Friday, February 17, 2012
TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Jacob Koester on Yitro
As you know, today’s Torah portion
includes the Ten Commandments. While I have no problems with the Torah’s choices, I thought this would be a nice opportunity to reflect on what my own Ten Commandments would be.
o Thou shalt not hurt another human being or any living thing, including your sister, at least so long as she is bigger than you.
o Thou shalt visit Israel. And when you do, thou shalt go to that gelato place on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.
o Thou shalt not judge people by appearances…unless they are Patriots or fans (sorry about that loss, Rabbi.). But seriously, for my mitzvah project, I’ve donated money to the Wounded Warriors Project, which helps soldiers rehabilitate after suffering major injuries in battle. These injuries may have altered their appearance, but we can never forget that they are heroes.
o Thou shalt never quit learning or you might not be able to handle what challenges life throws at you. I understand that bar mitzvah is not the end of my Jewish education. In some ways, it’s only the beginning.
o Honor your parents, because they can really make life miserable for you if you don’t. But seriously, I love you guys.
o Thou shalt not rip your quarterback anonymously in the papers, especially when you have just choked away your chance at the playoffs. Don’t worry, fellow Jet fans. There are brighter days ahead.
o Thou shalt not hate anybody, because as Jews we know how it feels to be hated.
o Thou shalt have no other gods before me, including such false idols as money, success and popularity. Or, in other words, the Miami Heat
o Thou shalt not steal…especially when I’m crouched behind home plate
o And finally, thou shalt always wear matching clothes. Yes, it’s true, my clothes always match – and I’m the one who picks them out. It’s important to wear matching clothes because it demonstrates self respect and it shows organizational skills. I’m a very orderly person, although I must admit, I don’t always clean up my room.
So there you have it, my Big Ten. Not including the Golden Gophers, Hawkeyes, Cornhuskers, Buckeyes, Badgers, Spartans, Wolverines, Hoosiers, Boilermakers, Illini, Wildcats and Nittany Lions. They are the other Big Ten, and there are actually twelve of them. But for my Ten Commandments, there are just ten.
Actually here’s an eleventh. Thou shalt always be thankful to those who have helped you along the road.