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THE VALUE OF REST…

TORAH PORTION: VA-YAK HEL / PEKUDEI Families lead busy lives.  Life is filled with work, homework, sports, lessons, running a household, etc.  Often it seems there isn’t a moment to breathe.  A moment to just stop and say “I’m here” and that’s enough. In this Torah portion Moses tells the people that they are commanded to set aside the seventh day as a day of complete rest.  It is a day in which no productive labor is allowed,  a day in which the emphasis is put on “being” instead of “becoming” or “having”. Think about your own life.  Is there enough time and room...

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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME…

TERUMAH — The old adage says there’s no place like home.  And it’s true, that there’s no place like home to come to at an end of a tiring work day, a business trip, or a vacation.  When children have had strange and sometimes frightening experiences or an exhausting day, it’s so comforting to come home to mom and dad and snuggle up in one’s very own bed. This week’s parsha is about building a sanctuary, a home for God.  A sanctuary is a holy place where God will meet with human beings.  God’s home is a beautiful place, made with precious...

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CHORES AND “A WILLING HEART”…

TERUMAH — Children often complain about homework and chores. Too much of the time they do these things unwillingly, grudgingly. Parents need to coax, chide and threaten before their child’s responsibilities are complete. Moaning and groaning ensue. In the end, most parents see to it that children learn to be responsible, but they are baffled about how to encourage a better attitude in them. In this week’s Torah portion, the Israelites offer materials and skills to build the sanctuary. However, not everyone has to give, only “everyone whose heart makes him willing”. The people of Israel ultimately give freely...

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