This week's Torah portion, Pekudei, opens with the various materials donated for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. The donations were given freely, according to the resources and generosity of the individual. The exception was silver used for the foundation.
The silver of the community was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels... half a shekel for each one...
Half a Shekel was donated for the foundation.
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less.
The Jewish nation is made up of individuals differing vastly in temperament and abilities, social and religious standing, talents and intelligences.
Each of us can use our unique capabilities and opportunities to be a sanctuary for G-d's presence in our world. That is why for all other parts of the Mishkan, everyone donated according to their individual means and desire.
But for the foundation, they gave equally. No matter our differences, at our foundation, in our bond with G-d, we are all equal.
Moreover, the foundation was made from silver. The Hebrew word for silver, kesef, also means "yearning." Deep within our souls, at the very foundation of our being, is an ever-present yearning to come closer to G-d.
--From the newly released