We Can Bring Peace Through Acts of Tzedaka

Parshat Teruma begins with the words (Shmot 25:1-2) “God spoke to Moshe saying: ‘Speak to B’nai Yisrael and have them take for me a Teruma (portion of their resources) offering. From every man whose heart impels him to generosity shall you take my Teruma offering.’”

Why does the pasuk say “take for me” rather than “give me”?

According to Sforno, this commandment was directed to the gabbaim (leaders) of B’nai Yisrael who were directed to take (collect) voluntary contributions rather than levy a tax.

In the Talmud, Masechet Bava Batra 9a we learn the following: Rabbi Elazar said : “The one who causes the performance of charitable deeds is greater than one who actually performs the deed”. This is adduced from the statement in Isaiah 32:17 “And it will be that the act of charity will bring peace; and the work of charity will bring everlasting tranquility and security”.

According to Ritva and Maharsha, genuine peace is a greater blessing than tranquility or security.

Rabbeinu Gershom and the Malbim add that Rabbi Eliezer derives from here that one who motivates another to perform an act of charity is even greater than the one who makes the donation.

During these troubled times in the State of Israel, we need all of the help that we can get to ensure that we have tranquility, security and ultimately true peace.