"Come in!" called Miriam as she heard the knock on her bedroom door. The door opened slowly and Rivkie walked in with a folded, colored paper in her hand.
"This is for you, Miriam," said Rivkie. "It's a goodbye card. It may not be as nice as Shifi's or Dina's, but I made it myself."
Everyone in the Steinman family had given Miriam goodbye cards. Miriam was a seminary student who boarded with them, and the children adored her. She was leaving for England to spend Pesach with her family.
Rivkie knew Miriam was busy packing. "I'm going to miss you, Miriam. I hope you like the card," she said softly as she turned to go.
"Your card is beautiful," exclaimed Miriam. "And you know what is nicest about it? I can tell that you put effort into it, and that's what really matters. Come Rivkie, let me explain something from the parshah to you. I need a break from my packing anyway," she added, smiling.
Miriam had often helped Rivkie with her homework, and Rivkie loved how nicely she explained things to her. She didn't need a second invitation; in a moment she was at Miriam's side, listening eagerly.
"In this week's parshah, we learn about the sacrifices. The Jewish people are commanded to bring the korban tamid twice each day. Every year, each Jew would contribute a half-shekel, and that would pay for the korban tamid and all the other communal sacrifices. The korban tamid wasn't expensive: one sheep, a bit of flour, oil and wine. So the amount every person had to give wasn't very much. HaShem doesn't command us to give Him a very large amount of what we have. But everything we do give, we should give with our whole heart.
"The korban tamid was the first korban brought each day. Every day, it was brought early in the morning and late in the afternoon. It is called tamid - "continuous," because although there were many other sacrifices brought in the Beis HaMikdash during the day, the influence of the korban tamid was continuous, lasting through the entire day.
"We should keep the lesson of the korban tamid in mind as we start each day. When we say Modeh Ani, we should say it with all our hearts, thanking HaShem for giving us life and promising to do everything we can to serve Him with all our hearts. These feelings will last all day long, and will affect everything we do.
"That's why I like your card so much, Rivkie," Miriam added. "I can tell you made it with all your heart."
(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. III, p. 939ff)