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Giving is receiving…

March 2, 2017

Title based on a Tweet[i] from Chief Rabbi Mirvis – @chiefrabbi – see link to his Dvar Torah[ii]

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Tweet from @thereaIbanksy

Torah Parsha (Portion) Terumah in a nutshell from www.chabad.org

The people of Israel are called upon to contribute thirteen materials—gold, silver and copper; blue-, purple- and red-dyed wool; flax, goat hair, animal skins, wood, olive oil, spices and gems—out of which, G‑d says to Moses, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I shall dwell amidst them.”

On the summit of Mount Sinai, Moses is given detailed instructions on how to construct this dwelling for G‑d so that it could be readily dismantled, transported and reassembled as the people journeyed in the desert.

In the Sanctuary’s inner chamber, behind an artistically woven curtain, was the ark containing the tablets of testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; on the ark’s cover stood two winged cherubim hammered out of pure gold. In the outer chamber stood the seven-branched menorah, and the table upon which the “showbread” was arranged.

 The Sanctuary’s three walls were fitted together from 48 upright wooden boards, each of which was overlaid with gold and held up by a pair of silver foundation sockets. The roof was formed of three layers of coverings: (a) tapestries of multi-coloured wool and linen; (b) a covering made of goat hair; (c) a covering of ram and tachash skins. Across the front of the Sanctuary was an embroidered screen held up by five posts.

Surrounding the Sanctuary and the copper-plated altar which fronted it was an enclosure of linen hangings, supported by 60 wooden posts with silver hooks and trimmings, and reinforced by copper stakes.

“I’m crazy and I don’t pretend to be anything else.” –  Rihanna

 “I don’t do things for the response or for the controversy. I just live my life.” –  Rihanna

Over the weekend reading the newspapers I was very surprised to see to an article “Rihanna named Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year[iii]” – I thought RIHANNA, the crazy performer, the DIVA!!! – Yip it was her!

 “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art centre for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter told the Harvard Gazette. “In 2012, she founded the non-profit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”

“My mother would kill me if I posed nude! My mother raised me with certain standards.” – Rihanna

At the commencement of Parashat Terumah, a mitzvah is given to the Jewish people – V’yikchu Li Terumah, ‘You must give a contribution to the Sanctuary’.

In Rabbi Marc Angel’s Dvar Torah[iv] he says that the underlying message of the “Terumah” offering: the more you are genuinely committed to participate in the project, the more time and effort you will expend. The value of your heart-felt gift is not calculated in dollars, but in the amount of loving devotion you put into your donation. He goes on to explain how we can give:

  • There are others who contribute by writing a quick cheque or giving a token handout;
  • There are others who are sincerely generous, and who give above and beyond what could be expected of them. They see their contribution as an investment in creating a better world; and
  • There are yet others who dedicate enormous time, skill, and effort to addressing the needs that they wish to alleviate. They not only give of their personal resources, but they volunteer their time and talent.

If we understand the challenge before us and if we genuinely wish to make our contribution, we will undertake our task lovingly, generously and with a full heart.” – Rabbi Marc Angel

img_3371I am continuously amazed by some unbelievable organisations that only survive from the funds that they can raise. But it is not only the organisations and wealthy celebrities that inspire me, it is people, businesses and representatives who give of their hard-earned money and time to make these organisations what they are. This week alone I have heard stories of what friends and businesses have, done helping travelling visitors with disabilities, organising charity fundraisers, helping a school & community and of a company that have shared their profits with a charity. All I can say to you is ‘Shkoyach(According to the Oxford Etymological Dictionary of Jewish Jargon, Shkoyach is a condensed version of the Hebrew phrase Yeyasher Kochacha, literally, “May your strength be directed forward.” Meaning – You have done something good, you should have the strength to do more.)

You’re here in this world to teach people who you are. That’s why you’re here.” – Tweet from @jack (one of the founders of Twitter)

My family and I were lucky enough to hear the remarkable stories of these amazing people brought to Australia by Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO[v]) Beit Halochem Australia. These amazing people have overcome serious physical and mental trauma to lead such inspiring lives. Dan Layani was blinded by a mortar attack and he runs, cycles, swims, is married, works and has 4 kids. Moran Samuel is paralysed from chest down. Moran is an Olympic rower and works with disabled babies. – Inspiration 🌟

I mean simply to say that ultimately our greatest joy is when we seek to do good for others” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Book of Joy)

[i] https://twitter.com/chiefrabbi/status/836553993849561088 or http://chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-terumah/

[ii] http://chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-terumah/

[iii] http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2017/02/23/rihanna-named-harvards-humanitarian-year/98291958/

[iv] https://www.jewishideas.org/heart-felt-generosity-thoughts-parashat-terumah

[v] http://zdvo.com

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