Jesse Kerzner - Dvar Torah


My torah portion is called Vayakheil and you can find it at the end of the second book of the Torah, Exodus.

The children of Israel have left Egypt, they have received the 10 commandments and now they are on the way to the Promised Land.

The portion talks about the relationship that they had with G-d and especially how they connected through the offering of sacrifices in the Tabernacle.

The architect of the Tabernacle was a guy called Betzalel.

My portion tells us that he had three important qualities:

  1. Knowledge - chochma

  2. Wisdom - tevunah

  3. Understanding - da’at

While I was studying this with my parents and Rabbi Greg, it made me think about how these 3 qualities are important in my life.


Let’s start with Wisdom:


Wisdom isn’t just magic, but it is something that can be found through experience.

For me it involves waking up early and putting in practice to get better.

Especially if it is something that I love.

Anyone who is interested in trying new things and thinking about the process, has the ability to gain wisdom.

By learning as much as you can, figuring out your experiences and putting your knowledge to the test, you can become a wiser person.

Watching my gramps over 13 years I hope I have gained wisdom from him that I can use in the future.


Then move to Understanding


Understanding the game of basketball has been a big hobby of mine since moving to the Bahamas and discovering this great game.

With the help of my coaches Jeff Rodgers & JR and their training and how they live and breathe the game, it has allowed me to ask further questions to gain an understanding of my role within the group as well as my own division.

I thank them for giving me the understanding of the game & do hope to grow and to improve in my game.


And on to Knowledge:


Knowledge is the way that I hold things in my mind.

Gaining knowledge is learning.

You gain knowledge through paying attention, experience and being taught.

It is an effort for me to focus but I am getting better at it every day, especially when I am on the basketball court.

I have been blessed to have some great mentors in my life. My teachers are very important to me & I will keep them close and hold onto what they have given me.

Something that I have learned is that it is not just about getting, but about how you give back.

Like, for my bar mitzvah mitzvah, I helped to clean the beach so that the turtles that come up to lay their eggs there won’t die.

The plastic gets stuck in the turtles’ mouths and in all the sealife and I am glad that I could help in some small way.


Today is my bar mitzvah and I am getting ready to step up and be a Jewish adult. I am taking on responsibility (well, a little bit).

No more nagging needed Mom!

In preparing for today, I have put in lots of hours of practising my Hebrew and my Torah portion and now that I am here in shul with you all, it has all felt worth it and I see how it all fits together.


I thank my mom, dad, my tutors like Mani and Rabbi Greg, teachers, family and friends, and all the important people in my life, for giving me every opportunity to gain knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

Shabbat Shalom




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