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jonah batt


Shabbat Shalom. My Torah portion is called Sh’lach L’cha from the Book of Numbers. Moses sent twelve spies to the Land of Caanan. Forty days later they return, carrying a huge cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig to report on a lush and bountiful land. Ten of the spies warn that the inhabitants of the land are giants and powerful warriors. Only Caleb and Joshua insist that the land can be conquered as God has commanded.


There are many themes in my Torah portion. The theme that I would like to talk about is the theme of not being afraid to say what you believe in even if others don’t agree with you. This was shown in my Torah portion when Joshua and Caleb were explaining to the Jews that the land is bountiful and amazing. The other ten spies said it was not a place they could conquer for God. In spite of that, Caleb and Joshua stuck to their opinion even if it was unpopular. But they were still not believed in by the rest of the Jews. So God decided to keep the Jews in the desert for 40 years. I can relate this to me because one of the goals in life as a person is to not be afraid to say what I believe and stick to it even if it’s unpopular. For example, if I were to have an opinion on something that I truly believe, and it’s different from others, doesn’t mean I should disagree with it. I should always stick to what I believe – not what others think I should believe.


For my bar mitzvah project I chose to raise money for Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Sheldrick is known for rehabilitating orphaned animals such as elephants, rhinos and other endangered wild animals all across Kenya. I first learned about Sheldrick after my grandparents visited Africa a few years back. They told me about the great things Sheldrick does for animals. Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a special connection to nature and animals. When Cantor Borsky told me about my bar mitzvah project, I immediately knew that Sheldrick would be who I was going to help. I specifically raised money for the anti-poaching fences. These fences will keep out poachers and protect the elephants and rhinos. This was very important to me and I was glad to be helping all the amazing animals of Kenya.


To my amazing parents, thank you for being there with me all my life. You guys have helped me to become the person I am today. Through the bad times and good times you guys have been there for me. I love you both very much for that and thank you for being with me through it all.


My lovely grandparents, I love you all very much and I would not be the same person if you all weren’t a part of my life. You all have made me feel loved and appreciated and I am so happy that you all have been here with me on this day. I love you.


To my friends, you’ve all made me happier throughout my life and I’m really glad I’m able to celebrate my special day with you guys.


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