Terumah: But I Want It!

My weekly editor is Missing In Action, so I apologize for any grammatical issues.


My son has a very good rebbe this year, which is good, since last year was a bit… rough.


With the beginning of Adar and the mitzvah to increase one’s happiness beginning (either this Adar or next, is a question), his rebbe decided that he will allow certain students to be the rebbe and there will be appointed troublemakers to cause that ‘rebbe’ trouble.  Of course, he had a whole set of rules in place, so things would run smoothly.  The ‘rebbe’ had to know his lesson well and give it over.  The troublemakers as well, are limited in causing the ‘rebbe’ no more trouble that they would the real one.


One of the things his rebbe would joke about is his dandruff problems that he gets in the winter (it’s good to be a man… everything is so open).  So one of the ‘rebbes’ asked if he could put some flour on his jacket the next day when he’s the ‘rebbe’, just like the real rebbe.  He laughed and gave him permission and told him  that it was a great idea.


It’s nice to see a fifth grade boys’ teacher have such a good handle on his students.  And as a parent, I appreciate my son coming home happy everyday knowing and enjoying his learning.


“Take My offering from everyone whose heart impels him to give” (Shemos 25:2)


I’ve been listening to more talks from the Mosghiach.  I miss them.


This week’s parsha begins the description and building of the Mishkan.  It was to serve as a temporary and mobile “mini-Beis HaMikdash” until the Beis HaMikdash itself was to be built by Shlomo HaMelech.  It’s interesting to note that the Mishkan, which was supposed to be temporary and have less holiness than the Beis HaMikdash, was, unlike the Beis HaMikdash itself, never destroyed.  It was captured in its history, and relocated many times.  But it never was destroyed.  Rather, it was hidden away when the Beis HaMikdash was built (Of course, anybody who has seen Indiana Jones, KNOWS that the Aron (Ark) is hidden away in some warehouse in Washington DC).  


What was the difference between the two? While did the permanent building get destroyed and the temporary building survive?  What was the key to that survival?


When Shlomo HaMelech built the Beis HaMikdash, he naturally wanted the “best of the best”.  He found the best workers from all around, it did not matter whether they were Jewish or not.  He wanted only the best, paid the best, and received the best.  How was the Mishkan built?  By former slaves who barely had any skills.  How was the Beis HaMikdash paid for?  Taxes.  What about the Mishkan?  Donations.


When a person wants success in life, and while I’m focusing more on the spiritual rather than the physical, it certain applies to the physical as well.  A person’s TRUE want has a tremendous impact on the amount of Heavenly Help, he receives.  The Mishkan was paid by people who WANTED to donate and was built by people who WANTED to build it.  The Beis HaMikdash on the other hand was paid via taxes and built by people who looked at is as another well-paying job.


If a person wants help in his growth, the greater his desire for it, the greater the help and everlasting affects.


So too with Jewish education.  The success in transmitting Torah ideas from parents to children, depends a lot on the true desire that the parents themselves have for growth in Torah.


Once my Rosh Yeshiva was invited to speak to an audience of soon-to-be Jewish Outreach professionals.  The person who invited him to speak, knew that he didn’t hold anything back, and that’s why he specifically asked him to speak.  Needless to say, the Rosh Yeshiva would smile and remark afterwards that he didn’t make too many friends there.  His main point was very clear: Before you go out and bring people closer to Judaism… how strong are YOU in your Judaism?  Are you leaving the yeshivah/kollel, because you have no choice, or because you actually WANT to?  Because your success is fully dependent on your REAL spiritual level.


I’ve seen this first hand with parents and ‘outreach professionals’.  They are, in general, successful in bringing up their children/students to be no higher than themselves.  On the other hand, I have seen many parents, who are not the most knowledgeable people, but with a real desire to grow, raise Bnei Torah.  Much of one’s (biological or spiritual) children’s growth is dependent on that of their parents.  Of course, there are many other factors involved, so parents cannot always take the credit or the blame… however; this is one of the basic principles that I’ve seen.


The first part of making anything in life last long, is the heart of the individual.  The more he or she strives to grow, and are willing to put in, the longer lasting the effects.


Have a great Shabbos!