Section: Tzedaka   Category: Lessons in Tzedoka
Parshas Vayakhel: Rav Chaim Soloveitchik's Long Wait

"K'chu Mei'itchem Truma" take from them donations (Vayakhel 35:5). The pasuk before says that Moshe spoke directly to the people and not to those collecting the money. Why does it say "take" instead of "give", who were they taking from?

The MiShulchan Gavoa brings from Rav Zalman Sorotzkin in Oznayim LaTorah a stroy to explain. When Yeshivas Volozhin was in financial difficulties, Rav Chaim Solovetichik then a Rebbi in the Yeshiva went on a fundraising mission to Rav Boruch Zeldovitz one of the Yeshiva's wealthy supporters in Minsk.

Rav Chaim need an exorbitant sum which Rav Boruch agreed to raise while Rav Chaim sat and learned in Rav Boruch's home. After a number of days Rav Chaim asked Rav Boruch how it was going and he said that he already had half the money. Rav Chaim was delighted and went back to his learning. After several more days Rav Boruch proudly told Rav Chaim that he now raised the entire sum. Thrilled Rav Chaim returned to Volozhin.

After a period of time back home in Volozhin, it made its way to Rav Chaim's ears that the money that Rav Boruch "raised" was all from his own pocket. Perturbed Rav Chaim asked Rav Boruch why he kept him waiting in Minsk all that time if he himself gave the money? Rav Boruch answered, "Do you think it is so easy to part with so much money? First I spent time persuading myself to give half the money. Only after that was I able to fight myself to give the seconf half.

Rav Zalman Sorotzkin says that we see from here that even when there is no wrestling the money away from you, still there is a struggle and you need to wrestle it away from yourself. The Torah says "take" and not "give" because if you wait for yourself to give you will wait a long time. You must take it from yourself.