This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2017.
"All you take with you is that which you’ve given away."
This is written on the wall of George Bailey’s Building and Loan office in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s a beautiful sentiment, and one that rings true to all that the Creator has so graciously granted us in this life. The beauty of a blessing is not that we have it, but that we are able to share it with others, enriching the lives of those we care for and making the world a better place for it.
In this week’s portion of Ki Tisa, God tells Moses that when counting the Israelites, he is to instruct each of them to give half a shekel. Moses is then instructed to use the money for the Tent of Meeting, making it a memorial for the Israelites unto the Lord. In doing so, God tells Moses that this half shekel is holy.
We don’t always associate money with holiness. Yet, here Moses is told from the Creator himself that the shekel is indeed holy when we use it as a vehicle towards the betterment of the people. Of course we are not talking here about the coin or the paper, or the dollar versus the shekel. What is being said is that money is energy, an aspect of Light, and that we can direct its usage according to our free will.
"Each of us has a spark of the Divine; thus, we are divinely gifted."
Each and every one of us are blessed with gifts. For some, yes it is the gift of wealth, but for others it might be the gift of wisdom, song, or leadership. Some are creative types with the ability to write great novels or compose exquisite sonnets, while others are brilliant mathematicians or genius innovators. In the same way that each of us has a spark of the Divine, so too are each of us divinely gifted.
Ki Tisa is the key that unlocks the bounty of fulfillment, a secret formula by which we can make all things in our lives holy. This portion comes to teach us that the only thing we must do to be fulfilled by a blessing, the only thing required to make it holy, is to find a way of sharing it with others.
This week is a wonderful time to find new ways of imparting your personal God-given gifts to the world. I encourage you to take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left side, make a list of all you are blessed with, and on the right think of one way you can share it with another. Do we use our home simply as a roof over our own heads, or do we open our home to others, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere from which friends can also seek haven, commune, and thrive? Do we squelch our creative voice, keeping our talent only to ourselves, or do we find a way to post our music on social media, act in a local play, or write our first short story as a means to bring joy to others? Do we keep our spirituality for ourselves alone, or do we share wisdom with those who wish to learn? Do we keep our fists closed saying, “What’s mine is mine, and mine alone!” or do we open our hands and feel a fraction of what it must be like to be the Light by extending our beneficence to another?
If we can take the goodness that is ours and share it with another human being, then it becomes holy.
Isn’t it a beautiful truth, that for every act of sharing that we do, the world becomes that much holier?