Saturday, February 26, 2011

selfless gifts

"Kol ish v'isha asher nadav libam osam l'havi l'kol ha'melacha asher tzivah Hashem b'yad Moshe, heivi'u Bnei Yisrael nedavah laHashem" (35:29)

The pasuk opens speaking of "kol ish v'isha" who wanted to donate to the Mishkan. It would seem to make sense for the pasuk to conclude "heivi'u... nedavah," meaning these same men and women mentioned at the start of the pasuk fulfilled their pledge and dontated. Why does the pasuk add the words "Bnei Yisrael" in place of "ish v'isha" as its subject?

My wife suggested that those who were true nedivim did not call attention to their gifts -- there was no big plaque, no dinner to celebrate their generosity, no announcement of their pledge -- nothing that called attention to the personality of the giver. These true selfless souls looked at their gifts not as their personal bequests, but simply part of the contributions of the people as a whole, hence, "hevi'u Bnei Yisrael..." (see Ksav Sofer as well)


  1. in the spirit of "there is no I in team."

  2. Do you realize that in all the history of Safrus Yisrael nobody ever wrote "my wife said a good vort...." until the internet? And I'm not sure who to blame/credit, Nechama Leibowitz, Sara Schenirer, or Al Gore.

  3. b, the New York Hall of Science has a an exhibit on networks including the origin of the name, World Wide Web. The credit there is assigned to Tim Berners-Lee. He could have named the internet after himself, as TIM was one of the names under consideration.

    What you see on the internet today just gives a textual record of what people likely would have said in the course of speaking. Just when those were put into written for (by talmidim or others) the wife references were probably erased.

  4. erased? bowdlerized.

    Sure, your explanation is true. There's much less circumspection on the TIM, even in Divrei Torah. I've seen plenty of howlers out there, including allegations of Orthodox halacha l'maaseh.