Simcha's Torah Stories - Terumah

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Parshas Terumah


Good afternoon, boys! How are you?

Fine, thank G-d, Mr. Grant, how are you?

Good. You boys look like you're full of pep and energy. Do you think that you can do a little work for me?

What do you have in mind, Mr. Grant?

Come with me and I'll show you. Of course I will pay you for your work.

Thank you very much Mr. Grant.

Do you see that pit there in the middle of my garden?


I need to fill it up with dirt. This morning, a truck came and delivered a whole pile of dirt to fill up the pit. The only problem is they dumped it on the other side of the garden. Here are a couple of buckets and shovels. I would like you to shovel the dirt into the bucket, carry the bucket over to the pit, and dump the dirt into the pit. Hopefully, before long the pit will be filled. Now boys, I'm going to pay you a dime for every bucket of dirt that you move. I just don't have a lot of dimes. I do have a whole bag of pennies. After you dump each bucket, come over to me and I'll give you a penny. At the end of the job, we'll count the pennies, multiply by ten, and I'll give you all of your money. Okay?

Fair enough Mr. Grant. When can we start?

Right now.


And so, the boys began working . . .

Chaim, this is great exercise.

Right, Avi. And we're helping Mr. Grant.

We're also getting paid. How many pennies do you have so far, Chaim.


That's a whole dollar.

After about one hour of hard work . . .

Avi, I sure am getting thirsty.

Me too, Chaim.

Maybe we can take a break and get something to drink. There's a store right up the street. I could sure go for an ice-cold lemonade.

Sounds like a great idea, Chaim. The only problem is that I don't have any money.

Neither do I, Avi. Wait a minute, I have a whole pocket full of pennies.

Me too, Chaim. How many do you have? Let's count them.

I have twenty five pennies Avi.

I also have twenty five, Chaim. Together, that's enough for a lemonade. Let's go.

Wait, a minute, Avi. I just thought of something.

What's that?

For each of these pennies we will receive ten cents after the job is over.

If we wait till we finish, we'll have five dollars, not fifty cents.

I'm thirsty, Chaim.

I am too, Avi. But if we just persevere, we will be able to buy ten lemonades!

I'm thirsty, Chaim.

Let me tell you something about this week's Torah portion which is very relevant to our little job here.

What do you mean?

G-d commands the Jewish people saying, "Take Terumah for Me."

What's Terumah?

That is the name given to the gifts that the Jewish people gave to G-d. He asked them to donate the raw materials necessary to build the tabernacle in the desert. They followed His wishes and gave very generously.

But Chaim, I thought you said the commandment was to "take Terumah," not to "give Terumah."

Exactly, Avi. It seems that G-d should have used the word "give". Instead He used the word "take" to teach us something. Whenever we give to G-d, we are really taking.

In what way, Chaim?

When we give charity to a poor person, we are receiving more than we give. When we give of our time to visit the sick, we are receiving more than we give. When we invest our mental energies into learning and teaching Torah, we are receiving more than we give.

What are we receiving, Chaim?

The reward that we receive for these mitzvos is far greater than the time, effort, or money that we give. It's just like Mr. Grant. We give him a penny and we receive a dime in return. Would anyone ever think of spending that penny at the store? Of course not! We receive much more for that penny from Mr. Grant than the store will ever give us. So too, the reward that G-d gives us for giving charity, is far greater than anything that we could have bought with that money.

Look at that, Chaim. As we are talking, we've finished the job. Let's go to hand in the pennies and get our reward.

I'm right with you, Avi. I can taste that ice-cold lemonade already.

Simcha's Quiz

Aaron wrote all the numbers from 300 to 400 on a piece of paper. How many times did he write the digit 3?

Write Simcha with the correct answer to

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