The Blessings of a Good Heart
Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89 )
"May the Eternal bless you and protect you" (Numbers 6:24). These words were first spoken by Aharon the Kohen when he blessed the Jewish people over 3,000 years ago, and they have been used by Jewish parents to bless their children ever since.
When we ask God to bless our children, we are praying that they be granted wisdom, wealth, health, character - in essence, everything that we value. However, each of these blessings in and of themselves needs an appropriate response from us to ensure that they won't be misused and negatively affect us.
The Remah, a 16th century sage, teaches that the way to actualize all of our blessings is to know that, "A person with a good heart will be blessed." The heart is an organ that never stops and is always pumping life into the rest of the body. We should try to appreciate all of life's blessings and always try to be gracious and generous with them and strive to share with others, whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically. This can ensure that our blessings will be truly good.
It is interesting that the Torah points out this week that one of the spiritual flaws that will distance a Jew from the Divine is stinginess -- not just of wealth but also of spirit. An inability to give of ourselves pushes us away from God. King David says it all when he says, "Give back to God what belongs to Him, because you, and all you have, are His."
We are only His trustees for a limited time. If we can develop such a "good heart," we, and all those whom we come in contact with, will be truly blessed.