Perashat Terumah 5779
Perashat Terumah 5779Friday, February 08, 2019
Most of us think that one gives with their hands. However, that is incorrect; we actually give with our hearts.
There are so many problems in our world, and so many people who are hurting. One might ask why Hashem doesn't just solve the problems Himself? He certainly has the means to take care of the poor!
The reality is that God created a world where we are His partners here on Earth.
God doesn't need our money. "לי הכסף ולי הזהב - For gold and silver are mine!" Rather, "רחמנא ליבא בעי - Hashem asks for our heart". He gives us of His bounty so that we will share it with those who need it the most, but we are tasked to give with our hearts not our hands. There are a rare few who achieve an even higher level of giving, those who do not just give with their hearts but actually give their hearts. They do not just try to solve the problem at its surface; they themselves identify with the pains and troubles of others. Often that extra sense of care and the feeling that the despondent is not alone is even more significant to the person experiencing pain than the problem itself. It is so valuable.
דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה מֵאֵ֤ת כָּל־אִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ לִבּ֔וֹ תִּקְח֖וּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִֽי׃
Speak to the Jewish people and let them take for me a portion, from every man whose heart motivates him shall you take My portion.
A close examination of the passuk should leave us puzzled. Are we to take "aportion" or "My portion"? The answer is illuminating. It is almost as if we are looking at two separate sentences. "Speak to the Jewish people and let them take for me a portion." Your average person is giving "a portion". However, "from every man whose heart motivates him shall you take My portion." Those whose hearts are generous and motivated to care and get involved are giving "My portion". They are giving their very hearts to the community. Hashem's portion is that purity of spirit, that motivation of the better self, the shining neshama which is, as we are taught, a "portion of God on High". Take the gift He is giving, the gift of His soul, "My portion".
Thus the greatest gift we can give is that of heart.
This idea always reminds me of Sean. Teri Copland became a single mother when her husband James suddenly passed away at the young age of 28. On James' birthday, their 7 year old son Jase wrote his father a birthday card. Across the front of the envelope Jase wrote, "Mr. Postman, can you take this to heaven for my dad's birthday. Thanks" and put the card in the mailbox. A short while later Teri was shocked and incredibly moved to receive the following letter from "Royal Mail."
While we've been delivering your post, we've become aware of some concerns. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we succeeded in the delivery of the letter to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge, avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven. However please be assured that this particular important item of mail has been delivered. Royal Mail's priority is to get our customer's mail delivered safely, I know how important your mail is to you. I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to heaven safely.
Assistant delivery office manager for Royal Mail
Can you imagine? How many of us would go out of our way to think of the pain and loneliness of a little child? Listen to what his mom said about this unbelievable, simultaneously huge and tiny act:
I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card. You didn't have to make the effort to do this. You could have just ignored it. But the fact that you have made the effort for a little boy you've never met is such a lovely thing to do! I want people to realize that a small gesture of kindness can have such a fantastic impact on someone's life ... Royal Mail you've just restored my faith in humanity. Thank you it honestly means the world to him.
Wow! This is the gift of heart. Look how much we can do with so little, if only we put in the effort to care!
Rabbi Shlomo Farhi
Dec 4 2021
Kislev 30 5782