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Team USA

Friday, 4 February, 2022 - 7:01 am

As the Olympics get underway, lots of focus is on the performance of an amazing cadre of competitors.  Love or hate the Olympics, it is a unique competition at two levels.

On the one hand, some of the world’s best athletes are looking to stand out. They have competed in international competitions and national trials.

On the other hand, they are not simply acting in their own stead. They are endeavoring to earn medals for their home country.

Their achievements are their own.

And yet, their achievements belong to the community of citizens they represent.


In this week’s Parsha of Terumah we learn about the instruction to erect the Mishkan, a traveling Sanctuary.  G-d’s command is clear: “Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me a donation; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My donation.”

Certainly, a handful of individuals could have put together the resources necessary to construct the Mishkan. Yet G-d insists that it be a communal effort.  Not only in principle, but in practice too. G-d desired that every Jew participate in its construction.

Each person has something to contribute. And each person’s contribution is necessary and invaluable.

Each person gives in her unique way, yet the contribution is to a collective objective.  The individual and the group are equally important.


As we celebrate the successes of the world’s best athletes and cheer for our home country, let us focus on the lesson from the parsha.

Each of us have been placed by Almighty G-d on His team. We have irreplaceable gifts and talents to contribute. And, yet, these gifts are meant to go toward a collective goal.

We are all members of TEAM USA – Hashem’s TEAM of Uniquely Selected Ambassadors.

Each mitzvah we do helps tip the world in the right direction. Let’s remember we are all needed for this mission. Together, we will celebrate its completion with the coming of Moshiach!

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