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The weekly share – 3 ADAR

The weekly share – 3 ADAR

Food For the Soul

Giving or Getting?

Our Parshah Terumah deals with the first fundraising campaign in history. Moses initiated it in order to build the Sanctuary in the wilderness as well as to acquire all the materials needed for the special utensils required for the sacred services. This is, therefore, a good time to talk about the art of giving.

The truth is that in giving, we actually receive more than we give. And not only a slice of heaven in far-away paradise but even in the here and now. Certainly, in our relationships, our generosity is often reciprocated, and we find the other party responding in kind. But it goes beyond giving in order to get back. The very fact that we have done good, that which is right and noble, gives us a sense of satisfaction. “The takers of the world may eat better. But the givers of the world sleep better.”

This explains the unusual expression in our G‑d’s words to Moses in our Parshah: v’yikchu li terumah–” and they shall take for me a contribution.” Why take? Surely, give would be the more correct term. But because in giving, we are also receiving, the word take is also appropriate. For the same reason, we find that the Hebrew expression for “acts of loving kindness” (“gemilut chassadim“) is always in the plural form. Because every time someone performs a single act of kindness, at least two people benefit—the receiver and also the giver.

I shall never forget the look on a young woman’s face when I gave her the good news that I had managed to locate her wayward, absentee husband and convinced him to sign on the dotted line to give her the long-awaited Get that would finally free her to get on with her life. She was so radiant, absolutely beaming with joy. Whatever efforts I had made on her behalf were well worth it just to see her feel freedom.

So whenever you think you’re a big deal because you did something for a good cause, remember; you are receiving much more than you are giving. Let us all be givers and be blessed for it.

From an article by Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Shabbat Shalom

Second temple completed (349 BCE)

Friday, February 24, 2023, marks the joyous dedication of the second Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) on the site of the First Temple in Jerusalem.  It was celebrated on the 3rd of Adar of the year 3412 from creation (349 BCE), after four years of work.

The First Temple, built by King Solomon in 833 BCE, was destroyed by the Babylonians in 423 BCE. At that time, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied: “Thus says the L-rd: After seventy years for Babylon will I visit you… and return you to this place.” In 371, the Persian emperor Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the Temple, but the construction was halted the next year when the Samarians persuaded Cyrus to withdraw permission. Achashverosh II (of Purim fame) upheld the moratorium. Only in 353 — exactly 70 years after the destruction — did the building of the Temple resume under Darius II.

Mind Over Matter


Just who are the oppressors of which you are a victim? People? Institutions? The Laws of Nature? They are but tools in the hand of their Master. Or are you the victim of your own Creator? The Designer of this cosmos does not contrive schemes to undermine His own creations. He knows us as He knows Himself; He sees His world from our eyes; He is our life and our essence. When He makes demands of us, He meets us on our own ground, not according to His unlimited power, but finely measured to the capacity He has hidden within us. There are times when you compare the burden on your shoulders to the strengths you know you have, and it seems impossible. But He knows better the hidden powers of your soul. And He has faith in them. For He is there within them.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Moshiach Thoughts

“The offering that you shall take from them shall consist of … cedar-wood…” (Terumah 25:3-5) 

Rashi quotes the Midrash: Our patriarch Jacob prophetically foresaw that the Jewish people would need to build a sanctuary in the wilderness. Thus he brought cedars with him to Egypt and planted them there. He commanded his sons to take these with them when they leave Egypt. By planting cedars in Egypt, Jacob did not simply show foresight to provide an eventual need for the Jewish people. With his action he also encouraged his descendants of the later generations. It strengthened them with an ability to contend with the darkness of galut (exile). It strengthened the hope and courage of Israel at all times. For even in the very thick of the galut we have in our midst the “cedars” that our forefather Jacob planted in every generation. 

From an article by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet

Have I Got A Story

Stop and Notice the Red Camilla

The red flowers outside my window are more than just a scene; they are my dream. Ask my sisters, and they will tell you that all I want is my physical space filled with natural light in a beautiful organic setting. I noticed them first on Shabbat, even though they are to my right and left each time I enter and exit my house all week long. It took Shabbat to get me to notice them.

Shabbat is the day when we disconnect from the bigger world to reconnect with our inner world. With family. With community. With G‑d and the Torah. Shabbat is so effective for me that my undistracted brain begins to coalesce in imaginative ideas and beautiful prose. On Shabbat, I am aware of what is going on around me more internally. I feel the vibrations of each family member packed into the kitchen, lounging in the living room and gathered in the dining room.

I see the flowers. The window frames’ red Camellias. They are directly in my vision across from my favorite position on the couch. I never quite noticed them this way. I sit with their beauty. I let everyone around me know I am bathing in their crimson glow. But once Shabbat leaves, everything captured and processed leaves me in seconds, like a vacuum, as I am sucked back into the weekday chaos. When I manage a moment of awareness, I try to recall the time born of restfulness. I seldom can. I didn’t want to forget this scene outside my window, but I did until it was almost too late. The flowers are slowly falling off, one by one.

It’s not just on Shabbat; G-d wants to be present in our surroundings at all times. At the beginning of the Torah portion of Terumah, G‑d says: “Make for Me a mikdash, a holy space, and I will dwell within you.”

Within me? Isn’t the Tabernacle a physical space we build? Should G‑d not dwell within it? It is both. When we build a tabernacle or holy space for G‑d, He dwells there, but at the same time, I am asked to invite G‑d to live inside of me.

The last many months have underscored how important personal space is. Clean, organized, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing are all things I need to feel comfortable.

What makes G‑d feel at home? How do I make sure He feels comfortable dwelling within me? I start by noticing the beauty He provides. Once a week is not enough, though. It must happen on a daily basis.

And so, I slow down. I take in the scenes of my life and don’t take any of them for granted. I recognize that everything that happens to me is by Divine design. I integrate my feelings of accomplishment with knowing He is guiding my steps. I merge my anxieties with awe of G‑d’s meticulous watching over me. I elevate the mundane parts of my life in service of the Torah and mitzvot. G‑d dwells within me.

I want flowers. He wants a spiritual garden. I am placated. My dwelling is serene. He deserves no less.

Dena Schusterman

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