Daniel Chaimowitz - Dvar Torah
Hello There…. (Wave…smile…)
Warm Greetings to all of you out there….
To my Family and Friends
thank you all for logging in and attending my Zoom Barmitzvah.
Today is a Blessed Day…
I am doubly blessed, it is my Barmitzvah,
and I am blessed with all your attendances….
Thank you for that…, and I do know that for some of you… in different time zones, it is either early in the morning or late at night…. You have really made an effort to be with us here today, and I thank you for that….
Over the past fourteen months, the challenges of the lock-down due to COVID-19 has taught us all many lessons….….
On the one hand…. It certainly bought me several extra valuable months to study and prepare…,
And, on the other hand, it opened my eyes to so many other ways to do, and deal with things,
Possibly, the biggest lesson for me was to be appreciative of much that I possibly took for granted before the advent of our lock-down with all its constraints.
If I may start,
firstly, by thanking those who pushed the boundaries in preparing me and guiding me through my Barmitzvah process.
my sincere thanks to all who made this special day possible…… to Rabbi Malcolm who encouraged, coaxed, assisted, and guided me in his ever so kind and patient way so that I could be prepared for this Blessed Day.
To Rachael, for my Barmitzvah Classes…. Thanks for your support, thanks for your patience, thanks for the fun, thanks for the laughter, thanks for all that embraced our “journey” together……
With the help of all, I have been guided and prepared for this stage of my Life where I commemorate my religious adulthood and step forward with my Faith along this wondrous road called “Life”
To all who have played a role in today’s service, I thank you… the happy memories of this Special Day will forever live with me….
Dad, Mom thanks for all…. From now on….no excuses…. I am “Bar-mitzvah’ed and can be held accountable for my actions….
My Torah Portion is from the book of Numbers which tells the story of the Israelites during the nearly forty years from the time they left Mount Sinai until they reached the eastern border of the land that God had promised to give them. The name of the book refers to a prominent feature of the story, that is, the census which Moses took of the Israelites at Mount Sinai before their departure, and again in Moab, east of the Jordan, about a generation later.
The book of Numbers is an account of a people who were often discouraged and afraid in the face of hardship, and who rebelled against God and against Moses, the man God appointed to lead them. It is the story of God’s faithful, persistent care for his people despite their weakness and disobedience, and of Moses’ steadfast, if sometimes impatient, devotion both to God and to his People.
My Torah Portion – Parshat Nasso
In relation to my own personal observations, I noticed gender bias, and that is relevant to me and contemporary times……
adultery, suspected adultery, jealousy, and their prescribed ritual remedies…. seem more lenient and favoured towards the man… whether the woman was guilty or not, she would face the consequences either way, the man however would not be given the same consequences. These are one of the many unbalanced gender biased issues that I noticed in the reading of my Torah portion.
The Torah teaches so much, and I have studied how this can relate to present day life.
I believe that the past fourteen months of COVID has made all of us consider, reflect and review our lives and the way we live them….
Every day is a challenge, and I have also learnt that every day is a Blessing….
The Choice is ours to make….
With the challenges of life today it is so easy to be negative and complain as did the Israelites when they wandered for so long in the wilderness.
Complaining wipes out the spirit of gratitude in our hearts.
We can dwell on the bad and complain or …..make a choice to dwell on the Good and Rejoice.
We have a loving God who wants to Bless us….so I have been taught to face my Days with an Open Loving Heart and Gratitude.
This week’s Torah portion, above all, is reminding us to remain in touch with our core values, and our personal and collective missions to repair and restore the world — even at the intimate levels of one’s own body, relationship to community, and familial relationships.
The last fourteen months of COVID have revealed to my Family and myself, the poor and the destitute around us in our Community.
My Mitzvah has been to assist the Homeless in our Community, and I did this by supporting the “Give with Dignity Campaign”.
In our Community, my Family and I give out vouchers that entitles a homeless or needy person to a night in a Shelter, where a hot meal, clothing, a bed, and a shower are provided along with social work services and assistance in finding a way back to a Home, Family and Community.
I thank you all…Shabbat Shalom…