Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Terumah

Giving is Like Taking

By Rabbi Label Lam

G-d spoke to Moshe saying; "Speak to the Children of Israel and let them take for Me a portion, from every man whose heart motivates him, shall you take My portion. (Shemos 25:1-2)

Take for Me...: For Me, for My sake. (Rashi)

Is this a commandment, to “take for Me a portion”? Why then is it to be taken from“every man whose heart motivates him”? Why are the Jewish People referred to as the Children of Israel? Then there’s the famous question. Why is the verb “take”employed instead of giving in this instance?

There’s a condition that I came to label in a parenting course called “The Citizen Kane Syndrome”. What’s it about? Well, it’s based on the story line of a 1941 movie. The play begins with an old time movie reel, a sort of post mortem biography in praise of an extraordinarily successful and a wealthy man known as Citizen Kane. After giving an overview of the magnitude of his estate and the reach of his power, the camera zooms in on the last moments of his life. There he lay breathing his last and as he expires he utters, “Rosebud” and then a crystal filled with fake snowflakes falls from his limp hand and shatters on the floor.

The next segment of the story begins with a few curious reporters who are determined to find out who was this mysterious woman in his life named Rosebud. The film then flashes retrospectively to a young boy and his mom living in a little shanty of a home. The poverty of their existence and the struggle of this single mom to provide even basics is abundantly clear.

In one critical scene the boy is out on his sled enjoying the thick snow, when two men show up and quietly explain something to the mother. She reluctantly grants them permission to something. Then the two men approach the boy and in the struggle for control they take his sled and throw it forcefully to the ground.

Apparently his rich uncle had died leaving him the sole heir and controller of a huge industry. The mother could not resist the temptation to send him, even against his will, to have the opportunity for a “better life”. Narrative follows him through the vicissitudes of his business and personal life. As time goes on his financial success and influence expand beyond imagination, while his private life is a series of broken relationships and failures. In the end he dies a lonely man with a snowy glass ball clutched tightly in his hand and “Rosebud” on his lips.

In the final scene these two fatigued reporters standing there in the mansion, after having thoroughly reviewed all his life’s papers and artifacts presumably, express their frustration and despair at ever finding out about Rosebud. The camera is now trained on group of workers who are busy throwing items of little value from the estate into a large bon fire. As the reporter had just finished stating, “Well, I guess we’ll never know who that woman Rosebud really was!” a sled is tossed into the inferno and there painted is bright red letters is the word “Rosebud”. As the sled burns the letters curdle and are consumed. The credits roll!

What’s the lesson? Here’s a guy that “made it” to the top but inwardly there was a little child that just wanted to sled. Sometimes you see an MD license plate with a bumper sticker, “I’d rather be fishing!” or something like that. When the Jewish People were in Egypt they were presumably not masters of the destiny. Even after the giving of the Torah some part relapsed into making a golden calf. They spent years doing what they did not want to do. They even became corrupted by the gold and silver afterwards, a sort of sudden wealth syndrome. Now, when it comes to making a sanctuary for HASHEM Moshe is told to appeal to the essential child of Israel to reach that heart of generosity that feels giving is like taking!


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

In A Theatre Near You
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Appreciate What You Have
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

To Crown a King
Shlomo Katz - 5767

ArtScroll

Blinding Light
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Rosh HaShana - Of Creation and Our King
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Even Just "A Little Sin"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

> Yankel - Cast Down Your Load!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

A Welcome Houseguest
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Open Your Eyes
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Successful Search
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Today!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

The Spark is There
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Remaining Curse
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

G-d Never Forgets
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Influencing Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Fighting our Yetzer Haras
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information