June 14, 2024
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 The Fruits of Our Labor

In Parshat Terumah, Bnei Yisrael are told וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָֽׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם and “You will make Me (Hashem) a holy place and I (Hashem) will dwell inside it/with you.” They are told in detail how the Mishkan should look and which items it should contain. Constructing this holy place seems like it will take a lot of work and money, yet Bnei Yisrael succeed in this tremendous project.

Tehillim 128 says, “When you shall eat the fruits of your labor, you will be happy, and it will be good for you.” This verse means when we put in the work for something, not only will it bring happiness to ourselves, but it will create something good for us. It will give us strength, character, drive or something just as powerful.

When we are told in the parsha to build a house for Hashem and He will dwell within us/it, we gain what the verse in Tehillim says. This holy place is not only the Mishkan, but many Rabbis explain that it is making our world holy so that Hashem can dwell within us. When we put in the work to get close to Hashem, although it may be hard and seem burdensome at times, we will receive happiness and goodness in our lives. Hashem will be closer to us and we will experience true happiness. Gaining these gifts will be the fruits of our labor.

Many people think that receiving is happiness, but the gifts we receive are not always remembered. They don’t always make an impact on our lives. What does make an impact is working hard for something, breaking through a hardship, or sacrificing something. The Jewish people love to give, which is one reason Adar is the month where we increase in happiness, because it is also the month when we emphasize giving to others.

May the fruits of our labor bring us happiness and goodness. And may we create a holy world where Hashem can dwell and come closer to us!.


Shira Sedek is a passionate educator currently working toward a master’s degree at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

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