Israel Forever

For the week ending 28 February 2009 / 4 Adar I 5769

Giving in Troubled Times

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Billions of dollars down the drain because of bank collapses or Ponzi pyramiding. Millions of people losing their jobs.

These are troubles affecting the entire world. But perhaps hardest hit are the Torah institutions that depend for their survival on the philanthropy that has always distinguished the Jewish People. This characteristic is evident from this week's Torah portion's description of how our ancestors contributed so generously to the building of the Mishkan sanctuary.

While the shortage of funds affects charitable institutions everywhere, the situation in Israel, with its large number of yeshivot and kollelim, is particularly acute. As Jews this Shabbat hear the words of G-d asking His people to contribute to the Mishkan fund so that "I may dwell among them", they will hopefully take to heart the importance of maintaining the sanctuaries of today – the institutions of Torah study – so that we will merit enjoying G-d's presence protecting Israel forever.

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