This week we read Parshat Terumah. Terumah means “contribution.” Parshat Terumah describes the contributions of cloth, skins, and precious items generously contributed by Bnai Israel to build the Mishkan: the portable spiritual sanctuary for the people while they travelled in the desert. A “mishkan”, is literally a “dwelling place.” In this week’s parshah God declares: “They shall make me a Mishkan, so I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). Later commentators refer to God’s “Shekhinah ” (from the same root as mishkan) as that dimension of God which dwells among the people. We might glean from this parshah that what brings God to dwell among the people are the very acts of generosity that build the “dwelling place” for God. There are two kinds of generosity that have been prominent at the Heschel school recently: a generosity of Torah and a generosity of Bread.
Next week, our teachers will open their classroom doors to families in the school to share insights about your children and their learning. I am always struck by the genuine generosity of spirit and care our teachers show for each and every child at The Toronto Heschel School. Our teachers truly exemplify the generosity of “Torah,” of teaching.
There is a saying: “Ayn Kemach, Ayn Torah”- where there is no bread there can be no Torah. I am also struck by the incredible generosity of our school community – parents, teachers, and extended family members – who have already stepped up to say Hineni through their contributions to our annual campaign. We could not do our work of Torah without your meaningful generosity.
May we continue to grow strong in all forms of generosity that make our school a “Mishkan,” a place where God dwells through Jewish teachings, mitzoth, and acts of kindness.