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Liam Wolman - Dvar Torah

My torah portion today is based on Parashat Matot-Masei, numbers 33:1 – 36:13

Masei, is the second word and the first distinctive word in the parashah. It is the 43rd weekly torah portion. The potion discusses the various stations of the Israelites’ Journey in the wilderness as they made their way to the promised land.

Reading this story of the relevant journeys reminded me of my journey since moving to Cape Town in 2015 and the path that followed

On this journey I experienced a new environment which included a new school and new friends. It also meant that we lived close to the beach, despite it been icy cold most of the time. My whole family moved down including all the pets.

In 2016 my brother Jarod had his bar-mitzvah and this was my first involvement in his big day. I was only 9 at the time and took part in his service and the celebrations.

Come 2019 my journey started with Temple Israel who lead me on the path to this special occasion of becoming an adult. My parents and family guided me with my path to maturing and guiding me along the way.

For the first time I had to learn to read Hebrew from scratch. We also discussed the various paths in the Jewish religion, celebrations and the Torah.

Along this journey I got to meet interesting people who shared their beliefs and talents. For example, a lady (can’t remember name) who scribes a torah.

This part of the journey I found a little difficult at first, especially having to get up early on a Sat morning to attend lessons. But along the way it became a time to reflect on all that I had to do and prepare for.

Then came the 27th March 2020 where our Country was hit by the dreadful COVID 19 pandemic. All what was, came complete standstill. As if eskom switched off the world from spinning out of control.

An so we had to deal with a very new way of life that no one would have ever imagined, things like we only see of TV.

It was and still is a journey to stop, slow down, reflect, appreciate and think of how the whole world has become the way it is. A break from the everyday pollution, litter, entertainment and other the ways of life before Covid.

And “boom” we all had to stay in our homes which lead to my technology journey. Having to attend school on a screen and doing our work on a computer with no teachers, no friends and no school as we knew. Hebrew school then became virtual and so the lessons took a new way to adapt.

Along these various paths. I have learnt that life can be changed or adjusted at any time no matter what journey or path we are on. The way we adapt and accept will be the basis of our next journey.

And here we are on my big day and very unique virtual journey to celebrate my path to adulthood. I am confident that the consistency of Jewish belief and practice will help me cope with life’s challenges and changes.

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