Terumah – gift giving

In Shemot 25, verses 2 and 3, the word “lakach” in Hebrew, “take” in English, is used 3 times in connection with the collection of donations for the mishkan, the portable tabernacle.

Rabbi Pinchas Peli, formerly professor of Jewish thought and literature at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, comments on the threefold use of the word “lakach”, not always translated as “take” in English.

Many people are ready to give to a worthy cause, but it often requires a worthy fundraiser to know how to take their donation from them.  Through the act of giving, the donor also takes something for himself, the good feeling of being a useful member of society.  When our ancestors were asked to give for the higher purpose of building a sanctuary, they were virtually taking a gift for themselves.

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