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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Parshas Terumah: The Value Of Effort



The brief anecdotes mentioned at the beginning are inspiring and intriguing. But they involve individuals who went on to achieve great worldly accomplishments and distinctions. It was because they were persistent and did not succumb to their previous failings that they eventually persevered. But their situations are a far cry from the spiritual world in which effort alone is invaluable. If the individuals mentioned at the beginning would not have achieved greatness they would have been relegated to the dust-heaps of history. But in the spiritual world it is predominantly effort that matters and creates greatness.

True greatness is not accomplished overnight. It takes persistence, relentless effort, powerful ambition, and most importantly, resilience in the face of setbacks.

The invaluable stones needed for the Mishkan were listed after all of the other materials, because they required the least effort, and therefore contained the least spiritual value.

Like any really valuable commodity in life, to become a woman of valor or a gadol requires work and sweat. It takes great people to build great families to ensure the continuity of our great nation. Only those who are up to the challenge can build a House of G-d.


[1] Yoma 75a

[2] The word עשו literally means ‘made’, thus the verse reads, “Many women have made themselves into Women of Valor.”

[3]Gadol’ literally means ‘great one’; the word is used to refer to our greatest Torah leaders

[4] Quote from his new book, “The Eye of the Storm: A calm view of Raging Issues”

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead, as well as Guidance Counselor and fifth grade Rebbe in ASHAR, and Principal at Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. Visit him on the web at www.stamtorah.info.

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