Tyla Baker - Dvar Torah
My Parashah, or Torah portion is Va-eira and is found in the book of Exodus, which means to evacuate or leave, in this case, the land of Egypt. My Parashah is the story of how Pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites leave Egypt, even after Moses exhibits miraculous powers, like transforming his staff into a serpent. The first seven plagues strike Egypt: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Pestilence, Boils, and Fiery Hail. Then the final three which are mentioned in next week’s Torah portion: Locusts, Darkness and the Death of the First Born. The question that intrigued me, was why the need for 10 plagues? Why didn’t G-d just stop at 3 or 4? So I decided to do some research.
The number 10 is quite a significant number in Judaism and has many meanings. There were 10 generations between Adam and Noah and 10 generations between Noah and Abraham. There were the Ten Commandments and the world was created with ten utterances. 10 adults are required to make a Minyan, and today, as a Bat Mitzvah, I am able to be counted in that 10. A Minyan is also the minimum number of people you need for reading the Torah or saying the Kaddish. This, is the Power of a Community.
The number 10 has a very meaningful and unique significance to my family and I, because 10 is the age I was when I was in Grade 5 and it is the year I found a deeper meaning of life and most importantly, I found myself. I had an incredible teacher, who inspired me to be the best I can be and I am honoured that she could join me here today.
There are also 10 people in this Shul that have helped me on my journey to become a Bat Mitzvah. I am incredibly grateful to them. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to them: my Mom, my Dad, Mrs Kramm, Vanessa, Jess, Sofi, Nina, Rabbi Greg, Bobba and all my friends for their support.
The second thing that caught my attention, was that Moses grew up to be someone who has inspired people across the world to stand up for what they believe in, and to not let anything get in the way. In many ways my Bat Mitzvah has been inspired by Moses. So like Moses gained strength from G-d by freeing the Israelites from Egypt, I have gained strength from my journey to become a Bat Mitzvah.
“Learning isn’t a destination. It is a never-ending road of discovery, challenges, inspiration and wonder.”
Rabbi Greg, members of the Congregation, family and friends, thank you for joining me on my special day. It’s definitely going to be a day to remember.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.