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Wealth or waste? - Naso

Thursday, 4 June, 2020 - 8:32 am

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If someone wins 10.000.000 € in the lottery, can he start spending it without thinking and calculating?

In the weekly Torah portion Naso, we read about the donation of the Leaders. The Leaders of the twelve Tribes of Israel donated 6 wagons for the transportation of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) during their way in the dessert.

When we study the sizes of the planks, the fabrics and all the rest of the parts of the Mishkan we find out something strange. These few wagons had to carry an unbelievably heavy and bulky load. The Talmud makes different mathematical calculations to understand how it was possible to have all these items in such a little space. Our Sages explain that the Levites in charge had to accompany the wagons to make sure nothing falls out during the trip, since they were put up to the edge.

The big question is why? Couldn’t the Leaders find another place to save money?  The Mishkan was made of the best and most expensive materials: gold, silver, precious stones etc. Why did the Leaders bring just half a wagon each?

The answer is 6 words: Yes, to wealth, no to waste.

G-d’s house should be nice and luxurious, that is why the best materials were used. But even then, needless waste was forbidden, even of one gram.

The leaders were not being stingy. Since the parts of the Mishkan could be carried by 6 wagons, having one more wagon would be a waste, there would be there some extra and unutilized space. And waste is not ok.

G-d created every single thing for a purpose. Our responsibility is to utilize everything in the best way.

Let us take for example our time. We have 10.080 minutes per week. Even when we are waiting for the microwave to heat our food or when we are riding the bus, these are still minutes that need to be utilized. G-d did not create them without a reason.

Or our money. Even if someone wins the lottery, he still should not waste it without thinking. It needs to be utilized properly – G-d did not create it without a reason.

Just like our talents. One person has an exceptional voice, someone else has “golden hands”, the third has an amazing explaining skill and generally, we all have a talent(s). We should utilize them for doing good, not let them to rust. G-d did not create them without a reason.

Last Tuesday was my birthday. A friend of mine reminded me of these 6 chariots, reminding me of something important. Since G-d brought me into this world, and G-d does nothing without a reason, this means there is a special mission that just I could fulfil here. Our birthday is the day that G-d decided that the world cannot go without us – we are needed. No one here is useless.

Let us utilize our gifts and time for G-dly purposes. Let us decide that this week, when we’ll have 2-3 “empty” waiting minutes, we will utilize them productively, for instance, by reading a Psalm of David – Tehilim.

It may seem to us “just” 2-3 minutes, but G-d created them for a reason.

Shabbat Shalom!


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