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My torah portion is Matot and it comes from the book of B’midbar or Numbers. It talks about Moses and the children of Israel who were on the way to Canaan, the promised land. Two tribes, the Gadites and the Reubenites, approached Moses. They had a lot of cattle and so they wanted to settle in land that would suit their farming, but it was outside of the promised land in what is today Jordan. The problem was that Moses needed the whole Children of Israel to go together across the Jordan into Canaan and conquer the land together. So what solution did they come up with?

They would leave their families and their cattle in Jordan, but they would send soldiers to join the whole Children of Israel as they entered the land. When the campaign was finished, they would return to their families and the land outside Canaan.

What can I learn from this portion on my bat mitzvah? The first thing is don’t panic. I am not someone who really panics at all. I rather laugh things off. I also unfortunately, tend to think negatively. But this is something that I am trying to work on.

Itry to be calm, think what others might do and what should I do. Then I think of a solution.

This is part of becoming bat mitzvah which is taking on the responsibilities as an adult Jew. For example in my shul, I now am counted in the minyan. I can also be called up to the Torah like today. Just like I had tutors and mentors who helped me prepare for my bat mitzvah, I would like to help other young students prepare for theirs.

Finally, just as Moses and the Reubenites and Gadites managed to find a peaceful solution to their problem, even though they thought differently, I pray that the people of the Middle East will find a solution to stop the constant war in Israel.

Shabbat Shalom

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