D’var Torah Vayakhel-Pekudei
The Torah describes in great detail the building of the Mishkan (Temple). It was an impressive work with stunning beauty. It had fine detailed gold, jewels and intricate tapestries.
When the Jews donated building materials to the Mishkan it was important that they did so with the proper intent. The Mishkan was not just a cold, lifeless edifice; rather, it was the living house of Hashem. The dedication and love for Hashem were as vital to the construction as the actual wood and stone. The intention makes the gift, as the following anecdote illustrates:
The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 5-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a gift box.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her father the next day and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He spoke to her in a harsh manner:
“Don’t you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there’s supposed to be something inside the package?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full.”
The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger, and thanked her for her precious gift.
Only a short time later, a tragic accident took the life of that child. The father kept that gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. And whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems he would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.