Thursday, January 31, 2019

TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Benjamin Kassel on Yitro

Shabbat Shalom!

This morning we read the Ten Commandments.    Of course, those are the BIG TEN for the Torah], and those are very important. As I entered into my adulthood I’ll abide by those commandments. I have another love that I’d like to talk about, which is my passion for soccer. I began playing the game when I was 3 years old] and I fell in love with it right away. 
When I was about 6 years old0, I began playing goalie, a position I still play today.

When I started learning about my portion of the Torah for today, and the TEN COMMANDMENTS, I took it upon myself to make my own Ten Commandments for soccer], a mixture of my heritage, my passion, and an acknowledgement that the rules that I live by.

Number 1
Always work hard, try your best. While that is not a guarantee of success, there is a guarantee] that whatever the result, I’ll be proud of myself.

Number 2  
Never get down on myself. While I can’t stand before you and tell you that I’m not hard on myself] from time to time, I know that my team mates need me to be a leader, my coach needs to know he can trust me, and my ability to perform relies on me being able to put the past behind me. 

Number 3
Respect my team mates, and coaches, and NEVER talk back to an official .Nobody is perfect, mistakes are made, but respect is and must be an important trait of my personality.

Number 4
Trust my teammates. In my portion, Moses’s father in law Jethro, teaches him how important it is to delegate.  Moses set up a system of judges who would only bring the toughest cases to him. He trusted them that they will  do their best, and in return he would do his best. Just like Moses  I have to trust that my team mates that they will step in front of a shot, and they have to trust me that I’ll block ]whatever they can’t get in front of. Nobody is perfect, mistakes are made. But I have to trust them to do their best, and in return I’ll always be ready to do my best.

Number 5
Never blame anyone for my own mistakes; we all make them, but we don’t always own up to them. But I know I have to own up to my mistakes.

Number 6
Forgive my teammates for their mistakes. It’s my job to cover up for their mistakes at times, if they lose possession in a tough spot I’ve got their backs. The game is competitive, there are consequences for mistakes, but there is nothing worse for a team and the development of a player than the blame game

Number 7 
Never go into a game unprepared. I have sat out  entire games because I forgot my cleats. It was a terrible feeling at the time so I will make sure I will never forget my cleats or any other equipment ever again.

Number 8
Never give up. History has shown that its not over until its over. The Patriots beating the Falcons in the Superbowl after being down 28-3 shows how Comebacks are only possible. when WE never give up and still believe.

Number 9
Always saying thank you.  I always have to thank my coaches after a game because its one of the most important parts of playing soccer. I also have to thank my teammates, but we don’t just say thank you to each other… we usually do this by celebrating as a team.

And finally, number 10

Soccer is NOT the most important thing in my life. There are things much more important to me, like my education, my health, Judaism, and last by not least, my family.

As I become a bar-mitzvah] I understand how important it is to give back to the community. So I have decided to mix my passion for the game, with my commitment to my community, with the love of my family. I have donated soccer cleats, shin guards, socks, soccer balls], and other equipment], enough for an entire team], to the boys and girls foundation in North Carolina. The reason why I chose this foundation is because it is the foundation that my grandmother, Terry Kassel, donated her time and energy for years. In addition, I’ve volunteered at the Jewish Home in Fairfield Connecticut, where my grandfather is currently living.  

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