A Real Uprising - Parshat Terumah
In preparing a blog, I spend time looking at the parsha and try to uncover a thought which would have meaning for me on a personal level as well as for the loyal weekly readers (This column is approaching 10,000 reads since its inception last year on parshat Noach).
I have spent time since the beginning of the week finding an appropriate topic for this week's parsha, Parshat Terumah as well. i finally found something to address yesterday and spent a good part of the day developing it and refining it. Late last night, however, the blog became unavailable to me and is still unavailable at this moment. Instead of trying to re-create that piece (which i still hope to find and send out if not before Shabbos then by Sunday), i will share a thought about the name of the parsha and this week's experience .
Money has throughout the ages been at the center of many philosophical and economical deliberations as to its worth in the economy and in its influence on human behavior and the human spirit. "Money is the root of all evil", "money makes the world go round", "money doesn't grow on trees", are just some of the varied phrases about money upon which many of us have grown up. MOney in many of these instances seems to include barter and other forms of exchange loosely categorized under money, currency or some other synonym.
Its centrality is perhaps why this week's parsha, Parshat Terumah opens with a request for people to give - not of themselves, but of their worldly possessions- gold, silver, bronze, leather and fine threads. The Torah while asking us to share, does not use the simple term of "give to Me" or "place aside for Me." Rather it does so using the term Terumah - "a raising up". We are to use arguably the most controversial item we all have, our money, and let it have an uprising. When we can take that which we have earned and that which we own and give ti to someone else, we are living ona different plain. In doing so, we also raise ourselves to a different level of existence.
This is true not only with our possessions. Even events that befall us, whether serious (sickness, pain, tragedy) or the less serious (losing your blog page) can be given a Terumah, an 'uprising'. We can do so if we take the attitude that things which befall us can give us meaning1. If we are open enough to allow ourselves to listen to what these experiences are teaching us we too can have an uprising.
Have a wonderful, "uplifting" Shabbos.
1. Viktor Frankl discusses experiences in life as having meaning in all of its time periods - past, present and future. It is our responsibility to discover that meaning
Have A Great Shabbat!