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Dvar Torah - Bryce Herbert

My Torah portion is Shabbat Chol Ha-Mo-eid Sukkot. Moses speaks to the Israelites on the banks of the River Jordan. He reminds the Israelites what he has taught them, so they will not forget, because Moses is going to die before they cross the river into the Promised Land. He describes the three important Pilgrim Festivals, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. Pesach reminds us about the time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Shavuot is when Moses received the Ten Commandments at Mt Sinai. Sukkot, which is happening right now, is when they had harvested all their crops and they were in a happy mood.

One of the verses that caught my eye said, “You Shall Rejoice before the Eternal Your G-d with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the family of the Levite in your community and the stranger, the orphan and the widow among you, at the place where the Eternal your G-d will choose to establish the Divine Name.”

In those times not everyone was treated equally but Moses commanded that EVERYONE rejoice before G-d. The reason it stood out for me was because he includes EVERYONE, the orphans the slaves and the widows, he did not care what social standing they had in society. They were all welcome in the celebration of Sukkot.

I am a boy who is becoming a young man and I will go forward in life with an inclusive attitude and ability to see everyone as a person, who deserves respect and kindness regardless of their background. I will work to live by my belief that "all humans are created equal?" and listen to what Moses said about including everyone regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs, gender, or nationality.

I liked this because everybody should be accepted no matter who they are, EVEN if they don’t support Liverpool.

In my own small way I want to always be mindful of doing the right thing and making sure that I treat everyone with respect and always appreciate peoples differences of interest and culture. I want to be open to meeting and including many different and interesting people in my life.

Right now all over the world, there is a lot of unrest. I think as a young South African, I am privileged to have been given the best lesson in why we should be accepting of everyone. Our national history gave rise to one of the best people in world history, Nelson Mandela. It is hopeful that out of the darkest days of our past the most understanding, forgiving, kind and respectful person came to power. He served as a great example of Moses’s words. We should learn from past mistakes of others and like Mr Mandela and Moses make this world a better place. I will do my part as a young man to do just that.

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