where man gains security:  Hashem is called Me’onah, an abode (Devarim 33:27).  The only home where man can find security is in the Ribbon Shel Olam.  Hashem told Moshe not to collect the money for the Mishkan by using force, because the Mishkan was to be built only if the nation felt the need to build a home for Hashem on their own.”

With all the turbulence and chaos around us, only by connecting with, investing in and feeling close to Hashem can we feel truly protected and insulated.  We aren’t called to give money to build a home for Hashem, but we are called on to make room for Him in our hearts, our thoughts and our actions.

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