In honor of Adar, National Jewish “Increase Happiness” Month, a joke:
Why was the doctor very calm? (Answer at bottom).
This week’s portion, Trumah, begins with the first fundraiser in Jewish history.
Here’s what’s odd: G-d says, “Speak to the children of Israel that they should take for me a portion…”
“Take”? “Take” is self-directed verb; why not “give”?
Judaism 101: it’s impossible to do favors – i.e. give – to G-d. He’s Infinite, lacking nothing. When we ”give” – money, effort, passion – to do Divine deeds, we’re really taking. If we don’t know that, we’re not living in reality.
Recently, my kids were excited about getting ice cream for saying the blessing for a meal. My oldest began to sing it by heart.
“Use a bentcher (prayer book),” I said.
“I don’t want to.”
“No prayer book, no treat.”
Then he got upset.
“Tatti, sometimes you put so much pressure on me,” he said sadly. “You push and push; I feel guilty if I don’t do it!”
That got me. The message I was sharing: mitzvos are things we have to do – or else! May we be blessed to remember – doing good is only our pleasure.
(Answer: He had a lot of patients).