Please watch Rabbi Gold’s 3-minute video:
In today’s lesson, Rabbi Gold reminds us of the story in Exodus where God asks his people to offer gifts from the heart, to create for him a mikdash (a sanctuary, a holy place) that he might dwell in their midst. The people responded so enthusiastically that they had to be told to stop giving. Their desire was great and they responded with overwhelming generosity.
When God said “Let them make for me a mikdash,” He was also inviting His people to create a holy, sacred place within their hearts – a place where God dwells and manifests ahava rabbah (an abundant love) to be channeled through loving-kindness and generosity.
Being generous frequently becomes most challenging within our closest relationships. Yet it is within those close relationships that the greatest need for loving-kindness and generosity exists. As our personal resources of time, talent, money and especially patience are often spread thin, it is frequently our own loved ones who are shortchanged. How can we increase the flow of loving-kindness within us?
We are asked to consider the following questions:
By practicing generosity, we strengthen our connection to ahava rabbah and build our generosity muscles. When our connection is open and God’s great love is flowing freely through us, we are open and receptive to doing God’s work in our world. It brings both joy and fulfillment when we open our heart and hand to others.
Here are a few ways for you to focus on ahava rabbah as you build your generosity muscles: