This week’s Parsha, Pekudei, details the inventory Moses took of all the gifts and donations for the construction of the Mishkan. The teaching here is that we must always take stock of the projects we undertake in life. Even more profoundly we need to take stock of our lives and assess what really we are questing for and our true needs for life’s happiness. Hassidic teachings explain that were you to list life’s needs and prioritize them, you would find that the most important things in life are in inverse proportion to their cost. 1. That which we need most, Air, costs least – in fact nothing, and interestingly, it is most abundant of all life needs. 2. Next comes dependence on water, which is not as available as air, but abundant nevertheless and comes at a minimal cost. 3. Then comes food, which requires more effort to secure and process, and costs more than water does. 4. Clothing is also a necessity, and not as easily procurable as is food, as it needs to be made, and therefore costs somewhat . more than basic foodstuff. 5. We all need housing and shelter of some kind. This requires much more effort of design and construction, and is considerably more costly than clothing, and not as available. 6. Jewellery on the other hand is hardly a life necessity, and is therefore much more scarce than housing or other life needs, and therefore the most expensive of all.
So we see that the Creator has organized the availability of life’s basic essentials in such a way that those we need are most abundant and cheapest to procure. Now ask yourself: That which you seek most of all – happiness – should it not be most abundant and cheapest to find? If you are finding otherwise, then you need to reassess your life’s values and priorities.