Our batmitzvah falls on Parashat Miketz and on the first Shabbat of Chanukah, in both we can read about Jews living in a different cultured area.
In Parashat Miketz, Pharaoh appoints Joseph as the overseer in Egypt before the famine to help stock all the produce. Joseph still kept his Jewish identity by praying, studying and teaching his sons the way of the Torah, while “acting” his life as an Egyptian.
In the story of Chanukah, we celebrate the victory of us, the Jewish people from the Greeks who tried to spiritually destroy our relationship with G_D. The Greeks tried to convert the Jews with bribes of wealth, food and produce. Most people were persuaded in to their culture, yet they kept the ways of the Torah secretly.
We are also a good example of Jews living in different cultured areas. We are two Jewish girls who have our own ways to keep the mitzvoth of the Torah although we are living amongst a South African culture. We have to keep our traditions and our culture as a daily lifestyle.
For many generations the Jewish people have experienced difficulties to help keep our religion alive, most sacrificed their lives to keep our religion safe. Jewish people all around the world help without knowing it, if we don’t keep our religion, we won’t be able to pass on family traditions and what we believe in for future generations.
Today is the Shabbat of Chanukah, we will light the 6th candle on the chanukiah, it is symbolic for us to celebrate our Batmitzva on the festival of light. On Chanukah we bless G_D “al hanissim vhaniflaot sheasita laavoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh” and these miracles happen to each one of us every day! In order for us to see these miracles, one needs to get rid of the darkness inside and show the light within our own hearts. We have faith in G_D to show the light and correct paths for each one for us. During this exciting festival, we also reach the age of mitzvoth. We want to say a prayer that all our dreams and wishes will come true for all of us.