Israel Forever

For the week ending 22 May 2010 / 8 Sivan 5770

Just a Ditto?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

This week's Torah portion is the longest one in the Torah because so much precious space is dedicated to reporting the gifts made to the Sanctuary by the heads of the tribes. What seems baffling is why the Torah repeated twelve times the nature of each gift although each of them gave the identical gift.

One of the reasons suggested by Ramban in his commentary for not simply mentioning the name of the donor and substituting a ditto for the gift is that although each gift was exactly the same as the others, the thought behind it was different. Each tribe had its particular role in the destiny of the Jewish nation and its leader dedicated his gift with a thought that would provide the spiritual energy needed for fulfilling its mission.

We may take this point one step further and apply it to the destiny of nations. The Jewish People were not destined to be merely a ditto mark in the listing of independent states. Only by appreciating our special mission as G-d's chosen people will we secure Israel forever.

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