Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Can You Take It With You?
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 09:43:49 PM
Number of views: 1353

Is there a way to take it with you? Jack Benny famously said, “If I can’t take it with me, I’m not going.” But as we all know, he went anyway.

The Torah states in Parshat Terumah, “Speak to the children of Israel and have them TAKE to Me a contribution.” (Shemot 25:2)

Why does the verse state “TAKE to Me” rather than “Give to Me”? One gives a contribution, but how can one TAKE a contribution?

The answer is, when a person gives Tzedakah, he is really TAKING his eternal reward of his Mitzvah to Olam Haba (Afterlife). The only possessions that we take along with us when we leave this world are the Mitzvot we did while we were here in this world.

The famous philanthropist Sir Moshe Montefiore was asked by the Queen of England how much money he possessed. Sir Moshe told the Queen, “I possess 3 million pounds.” The Queen was surprised and asked, “Are you sure that is ALL the money that you have??” Sir Moshe answered, “Yes, I’m sure because, the only money that really belongs to me is what I gave away to Tzadakah.”

The world attempts to entice us to spend our entire lives acquiring more wealth and more possessions. Fake news brainwashes us with the slogan “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But that is NOT why G-d put us here in this world. That is why our physical and material possessions abandon us when we die.

Albert Einstein, who believed in G-d, was quoted as saying “Do not become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of values.”

We must turn away from the idolization of the Smart Phone and other material objects, and concentrate on perfecting our spiritual values, which are the only possessions that we can take with us to Olam Haba (Afterlife).

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