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D'var Torah for Lech Lecha
In my portion, Abraham and Sarah set out on a journey to a place that they’ve never seen before, guided by a vision of a new faith and a belief in one God. The portion is called Lech Lecha, which means go forth. And the point of the parsha is to take risks, to try out new ways and most importantly to express ourselves creatively. found that expressing yourself creatively can be really fun and beneficial to a healthy lifestyle. Some of my favorite ways to do this are to play piano, cook, and woodwork. I’ve been playing piano for about four years, and playing songs allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the music and I’m even in the process of writing a song of my own. When I play, I’m continuing the legacy of my grandfather, who was a popular jazz musician. He died when I was very young, so, although I didn’t know him well, I feel like I’m following in his footsteps.
In some ways, he was following in Abraham’s. Creating a new religion is a lot like jazz, which is a journey, and when you start playing, you never really know where you are going to end up. You have to trust that things will work out. Abraham set out to make something different, something of his own.
It’s similar with cooking, another passion of mine. I remember when I was little, visiting my grandmother in Texas, we were in the kitchen and she was about to make some matza brei – a family classic along with her brisket – and she asked me if I wanted to help. I remember breaking the matza and cracking some eggs and thinking how much fun this was, and before you know it, voila, we had a delicious family breakfast. From that point on, my passion for cooking was sparked. I just love to cook and sometimes make dinners for the family on my own.
My specialty is steak and potatoes.
I also love to bake cakes, tarts, souffles, and other desserts.
Overall, I believe I can totally relate to Abraham in my portion, who had a creative vision and set out into the world in order to pursue it. The words used by God were “Lech Lecha” – “Go forth.” But the second word also means “to yourself.” In leaving home and pursuing a creative vision, Abraham was also discovering things about himself. When I create things in the workshop or the kitchen or even on the piano, I learn more and more about myself, as well as the world around me.
For my mitzvah project, I have chosen to help a great local nonprofit organization called Lucky Dog Refuge, which helps dogs that are sick, hurt, or have been abandoned. Lucky Dog relies on volunteers to help make sure the dogs get exercise and learn to socialize. My mom and I recently went to Lucky Dog and played with Bess and Blair, two puppies who had just arrived from unsafe conditions in Alabama. I am happy to report that they were adopted shortly after by families in the area. I will be collecting Benebones, pill pockets, bully sticks, and fishskin treats for the rescue dogs to enjoy.
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