GIFT Kindness Hacks Vayakhel/Pekudei
The people respond to Moshe’s request to donate the materials for the Mishkan with great enthusiasm. When Moshe realised that they were receiving an abundance of material, he puts forward a request. ‘No man or woman shall do any more work for the offering of the Sanctuary’ (Shemos 36:6)
If they had too many materials, why didn’t Moshe instruct the people to stop bringing items? Why does he only request that no more work is done?
The Sforno explains that this request highlights Moshe’s sensitivity to the people’s feelings.
Some people had already worked on completing something, and had they been told not to bring what they had already prepared, they would have been very disappointed. Moshe recognised this, and carefully worded his request, so that those people would not be caused any anguish.
What a lesson in sensitivity! It would have been so easy for Moshe to just see what was and wasn’t needed, and to command the people accordingly!
When trying to work towards a goal with optimum efficiency, keeping in mind the feelings of the workers too is a real skill.
If someone does something for us which ultimately proves to have been unnecessary, be considerate of their feelings. Don’t show that their efforts were not actually needed.
This could apply in a work environment when something is completed and then proves to be superfluous, but can also apply to people giving ideas that one has already thought of, or news that one has already heard of.
A story is told of R’Y E Spector. One after the other people came to inform him of good news. R’ Spector listened politely and thanked each one as if they were the first, allowing each one the pleasure of informing him!
We learn from Moshe an important and practical message. Never cause even the slightest amount of pain, not even a jolt of disappointment.
(Adapted from Love your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)