Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Vayakhel
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Asher Ben Haim

Parashat Vayakhel

The Intellectual and Emotional


Rabbi Binyamin Walfish

In this week's Parsha, we are told about the actual building of the Mishkan and all its accoutrements. The Torah informs us that Bnei Yisrael contributed generously to the building of the Mishkan and refers to two categories of donors, "nesa'o libo," "whose heart inspired him," and "nadvo rucho," "whose spirit motivated him."

Rabbi Solovetichik ztz"l, explained the difference between the two: A nadvo rucho reacts in an intellectual, rational way. Many in Bnei Yisrael analyzed their ability to donate based on the needs of the Mishkan and contributed a commensurate amount. Their approach was perfectly acceptable and legitimate. The nesa'o libo, however, reacted on a more instinctive level. They were overcome with the desire to build a Mishkan as an expression of their attachment to Hashem. Such people acted well above what was required of them.

The difference between the intellectual and emotional approach to the performance of a mitzvah can be applied to almost all of the Torah's mitzvot. Notably, in the Mitzvah of giving charity. Man can readily accept and understand rationally the need for giving charity. When, however, one gives charity from an emotional need and desire to do so, it becomes etched in his mind and no intellectual or rational reason will deter him. When one acts on such an impulse, it is characterized as an act of chesed.

There is another Mitzvah which demonstrates the difference between the nadvo rucho and the nesa'o libo - the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael - living in Eretz Yisrael. It is perfectly legitimate and under certain circumstances necessary to approach aliyah to Eretz Yisrael as a nadvo rucho. Practical, economic, rational considerations should be part of the process. But ultimately, the nesao libo is the one who will make aliyah. One who has an emotional, existential attachment to Israel to the extent that it becomes etched in his mind so that he is constantly aware of the desire and necessity of performing this mitzvah, is the one who will actually make aliyah and no rational or intellectual decision will deter him.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
Aloh Na'aleh
POB 4337, Jerusalem 91042
Tel: 972-2-566-1181 ext. 320 ~ Fax: 972-2-566-1186

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