Did you know that there are seven words in our tradition for a gift?

They are ‘Bracha’, which means blessing, ‘Matana’, present, ‘Shai’, which is a gift.

‘Nedava’, a contribution, ‘Doron’, a presentation, and ‘Mincha’ which is a heartfelt present to somebody in a time of distress.

But the seventh term is the name of this week’s portion, ‘Terumah’.

Terumah is when I am approached with a request, “please will you contribute towards a cause of great significance” and I respond with deep generosity.

The root of Terumah is ‘ram’, which means to be on high.

Terumah therefore elevates a person.

It elevates the recipient, because we give it in an empathetic way, never to embarrass, often in secret and it most definitely elevates the giver.

It enhances our lives, to be of a giving nature.

The Torah has within it quite a number of palindromes. The longest single word palindrome is ‘Venatnu’, in the book of Shemot. ‘And they shall give’, ‘vav, nun, taf, nun, vav’.

It is the same forwards and backwards because when you give, you receive in turn.

The greatest way in which one can receive satisfaction and fulfilment in life, is through giving of oneself to others.

And the longest two-word palindrome is in the book of Bereishit: ‘vayavei leaviv’.

When Eisav brought a portion of food to his father Yitzchak, ‘vayavei leaviv’, he gave it to his father, again it’s a palindrome.

The greatest palindromes are rooted in giving and that is the message of the term ‘Terumah’.

When we give, it elevates us, we receive satisfaction, and it certainly makes this world into a much better place.

Shabbat Shalom.