When Moshe announced that anyone who wished to contribute anything toward the Mishkan was welcome to do so, there was a mass outpouring of donations. Only the nesi’im decided to wait. “Let everyone bring all they can, and whatever will be missing towards the end, we will contribute,” they said. Bold words! Certainly said with the best intentions! They accepted full responsibility to contribute whatever would still be needed. Very noble indeed! Isn’t it?
Yet, as noble as their thoughts and intentions may have been, they turned out to be the losers. By the time their turn came around, there was nothing left for them to bring for the actual construction of the Mishkan. The only thing they could share in, was the clothing of the kohen gadol – the stones of the eifod and the choshen. They lost out completely in having a share in the building itself or in the other keilim (except for the adonim, in which every Jew had an equal share).
Yes, even though they may have had the best of intentions, they wound up being the losers. For this reason, they lost the most important letter in their name. The little yud, the first letter of Hashem’s name, is removed from the word neshiyim Can there be a greater loss?
It was this letter that Moshe added to Hosuha’s name, calling him Yehosuah – and thus prayed that Hashem help him not to fall in with the advice of the meraglim.. Moshe also added this little letter to the end of every Shevet’s name. Throughout Divrei Hayomim we find Dovid’s name spelled with an extra yud – a sign of greatness.The yud is the letter with which Hashem created Olam Habo . It is also the letter of life-Chai. When a yud is missing it is not a good sign at all. Remember what happened to the big fish called the tanin, when its yud was missing.( see the begining of Beraishis). When you find a yud disapearing in a name it may spell trouble. When the yud was taken out of the word Refidim it indicated that the yidden slackened in their commitment to Torah and Mitzvos and they were immediatly attacked by our archenemy Amolek.
When the Nessiyim lost their yud the lesson is obvious! Even the best of intentions don’t always work. It’s quick action that counts most. When a mitzvah comes your way, you must act quickly before someone else grabs it away . Even the slightest delay may cause you to miss out on the opportunity. A mitzvah lost can never be regained.
How many times have we lost out on a mitzvah because we were slow on the draw? Somebody else grabbed it away before we had a chance to do it.
Perhaps your mother or father asked you to help clean up. “Soon,” you reply. Yet before you know it, the job has already been done and you’ve lost out on one of the Aseres HaDibros.
You see someone’s coat or glove lying around on the floor and you have the opportunity to be makayem the mitzvah of hashovas aveidah. Because of your laziness somebody else gets there before you do and grabs the mitzvah away!
Somebody is sick and you decide to call or visit him in order to be mekayem the mitzvah of bikur cholim. Yet, by the time you get around to it, he is boruch Hashem better, and back in school again. Another mitzvah missed!
The nesi’im learned their lesson. So when it came to the dedication of the mizbe’ach, they made sure to be the first ones to bring a korbon.
Perhaps it’s about time that we learn a lesson too!