Camp Gan Israel buzzed with excitement. The girls’ session was nearly over, and everyone was getting ready for the grand banquet.

Sarah was especially excited and proud of herself, too. She had set aside part of her rest hour every day to study for Tzivos HaShem. And now she was the first five-star general of the entire camp.

At the banquet, everyone applauded and cheered as Sarah’s name was called. She walked over to the stage to receive the grand prize. Rivki, the head counselor, smiled, shook her hand, and gave her a beautifully wrapped gift and another small box.

After the banquet, Sarah went to look for the head counselor. “Thank you so much for the prize,” she began.

“You certainly studied hard, and you deserve it,” Rivki said, giving her a hug.

“But why did I get that extra prize?” asked Sarah.

“That was a bonus,” smiled Rivki. She thought for a moment, then said, “Sarah, you like to study. Look in this week’s parshah and you’ll find a mitzvah that can be compared to that extra bonus you received.”

Sarah was very curious. She found the mitzvah. Can you?

In this week’s parshah, we learn about the mitzvah of ha’anakah, giving a bonus. An eved ivri, a Jewish servant, works for his master for six years, and then he is freed. When he leaves, his master is commanded to give him gifts.

These gifts are not payment for the servant’s work. The master pays the servant at the beginning, before he begins his work. And for six years, the master takes care of all the needs of the servant, his wife, and his children. Afterwards, the master gives him extra gifts as a bonus.

HaShem is our Master and we serve Him faithfully, preparing the world to be His home. He rewards us for our service and takes care of our needs. When the geulah comes, He will also fulfill the mitzvah of ha’anakah by giving us something extra. Today, we can feel some of HaShem’s holiness. When the geulah comes, HaShem will give us a bonus, and show us holiness which we cannot feel now.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXIV, Parshas Re’eh)