Birthright Israel Blogs July 2014 - Day 10

Birthright Israel Blog Day 10 – By Savyna Elysee

On our final Shabbat together our guide, Shabat, gave any of us who had not become Bar/Bat-Mitzvah as young adults, the opportunity to do so in Jerusalem. When given this opportunity, my heart filled with excitement and my mind raced with multiple thoughts. My desire to be a bat mitzvah can be summed up with one word: love. My love for Judaism as a faith & culture, my self love and my love for my family and roots have grown so strong. Though I wish my parents were here, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be bat mitzvahed at a time where I truly appreciate Judaism, its history and all it has to offer.

From the excerpt, I understand that with this bat mitzvah I am accepting my place as an adult in the Jewish community & am agreeing to the symbolism of this reading. From the 5th Aliya, Moshe instructs Bnai to clear the land from all negative influences, which is something we can all take from. In the 2nd Aliya, Moshe instructs the soldiers to split the booty between soldiers, community and the Mishkan, which symbolizes an even split between peers, community and the sanctuary. As a Jew and a good human being overall, being fair is something we can all the from.

My connection to this portion stems from the meaning of the vow to my soul which I am making tonight. With this bat mitzvah, I understand my commitment to Judaism, my family and my community will be greater. I am able to take pieces from this birthright experience and will be able to build myself up spiritually in order to keep this commitment. I now understand the importance of rebuilding the community we lost and will continue to support Judaism by sharing all that I've experienced with family, friends, colleagues and those that I meet along the way. Spreading love and knowledge of Judaism's history will not only add to personal growth, but will strengthen the bond I have with the religion.

In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to those that have supported my journey to Israel. I now understand my dad's connection to the religion and the reason why my mom converted to Judaism and I'm grateful for the path they started for me. Thank you for urging me to find my connection with what you love. To my friends at home and boyfriend who 100% supported my decision, I hope I've made you proud and will continue to do so. Thank you for believing in my will to experience this in the middle of a war. I cant wait to share my story. And to my birthright family, thank you for being the ones to share this moment with me when those closest to me could not.


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