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Trumah 5779

Trumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! We are now entering the Hebrew month of Adar 1. Because this is a leap year, we add an extra month (Adar 2) so that our lunar calendar jibes with the solar calendar and Passover comes out in the spring (as the Torah commands). Different times of the year have spiritual opportunities for growth. Our Sages tell us, "He who enters the month of Adar increases joy." Now we have two months propitious for working on being joyous and happy. I am happy because this week marks the beginning of the 29th year of the Shabbat Shalom Weekly! And for you -- from my friend, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's book Happiness --


1. Realize that happiness is a choice. You create happiness by thinking thoughts that create happiness in your own mind.

2. Be grateful for all that you can be grateful for. Each and every day you will have things to be grateful for.

3. Every happy and joyful moment that you've ever experienced is stored in your brain. Your brain is always with you. So you can relive your happiest and most joyful moments at any given time you choose. Choose to do so frequently.

4. The way you personally evaluate any given situation and occurrence is the key factor for your emotional reaction. Master the ability to view situations and occurrences in positive, growth-filled ways. Keep asking yourself, “What is good about this and how can I grow from this?”

5. Make meaningful goals. Take action. Be patient and persistent. Rejoice every step of the way towards those goals.

6. Grow from each challenge you face. The greater the challenge, the more you grow. Appreciate the opportunity.

7. Celebrate your personal character victories and you will have much to celebrate. Be resilient when you make a mistake. Resilience leads to many victories.

8. See the good in other people and treat them kindly. They will usually reciprocate. You will live a happier life whether or not they reciprocate.

9. This moment is the only moment that exists. Be joyful this moment. Learn from the past. Prepare for the future. And live joyfully in the present.

10. Appreciate being alive so intensely that all the trivial and minor things that don’t go the way you wish are irrelevant and inconsequential. The thought that reverberates in your mind will be, “I am joyful that I am alive right now.”

11. Smile and wave to mirrors. They like it and are guaranteed to reciprocate. This habit will ensure that you will always see a smiling face whenever you choose to look in a mirror.

12. Learn from every joyful person you see. Talk and walk the way a joyful person does and you too will be joyful.

13. Spend time with positive people. Being around an authentically happy person will make you happier. Be so happy yourself that your happiness is contagious.

14. See the humor in challenges and potential difficulties. Laugh even before you see the humor and the humor will come to you.

15. If needless negative thoughts come to your mind, just let them flow by as the water in a flowing river. Choose to flow in a positive mental direction.

16. Whenever you hear a telephone ring, say enthusiastically, “I am grateful I am alive and I am grateful I can hear.”

17. Create inner music in your mind and create positive inner self-talk.

18. Make a personalized positive recording for you to listen to. Write a list of statements that you would like to hear over and over again. Make the recording in your own voice. Play it frequently.

19. Take mental vacations whenever you wish. Visualize the most beautiful scenery possible. Close your eyes and see yourself being in your utopian spot. Allow yourself to release all stress and tension. Feel the happiness of knowing that this paradise is yours.

20. Bring happiness to as many people as you can!

Torah Portion of the week

Terumah, Exodus 25:1 - 27:19

This week's Torah reading is an architect's or interior designer's dream portion. It begins with the Almighty commanding Moses to tell the Jewish people to donate the materials necessary for the construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary.

The Torah continues with the details for constructing the Ark, the Table, the Menorah, the Tabernacle (the central area of worship containing the Ark, the Menorah, the Incense Altar, and the Table), the Beams composing the walls of the Tabernacle, the Cloth partition (separating the Holy of Holies where the Ark rested from the remaining Sanctuary part of the Tabernacle), the Altar and the Enclosure for the Tabernacle (surrounding curtains forming a rectangle within which was approximately 15x larger than the Tabernacle).

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"Cover (the ark) with a layer of pure gold on the inside and outside and make a gold rim all around its top" (Ex. 24:11).

Why was it necessary to cover the ark with gold on the inside?

The Talmud (Tractate Yoma 72b) comments that from here we see symbolized that a Torah scholar must be pure inside as well as outside to be considered a Talmid Chochom, a Torah scholar. That is, just as the ark which symbolized Torah knowledge had gold on both the inside and the outside, so too a Torah scholar is not someone who just speaks wisdom on the outside, but he must also internalize his wisdom and live with it.

There have been many intellectuals throughout the ages who have espoused profound philosophical ideals. They have expressed the most elevated thoughts of universal love for humanity. However, in their own private lives they have been arrogant and cared only for their ideas, but not for the people with whom they actually had to deal with on a daily basis. This is not the Torah concept of a Talmid Chochom, Torah scholar. To be considered a true Torah scholar and not merely someone who carries a lot of book knowledge with him, one must practice the lofty ideals that he speaks about. This has held true for all our revered Torah scholars both in ancient and modern times.

Our lesson: Whenever you speak about lofty thoughts, ask yourself whether you actually follow the principles you speak about. If not, do not stop speaking about those ideals, rather you should elevate your behavior.


Candle Lighting Times

February 1
(or go to

Jerusalem 4:39
Guatemala 5:46 - Hong Kong 5:58 - Honolulu 6:08
J'Burg 6:38 - London 4:44 - Los Angeles 5:13
Melbourne 8:09 - Mexico City 6:15 - Miami 5:51
New York 5:04 - Singapore 7:03 - Toronto 5:20

Quote of the Week

Happiness is not doing what you enjoy,
but enjoying what you do



In Loving Memory of My Father

Dr. David Russin

Peter Russin

In loving Memory of our mother,
Edith Nusbaum
(Frummit Bas Yosef)
whose generosity of spirit and love of family will never be forgotten
Suzy & Mark Pomper



In Loving Memory of

Sandy Miot

Ronnie & Susan Pertnoy

In Loving Memory of

Reb Nussie Zemel



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