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Chukas- Great gift-giving advice

Friday, 22 June, 2018 - 12:30 pm

Many companies and organizations give gifts to employees and clients. Typically, it will be something with the company's name or logo on it. Seems like a great strategy for building your brand and generating good-will, right?! John Ruhlin, an expert in marketing, thinks they got it all wrong.

In his book, John Ruhlin makes the case for companies to rethink corporate gift giving. For example: engraving a name on a nice gift item is a wonderful idea... Just not the company's name, but the recipient's name! If the heart of a gift is to express how much you cherish the other, then do it on their terms, not your own.

It's like the husband who bought his dream car as a gift to his wife on their tenth anniversary, only to be dumbfounded why she couldn't care less for the gift. The next week, he bought her a bouquet of flowers and wrote her a personal note with it. She didn't stop talking about it for the next year...

This week's Torah portion is Chukat. It means a Mitzvah, but it also means “to engrave”. It discusses some ritualistic Mitzvot (commandments) which are less popular, and, frankly, seem odd and downright strange to our non-Jewish friends. But that’s exactly the point. Giving to the poor, educating our youth, and honesty are all big Mitzvot, but because they make us feel good, (I'm generous, honest, and a great teacher...) they aren't necessarily as impressionable in our relationship with our Creator.

So if you want to take your spiritual journey to the next level, think of it as a gift to your significant other. If you invest in your Judaism only on your terms, just enough to make you ‘feel good’ about it, then it's essentially self-serving. It makes no real impact. Invest on G-d's terms, however, and you will see your relationship blossom. Carve out some time in your day or week for a ritual Mitzvah, the kind that you can proudly say: “G-d, this one is for you..." it will, no doubt, leave a deeply meaningful and lasting impression.

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