A time to love

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

No, there is no connection between Valentine’s Day and this week’s Torah portion, but parashat Terumah is also concerned with love. G-d has just split the sea for us and given us the Torah. So why does he now ask that each person should volunteer and contribute to the building of a sanctuary? G-d of course could build the sanctuary Himself and bring it down from heaven without detailed building instructions, without having us go to so much trouble building it ourselves.

Our commentators explain that G-d does not need silver and gold from us. He wants our partnership, involvement and commitment. Until now we were passive. We saw the miracles, we received the Torah. Now the time has come for us to begin to act and to create. Ultimately, our involvement will teach and influence us more than miracles. At the moment we invest our silver and gold and lend a hand in building the sanctuary, we become more connected to G-d and full of love for Him.

This is true in every relationship and with every kind of love: in marriage (the more I invest, the more I feel connected), in parenting (the investment in our kids attaches us to them), in educating children (when they help around the house and don’t only get whatever they need). And this is also true in our relationship with the Torah itself (if I toiled and learned and invested — I feel deeply connected to it).

Parashat Terumah teaches us something deep about creating a meaningful relationship — both with G-d and with people.

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