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    Three hearts – Vayakhel

    heartThe word “heart” punctuates this sidra. In building the Tabernacle, the people had to have their hearts in the right place.

    Three categories of heart are mentioned in Ex. 35 – generous, wise and uplifted. The ideal person combines all three. His whole being utilises the open hand (generosity), the thinking mind (wisdom) and the visionary eye (upliftedness).

    The question we face in the real world is what to do if people have only one or two of the three characteristics. If we looked for an order of priorities, which would be the top attribute?

    There is an analogy in the Talmudic discussion (Kidd.40a) about religious study and practice, or if you like, theory and action. Most people would vote for action above theory, but the Talmud takes the opposite view. It prefers theory, because theory leads to action: study leads to practice.

    In our case, we might say that the top attribute is vision. Vision inspires thought; thought leads to generosity.

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