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Leah Miller - Dvar Torah

My torah portion is about the Jewish people leaving their life of slavery in Egypt. How Moses split the Sea of Reeds and the Song of the Sea which was led by Miriam. The Miracles of the manna, the quails and Miriam’s well from which the Jewish people got their water and the attack of Amalek.

The main point that stood out to me in my torah portion was all the things woman had done and how without some of the woman history would be completely different to how we know it right now. So, my main focus is woman power.

My Boba’s mothers Hebrew name was Miriam, Miriam happens to be the main woman in the story because without her Moses wouldn’t know who he truly was. She also led the Jewish people alongside Moses and Aaron. Woman normally don’t get mentioned in the torah let alone have such big roles. Miriam also led all the Jewish woman in a song and dance after they had safely crossed the sea of reeds. The well that accompanied the Jewish people in the desert for forty year is mentioned in the Midrash by the name Miriam’s well.

Miriam’s role is as important as that of Moses but because of the fact that the story mainly focuses on Moses, her role may seem less important. Rulers in the ancient world normally led through their power and their army but Miriam, Moses and Aaron led differently. They led by example, served their people rather than ruled them and did what they believed Hashem wanted rather than putting themselves first.

There are many people that are role models to me but I definitely have a favourite that happens to be the one and only Audrey Hepburn, yes, the woman in my family are definitely role models to me, but Audrey did so many spectacular things. She started off as a dancer then went on to be an actress and then a humanitarian. During that time, she also won third-greatest female screen legend and was invited to be a member of the International Best Dressed List hall of fame. She focused her life less on film and more on UNICEF. She was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. A month after she passed away because of cancer.

I am lucky enough to live in a world where woman have many rights like, voting, freedom of speech etc. And I realise that before me woman had to work hard for their rights and to be viewed equally. Even in the 21st century woman still have that fire in them and are still fighting for what they believe is right. I don’t think that men and woman will ever be viewed as equal because of how different we are; but I think we should rather strive to a world where we value and respect each other to the same extent. I’m sure everyone here has heard the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” but for me it’s not the change that’s important its the improvement, be the improvement you want to see in the world. It might not seem that everything I have just said has a clear link to me but if you think and I really mean think, you will realize that it does in every way. I am a woman and I want to improve the world for my future children and their children so forth and so on. I want to be the reason my daughter or son lives in a world where we value each other.

In conclusion, I am really pleased this was my portion because the story has a lot of meaning to me. Now that it’s my bat mitzvah I realise how important it is to be a part of the Jewish community, and how I wish to be more involved as I grow older. Especially as a Jewish woman it is so special that I have the opportunity that most Jewish women don’t get to to be called up to the Torah and lead the service. May the women of the community never be forgotten.

Shabbat Shalom

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