Sunday, November 10, 2019
TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Lana Busch on Lech Lecha
Right at the beginning of my portion, Lech Lecha, God tells Abraham to leave his home. When I read that I thought, “Welcome to my life”
For those who don’t know, one day last March, my mom and my brother were at home when suddenly my dog Lucky, ran upstairs through the invisible fence and started barking at my brother, who noticed her. Then he noticed the smoke accumulating in his room.
At that point, he and my mom ran out of the house and called 911. By the time my dad and I came home, they were 11 fire trucks surrounding our house. The basement was completely destroyed and we have not stayed in the house since.
So I can really relate to what Abraham and his family went through and what they must have been thinking. Some of the things that have happened to me the last 8 months reminded me of Abraham’s ten trials. Many of those trials are described in Lech Lecha.
While living out of the place you call home, its very hard to get a routine, or expect the same thing to happen everyday, and this is something both me and Abraham can agree on. The positive side is that you get to experience new things and see old things in different ways. Just like how I learned the importance of the items I took for granted, Abraham learned to appreciate Sarah, who of course is not an item, when she was kidnapped in Egypt. Abraham might not have appreciated her beauty before Egypt, but after realizing how everyone wanted a wife like Sarah, Abraham understood how lucky he was to have Sarah as his wife and stopped taking her for granted.
Then Sarah gets kidnapped again, this time by Avimelech, which makes Abraham appreciate her even more than before.
Then we get the trial of Abraham having to send Hagar and Ishmael away. I too lost very important things that were close to me. I lost a giant 6 foot teddy bear, all the furniture in my room, and my entire collection of remote control cars, which my dad and I built together with my brother. Though, that one is also Lucky’s loss because she loved to chase those around all day.
Of course, this can’t compare to Abraham losing his son, even though God told him Ishmael would be ok and he would have a great nation.
Meanwhile, when the tenth trial came around Abraham didn’t have that same guarantee that Isaac would be alright.
There’s no question but that I’m more grateful for the things I do have. Abraham was able to take all his possessions with him when he left his home. I had no such luck.
It’s safe to say that in the end, possessions weren’t what mattered most to me or Abraham. What mattered to him was having a future. What matters to me at this point is not to rush back into the rebuilt house, but to accept what I have, and to appreciate whatever I have, no matter how big or small, and try to make the best of things wherever I am. Because home is not where my house is, but where my family is - especially Lucky!!
For my bat mitzvah project I am collecting cat and dog items for Pet Animal Welfare Society. PAWS is a no kill animal shelter in norwalk connecticut that helps animals, mainly cats and dogs, in ways like making sure they are healthy and giving them homes with people who will help them live long and happy lives.
Reading and studying my portion, Lech lecha and my past year, has really made me think about what having a home is like. And what a great feeling it is to have a home, so donate what you can so that the animals at PAWS can have a home too.