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Milla Terespolsky - Dvar Torah

My portion is Trumah, which directly translated means "gift". It is very fitting that this portion falls the week of my bat mitzvah, as taking on the responsibilities of becoming a Jewish woman is a gift in itself. Not only does it relate to the gift of becoming a bat mitzvah, but it also relates to the act of giving gifts, through the likes or charity ( tzedukkah ). In my every day life, charity and giving back has been instilled in me by both my parents from a very young age.

Trumah sees Hashem telling the Jewish people to take thirteen gifts,

in order to build the holy sanctuary, the Mishkan. The concept of

brining thirteen different gifts too is very significant as the number

thirteen relates to becoming a bat mitzvah. These thirteen gifts

were: gold, silver, copper, blue, purple and red dyed wool, flax, goat

hair, animal skins, wood, olive oil, spices and gems.

What does giving charity represent in my life.

My parents have instilled in me from a young age the gesture of giving

back to others less fortunate than myself. I have been extremely lucky

and privileged in my 13 years of life and it is important to be able

to give back. Living in South Africa, there are many girls and boys my

age who have not had the opportunities I have had to go to a private

school and receive the education I have at Reddam House. An education

is extremely important to me, as it will allow me to pursue my career

aspirations once I matriculate. It saddens me that many children in

South Africa will not have the access to education and therefore may

not be able to pursue their careers of choice.

Giving back to the community and giving charity through donations as

well as my time is not only helping those in need, but is a humbling

experience which makes me extremely happy. Spending time with children

and watching the smiles on their faces as I play with them or see

their faces light up when they receive gifts from me is just the

beginning of the giving back process.

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