Our Community Celebrates

Drew Spivack

Drew Spivack

Drew Spivack became a bat mitzvah on May 1. Enjoy the special words of her d’var Torah speech.


Shabbat Shalom everyone and thank you for being here today. My Torah portion is Beshalach from the book of Exodus. After allowing the children of Israel to leave Egypt, Pharaoh comes after them to make them come back and soon the Israelites are stuck between Pharaoh’s armies he sent and the sea. God commands Moses to raise his staff over the water, causing the sea to split down the center, letting the Israelites go through and then closing up on the pursuing Egyptians. Back in the desert, people are experiencing hardships of thirst and hunger and are pleading and complaining to Moses and Aaron. God makes the bitter waters of Marah instantly sweeter and tells Moses to bring forth water from a rock by striking it using his staff. Moses makes manna rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning and has quails show up in the Israelite camp each evening. The children of Israel are ordered to collect a double portion of manna on Friday so no work is needed on Shabbat, the day of rest. Those who decided to disobey the instruction and tried to gather manna on the seventh day, found nothing. Aaron saves a small testimony, bread from heaven, for future generations to come. In Rephidim, the people are being attacked by the Amalekites, who are beaten by Moses’ prayers and an army constructed by Joshua.


In my Torah portion, the Jewish people had experienced a series of miracles, but deep down God knew that they would want to go back to Egypt to slavery immediately at the first sign of trouble. There have been many times in my life, and others too, where I have created a goal I’d like to accomplish but later felt doubt in the goal, and questioned the worthiness of the goal and myself. God gave us all two ways of going about things: one that wants to strive to further reach goals and make a change in the world, and one that will doubt, challenge and or reconsider the decisions made or to make on this journey. We have all had the urge to quit something. We must go through struggles to feel happiness once we achieve something. This force to quit and or leave something behind will always be there, no matter how big or strong you may be. This is a lesson we will all learn from and have experienced but we must not dream, but believe that we can reach our goal. 


For my bat mitzvah project, I have decided to have everyone help me donate supplies to the Animal Welfare Association, in Voorhees, NJ for the pets that are waiting to be adopted into their new homes. Many of us own pets that are well taken care of but not every animal has a loving family so that’s why I will be gathering the following items: dog food, cat food, dog and cat toys, cat litter, paper plates, dog leashes, old towels, blankets, flat sheets, and cleaning products, such as paper towels, bleach, and so forth. You may also make a monetary donation by going to awanj.org if you wish. Any amount helps. 


Lastly, there are a few people I would like to thank for doing their absolute best to make this day memorable and for making me the person and Jewish adult I am today. Mom- thank you for planning this whole day and making sure everything was almost perfect. You have helped me a lot along the way and are always there for me and caring for me. You are an amazing teacher and an example of what a kind hearted person is. Dad- thank you for assisting me and for being my mentor. You push me out of my comfort zone and encourage me to try anything and everything. I always have a blast whenever I’m with you and you never fail to make me laugh. Julia- thank you for being a great role model and an amazing sister. I learn so much from you and look up to you every day. You are such a sweet person. Cantor Borsky- thank you for making this service possible, leading it, and helping me through the process with my Torah portion and prayers to become a bat mitzvah. To my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – thank you for coming here to celebrate me entering a new chapter in my life and for supporting me in all that I do. I appreciate you all so much and all that you do for me. And to everyone on zoom, thank you for joining me today as I celebrate this special moment.


Write a Reply or Comment