Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Emily Simon on Rosh Hodesh

Those of you who know me, may have gotten the impression that I like to stand out. If you have that impression…you would be right!

As you might be able to tell from my yarmulkes, my favorite colors are not your ordinary colors – neon green and neon orange.

Convinced yet?

You’ve been warned. I’m not the typical girl who is dying to go to the mall. I would rather be outside, enjoying the day. Also, unlike the typical girl, I would rather wear sneakers than flats or boots.

I hate pink. Let me put it in more socially acceptable language.

I abhor pink.

In part, I hate pink for the obvious reason- it clashes with my hair. But the main reason is that I want to be different, I want to stand out.

Standing out is a time honored Jewish tradition. We’ve always stood out. That’s what makes us Jews!

On Rosh Chodesh, we recall how Jewish women in particular were willing to stand out. According to the Midrash, Rosh Chodesh is considered a women’s holiday because at the time of the Golden Calf, the women were not willing to give up their jewelry to go against God and build the calf.
In yesterday’s Torah portion, Parshat Korach, there were four men who planned to lead a rebellion against Moshe because they wanted more power: Korach, Datan, Aviram, and Own. In the end, when they were about to pass the point of no return, Own’s name mysteriously disappears. We are told by the Midrash, that Own’s wife courageously convinced her husband to repent and separate himself from Korach, Datan, and Aviram’s evil plot.

Rosh Chodesh also teaches us that you can play an important role even if you don’t always shine the brightest. After all, Rosh Chodesh celebrates the cycles of the moon. The moon may not shine as bright as the sun, but without the moon we would have no tides, no light at night, and it provided us with the first mitzvah of the Torah, which was to commemorate the beginning of the month of Passover.One way that Jews stand out, is through Mitzvoth. For my Mitzvah Project, my friend Renee and I donated food to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

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