This Shabbos we read Parshas Ki Sisa. The Parsha begins with instructions for how we count Jews. We don’t simply tally them. “Ki Sisa es rosh b’nei yisrael – when you will count (lit. lift) the numbers of the Jews”, each one shall give a half shekel coin and they will count the coins,… The literal meaning of the words Ki Sisa is when you will lift up. Why does the Torah use a word that is so ambiguous? Wouldn’t words like Ki Timna – “when you will count” be more appropriate?
Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that the Torah wanted to teach us a very important lesson in our thought process over here. When a person fails to do a mitzvah, or does a sin, the reason often is because they simply lack a feeling of appreciation for how important they are. “What’s the difference what I do”? “Do my actions really matter”?
In counting Jews, the Torah wants to drive this most important point home. You are important!!! You do make a difference!!! Every single Jew had to give a half shekel when the Jews were counted. If even one Jew was left out, the entire count was wrong. More than that; No Jew could give more than any other. No person is more important than you!! If we really realize this, then our entire approach to observing Commandments will be different. No longer am I just some no body about who no one cares whether they observe the commandments or not. It’s me!!! A most special and important person!! On the same level as the greatest and most respected people!!
This thought will hopefully lift us up, and carry us through to be better Jews, and do all our obligations.