Honorable Mensch-ion

Inspiration, Imagination & Soul

I learned a great lesson from a second grader this week. In preparation for the Valley Beth Shalon OurSpace Special Needs Art Gallery showing of by brother’s art, I spoke to their temple’s day school students. To introduce the artwork of my brother, Eyal z’l, who was a quadriplegic, I asked, “What do you need to create art?” I expected to hear answers such as hands, crayons, and paper. Instead, they told me, “Inspiration, imagination, and soul.”

The Torah tells us to “lift up our heads.” Perhaps we should use our mind to learn and pursue knowledge. Yet, lifting our heads must also mean walking through life with our heads held high, despite our differences, and with a sense of meaning. We are often concerned with the performance of rituals, instead of the meaning these rituals brings to our lives. We are worried about putting food on our plates, but not about the energy received from its nourishment.

The same is true with our Torah. This weekend, we celebrate Shavuot, the receiving of our Torah at Mount Sinai. It is easy to accept a gift. It is more difficult to give one. Yet, with the inspiration from our tradition, our imagination of what can be, and the true essence of our souls, each one of us has the ability to take the Torah we have been given and share it with the world.

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