Make It Mine
Rav was careful to fulfill the Biblical directive of “Dei Machsoro” – the community must provide for the specific needs of each poor person. That is until one day…
One day, a poor person knocked on the great Rabbi’s door and asked for some food and wine. He was obviously a poor man without much, and Rav’s heart went out to the pitiful beggar. Mindful of his obligation, Rav asked the poor man to what was he accustomed to eat.
The dirty man raised his broken body and his threadbare clothes with great dignity and requested some fine fatted fowl and some valuable aged wine.
Rav, was taken aback. “Is that not quite a demand that you are making on the community?
“No. Not at all,” replied the distinguished drifter. “I am not asking that you spend a penny of your money.”
“I see,” said the intrigued rabbi. “And how to you expect me to pay for your food if not with my money.”
“It isn’t your money. It’s God’s! The verse even says, ‘The eyes of all look to you (plural) and you give them, – plural again – their bread – plural again – in its time – singular.’ Why does the verse switch to the singular? Because God prepares what is necessary for each individual. I am not asking for any of your food, but what is mine.”
At that moment, Rav’s sister, whom he had not seen in two decades, arrived for a surprise visit bearing a gift of some fine fatted fowl and some valuable aged wine. The poor man was served his requested meal, and Rav was served an important lesson about charity.
Whose food was it? Whose money is it?
“Veyikchu Li Terumah” – “Collect Terumah for Me” –“ Make it Mine”, says God, Mine, not yours. Make it Mine by acknowledging that I will direct each penny to its proper place. Make it Mine and I will direct your form of some fine fatted fowl and some valuable aged wine to you.
Was this not the message of the Mishkan: That God will take our efforts, whether an animal, fowl or flour offering, incense, donations etc. etc. and transform them by directing them to repair, build and create worlds?
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