Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Carly Fein on Vayishlach

Shabbat Shalom

I’ve always been interested in finding new ways to approach things and finding ways to be creative.

For instance, where someone might see a used-up paper towel roll, I see a pencil holder.  All you need is some colored duct tape and some pencils.

One day cleaning up my room I found some leftover rope from a broken drawstring bag. Instead of throwing it out, I thought of a great way to organize all of the pictures I have of me and my friends form bar and bat mitzvahs. I clipped the photos to the rope with colorful close pins and hung it on my wall. Now I have a great picture wall-hanging and a lot less clutter on my desk.

I enjoy collecting quotes and reading the creative ways a simple twist of language becomes inspirational. 

Some of my favorites include:
“Take me as I am or watch me as I go.”
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
“No matter what, you deserve to smile. Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.”
And a personal quote I use whenever sharing chocolate with anyone, “Break it in half and I’ll take the bigger half.”

And here's a great quote I hope to achieve, “My goal is to create a life that I don’t need a vacation from.”

Speaking of quotes, here’s one that relates to my parsha, Vayishlach, “We are strangers. Again.”

In my portion, Ya’akov needs to constantly come up with creative solutions to the challenges he faces, much as I have done with my different art projects and quotes.  One of the challenges is to meet up with his long lost brother Esav, who, by the way, wanted to kill him the last time they were together twenty years before.

Ya’akov was afraid of what would happen, but not afraid to leap into the unknown. He doesn’t run away, but instead he divides his camp into two.

First, he sends Esav presents.  Ya’akov is always thinking outside the box…
Then, on the night before he was about to confront Esav, as he crosses the river, Ya’akov fights with a stranger – we’re not sure if it’s a man or an angel – but he prevails.

Some say that Ya’akov was actually wrestling with himself.  Maybe he was struggling to overcome old fears and find new approaches to the situation he was facing.

Like Ya’akov, I too, am always looking for creative solutions.  
One of my hobbies is photography and sometimes I experiment by changing the settings on the camera. There are many ways to control the amount of light and focal-range for each picture.
I think Photography is like life – if you make one adjustment, it changes the whole picture.

In school we’re reading a book called “Out of My Mind.” It’s about a girl who can barely move or talk. Only her mother can understand her but they didn’t give up trying to communicate.  Finally, they learned about a new technology, a machine, that she could use to speak for her. It’s a great example of being open minded when searching for solutions to seemingly impossible problems.

Now that I am a Bat Mitzvah, I hope that I can help find creative solutions to many problems that people face.

For my mitzvah project, I did just that. I held a bake sale to raise money for the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County and raised nearly a thousand dollars.  I’ve also been volunteering at the
Food Bank to help organize the food in their storage room which I will be doing periodically throughout the year. 

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