Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To Do Or Not To Do...Parshas Titzaveh

Does it make sense to give tzedakah to a wealthy person? I feel it's a bit of a waste.  You probably do, too.  Well, we're not in this alone. Rav Dessler seems a bit troubled by a guarantee Hashem offers us in the p'sukim.
V'ATAH T'DABER EL KOL CHACHMEI LEV ASHER M'LEITIV RUACH CHOCHMA, and you should tell the wise people that I'll fill them up with wisdom.
Why would someone who's already wise need more wisdom? The first person who tried taking a second helping of wisdom ended up wearing clothing! We wouldn't want something like that to happen again.
R' Dessler believes that you give wisdom to one who needs it. So, if these people already have chochma why is G-d giving them more?
Oh, before you go, there's something else bothering me. These smarties that we're speaking about, so the Torah calls them CHACHMEI LEV, people that are smart in their hearts.  But doesnt wisdom take place in the mind and not the heart? The heart is for emotions, feelings, and all those other warm and mushy things. But not wisdom.
R' Dessler explains that chochmas lev means a wise heart. The heart represents the desires of a person. So chochmas lev means a desire to do the right thing.
Now, I know that there are no lack of Jewish architects around [whose mothers are still sitting shiva for them since they're not doctors] but how did the Jews manage to find enough craftsmen and architects to build such a magnificent mishkan?  That takes creativity, talent, training, and a whole lot more. How did they find so many people with the proper credentials?
When Moshe announced the start of the building of the mishkan, the first to people to send in their applications were the chachmei lev- those who wanted to be a part of building the house of Hashem. Did they have the training required? Proper credentials? Those specific talents? No. But that didn't matter. They came to Moshe saying "I wanna help". Obviously, Moshe would ask them "well, what can you do?"   "Uh, dunno. Maybe I'll make the paroches. But I don't know how..."
No matter. Moshe arranged for them to start creating whatever they offered to make, encouraging them that Hashem will assist them in their work. And ya know what? That's exactly what happened. G-d inserted into those chachmei lev the knowledge, creativity, and wisdom to build and create the holy and beautiful structure.
It seems like Moshe took a pretty big risk by hiring non qualified workers to undertake such a big project. How was he so confident it was going to work out well?
When a person has a desire to do something for klal yisroel or for haKadosh Baruch Hu,  he may not  possess the necessary kochos (strengths)  and talents for the job. Whether it's bigger projects like building  a  shul  or a mikvah where it's needed, or smaller, yet significant ideas about creating necessary shiurim, support groups, gemachs, or anything else. You don't have to be the most creative person on the planet. You don't have to have been the G.O. president in high school. Or even the main part in the play. The only requirement for success in  your holy endeavor, is to maintain a deep, sincere desire to help klal yisroel  serve their Creator, and G-d will make sure you have all the power you need.
Who thinks R' Dessler is one to talk? I do. He helped establish the famous Gateshead community, just because there was a simple Jew named R' Dovid Drayan who lived in Gateshead but was very disturbed by the lack of yeshivos  there. He would not live in a place with out a yeshiva. Since he, himself wasn't qualified to be the Rosh Yeshiva, he managed to find R' Dessler who jumped at the opportunity. Then he went on to open up a kollel in order to keep the boys there after marriage. Oh- marriage. Right- who would these boys marry? So, R' Dovid went on to open a girls seminary. And y'know what?!  The Gateshead community became and remains the largest makom Torah on the entire European continent. All because of a simple Jew with a sincere desire.
"If you're still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today."