Tidbits of Torah


 Parashat Terumah

Purposeful Presence…  

February 9, 2019 – 4 First Adar 5779  

Dear Friends,


Our chumash translates the Hebrew name of our weekly Torah portion: “Terumah” as: “gifts.”  This is a fine translation, as long as one understands “gifts” as “contributions,” not simply “presents.”

Our people were commanded to bring “Terumah” to collectively create the Holy Sanctuary in the desert.

Interestingly, the creation of the world is described in the Bible in forty some verses, all in all.  The collaborative creation of the Sanctuary in the desert is described in the Bible in some four hundred verses!

Clearly, the Torah is sending us the message that God’s creative work, important and holy as it was, is secondary to our human collaborative and creative work.  We create and collaborate with one another and with God, to give our lives purpose.  We contribute so that our lives are enriched.

God is not looking for our “presents.”  God is looking for us to be present, to be active, to be creative!  Our purposeful presence in collaborative and creative work is the most powerful reflection of God’s Presence in our midst. Through our contributions to Holy projects and to our collaborative efforts, God is looking to awaken our awareness of God’s continuing Presence in our midst, day after day.

Shabbat Shalom!


Rabbi Gilah Dror