Monday, October 31, 2011

TBE Bar / Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Jessica Rubin on Lech Lecha

Shabbat Shalom!
This is a very special night. I am very lucky to be standing here in this room with all of you; talking about my Bat Mitzvah portion of Lech Lecha. I’ve wanted to learn this portion for my Bat Mitzvah ever since the second grade, when I was chosen to sing the song Lech Lecha at a school assembly.

Lech Lecha talks about going on a journey. The commentaries wonder why it doesn’t just say Lech - go. Some think that the word Lecha shows us that Abram and Sarai’s journey was not just to a faraway place, but also a journey inside themselves. In order to grow, you need to take both kinds of journeys……. and I have.

I’ve been to many faraway places like Paris, California and Florida - but it’s the journeys to sleep away camp in Pennsylvania - and all over Fairfield County with my travel soccer team - where I’ve travelled not only in distance, but within myself as well. I chose to take on the challenge of trying out for travel soccer. I have grown over the years playing against different top teams in Connecticut. Similar to Abram and Sarai – where they left their home and all that was familiar to them – I learned to play on unfamiliar turf with teams outside the Stamford home league.

One time in my life, I took both journeys at the same time. When I was about 4 and my brother was 2, my house caught on fire and burned down. We had to move into a new house for a year and a half. In the fire, we had lost all of our material things, but we felt very lucky because we still had our family and we were all safe.

As I’m now a Bat Mitzvah, I realize I will have many journeys ahead. I look forward to sharing them with all of you. I will always remember to stay close to home in my heart and true to myself no matter where I may journey.

For my Mitzvah Project – I decided to help raise money to donate to My Gym Challenged America Foundation. My Gym Challenged America provides financial scholarships to those children who can’t afford to attend gym classes at a My Gym near their home. My Gym Challenged America provides financial aid for families of handicapped children who may not be able to afford the wheelchairs, hearing aids or physical therapy that they need. I feel that by donating money to this group – I am making it easier for those children with special needs - to move along with their journeys in their lives. Additionally, I was trained and volunteered for the Friendship Circle – working with siblings of children with special needs. Here, too, I made a difference in making those children’s journeys better as well.

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