There is an enigmatic passage in this week's Torah portion. The twelve tribal princes of Israel got together to plan their donations to the Tabernacle. These were the most wealthy and influential Jews of their generation, uniquely privileged to represent their tribes and duly appreciative of the honor. In addition to their donations on behalf of their constituencies, they decided to personally donate the wagons used to transport the walls of the Tabernacle through the desert.

Between them they stumped up the money to buy six wagons.

On the face of it, this looks ridiculously frugalOn the face of it, this looks ridiculously frugal. If you do the math, as the Talmud does, each of those wagons would be overloaded with huge beams of wood that would need to be stacked so high that it would have been unwieldy to the extreme just to move off the spot. Surely it would have been far easier to buy more wagons and transport the lot in relative ease.

It's not as if the princes were struggling financially; they could have easily doubled their donation and paid for a whole wagon each. Surely one could expect a higher standard of magnanimity from the princes of Israel. Why live life on the cheap if you can afford to travel in style?

If You Need Something Done, Give it to a Busy Person

The possibilities are endless. Some people play solitaire, others frequent blogs. It is scary to consider how much time is being wasted every moment of the day. What percentage of your average day would you consider productive, in contrast to the hours spent mindless paper-pushing, watching TV, checking inboxes and taking unnecessary trips to the coffee machine?

It is too easy to live life relaxed, doing just enough to get by but not really working up a sweat. We are all guilty of occasional laziness and need constant reminders that time isn't just sitting still and waiting for us to get going.

And that's the point the Torah is trying to make. If you can somehow manage to load the whole cargo on to six wagons, you have no right to spread it out over twelve. The extra weight might be a burden, yet we have hidden reservoirs of strength helping us maintain the load. The purpose of our creation is to serve G‑d, and we dare not lay off from the job for even a second.

I have unique gifts and abilities that only I have been granted. If I slack off, the entire world will be the poorer for my indolence. There is a job to be done that only you can do and if you are not up to the effort you'll be letting the whole side down. By living life to the fullest; piling on the pressure and welcoming the strain, we justify the gift that is life.