By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
The parashah begins with Hashem telling Moshe Rabbeinu to speak to Bnei Yisrael regarding donating towards the Mishkan. The pasuk (25:2) says, “Daber el Bnei Yisrael, v’yikchu li terumah me’eis kol ish asher yidvenu libo tikchu es terumasi. Speak to the Children of Israel and they shall take to Me a portion, from every man whose heart will motivate him you shall take My portion.”
The Baal HaTurim explains that Hashem told Moshe to speak to the hearts of the Jewish nation “b’lashon piyus,” in a manner of pacification, “Bishvil shehayah bo chesron kis-paysum,” since they are going to have some monetary loss—pacify them so they won’t feel bad donating to the Mishkan.
R’ Yeruchum Levovitz in his sefer Da’as Torah asks a very striking question. We are talking here about the building of the Mishkan, the creation of a dwelling place for G‑d in the midst of the Jewish nation. Why would Hashem worry about the Jews feeling monetarily burdened when He was doing something so beneficial for the Jewish nation? R’ Yeruchum compares this to someone who gives their friend a container full of gold, but the friend will need to be “burdened” to open the container. He answers this question by explaining that Hashem is teaching us an important foundation in relationships that can be applied to all relationships in our lives.
No matter how important the goal, when in a relationship with others, one has to be careful not to do things in a way that will cause the other to feel burdened. This is especially true in a family setting. Many of our interactions in a family setting involve asking others to do things. Parents are constantly asking their children to do things. Each request can be stated in a way that fosters a feeling of being bothered or burdened, or in a more positive framework as being a part of a family “team” where everyone does their part.
Spouses as well are constantly asking things from each other. Spouses depend on one another to work as a team, to help each other out and back each other up. This type of teamwork involves numerous requests on both ends. Each request in such a relationship as well can be asked in a way that causes the other to feel negative towards the request, or in a way that is neutral, or even positive. Let us try to emulate Hashem and formulate our requests to our family and friends in a way that creates closeness and a desire to give. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.