Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Danielle Leffand on Tazria Metzora

My torah portion describes how to overcome an illness or help get through tough times. In those days, the worst form of illness was called leprosy. The person who got it was sent away from the community so that no one else would get it.

But the torah tells us that the community could not be whole without even its weakest, including those who are sick with leprosy.

What’s amazing, is that the priest, the most important person in all of Israel, took it upon himself to bring the sick person back in to the community.

Those who know me know that I have had to deal with lots of injuries myself, though thankfully never leprosy. Just to name a few, I’ve had 5 broken arms, 3 times hurt my leg, and last year I fell off a cliff. Worst of all, was the time, I got cellulitis and had to spend about a week in Greenwich hospital. But it was pretty fun.

What I’ve learned from that experience is to make sure to appreciate what you have. When I was in the hospital I wasn’t able to walk at first. So when I was able to walk again, I really appreciated it. But you can’t let little things get you down.

Then there was the time when I demonstrated what I mean by not letting things slow you down. I still had a cast on from one of my broken arms but I still decided to go mountain biking at camp. I did pretty well. But two days after I got the cast off, that’s when I fell off the cliff.
Many of you know I’m a huge fan of the Jonas brothers. 6 years ago, Nick Jonas was diagnosed with type one diabetes. When I was in the hospital I listened to a song nick wrote about having diabetes and one of the lines in the song goes like this: but you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone And you don't know what it's like to feel so low.

My portion teaches us how important it is to give people support when they are sick so that they won’t feel so low. I know how important that can be. Because when I was sick a lot of people helped me.

In the same spirit, my mitzvah project is to go and visit kids in the hospital that are also very sick.

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