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Jewish Religion And Tradition: Bar And Bat Mitzvahs And Storytelling

1487 words - 6 pages

nother one of my friends bat mitzvah Torah portion was Lech Lecha. She told me that this certain portion told the story about how God spoke to Abraham, telling him that he must go to the land of his birthplace, Canaan. Abraham makes it to Canaan, where he then builds an altar to continue in spreading the message of there only being one God. As he makes it to Canaan, a famine arises, and makes Abraham depart from his homeland to Egypt, being the first Jewish man to ever do so. Not wanting to leave, he was convinced by his wife to do so for the sake of himself and his family.
When Lexi read this story, right away she thought of a perfect situation that connected her personal life to this ...view middle of the document...

Her Torah portion is called Parashat Metzora. This definitely had one of the stronger meanings than any one the other ones I heard during my interviews. It is the story about the conversation between God, Moses and Aaron, God talking about the laws of emission of bodily fluids. He also talks about the purification ritual for people, and their homes, which have been diagnosed with skin diseases, this story focusing on the skin disease leprosy. Other people that Aaron and Moses talk to regard that these skin afflictions cause uncleanness in the people and they should be cleansed from the “disease” when they could. God then explained to Aaron and Moses the instructions on how to purify one (a “leper”) who has been healed already.
Tara looked at this story in much more of a personal way than the others did. She explained to me that as community service she had worked in a center for children and adults with mental disabilities and other handicaps. Everyday she would be outside with these people, and accept them for who they are. She loved their personalities and how they treated her. But there was always a problem, how others treated them. They were always stared at on the street, pointed and laughed at. As disgusted as she was, she always hated seeing the look on her friends face’s as this happened. Tara told me that when she sat down to first read her Torah portion to write her D’var Torah, this scenario popped into her head right away. She knew there was no cure for any of the disabilities, but believed that her friends were clean and like any other people. The meaning she received from the Parashat Metzora was not to judge anyone on how they look, or in other words “do not judge a book by its cover.”
Last but not least was my friend Amanda. Her Torah portion was from the book of Ezekiel (who was the son of a priest), which means God will strengthen. Amanda learned that the story of her Torah portion was about the time when Ezekiel was exiled to Babylonia (around 593 BCE). His writings from this adventure were considered to be one of the most sophisticated of the Old Testament prophets. The book of Ezekiel was written during the time that the Jews were in exile in Babylonia. She learned that during their exile, the Jews felt desperate, scared, and overall hopeless. They were in fact, angry with God and began questioning how he could of “let them down.” The mission in store for Ezekiel was to convince those that were in exile with him to never lose hope. He explained that God did not betray them, even though he permitted their city and temple to be destroyed. To give his people hope, Ezekiel spoke the word of God and helped to guide them. He told the people that when they would return to Jerusalem, they would rebuild the temple.
My dear friend Amanda has a very big family, and within her family (at the time of her bat mitzvah) there were a few Holocaust survivors (her grandmother). So for her D’var Torah, Amanda obtained her story from the one...

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