February 14, 2002
A Portion of Parshat Terumah
In this week's portion, Israel is commanded to build an aron (ark) in which the tablets of the Ten Commandments will be placed. It is made of shita (acacia wood) and gold. The aron is covered in gold inside and out. It is like a jewelry box. When you have something very precious, you might want to put it in a special box. But why is it covered in gold? The rabbis say the aron is like a very righteous person: Their good actions on the outside reflect their good thoughts on the inside. It is often very hard to have good thoughts about everyone. Here is a way you can try to do that: continue to be generous, compassionate, just and caring. One day you might discover, to your surprise, that your outside actions have affected your inner thoughts -- and then, you too, will be golden inside and out.