“The leaders brought the shoham stones and the stones for the settings of the Ephod and Breastplate.” (35:27)
Rashi cites Rabbi Nattan (Bamidbar Rabbah 12:16) who notes that the word “nesiim”, leaders, is spelled without the two yuds that it would normally have. This defective spelling of their title is an implied rebuke of the leaders for not bringing their gifts until everything else had been contributed. Their motive was good. They assumed that the general contributions would not be enough, so they waited to see what would be lacking, with the intention of giving everything that would still be needed. The national response was so generous that there was almost nothing left to give. They waited for others and they missed their opportunity.
Leaders should never wait. They should lead. We cannot afford to wait and see what others will do and only then, fill the gap. We must assume immediate responsibility and lead others rather than wait.
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