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 for the building of the Mishkan: a portable spiritual sanctuary, used by the people while travelling 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). Other commentators refer to God’s “Shekhinah” (from the same root as “mishkan”) as the dimension of God that 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.
I am always struck by the 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, extended family members—who contribute their time, energy, and resources to help build our learning “mishkah.” 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, mitzvot, and acts of kindness.