Our Community Celebrates

Philip Liebman

Philip Liebman

For my bar mitzvah project I have planned to help my community because as a bar mitzvah  I am meant to be caring, help others and be responsible. I started by planting trees in Camden. Another day I helped make care packages. That isn’t the end of it however. I will continue to make the world a better place by helping my community and the people around me.


The Torah portion I will be reading from this Shabbat is entitled “Acharei Mot” and is from the book of Leviticus, chapter 16 verse 1 through chapter 19 verse 30.  The part that I will chant in Hebrew today is from chapter 16 beginning with verse 1.


In “Acharei Mot” Aaron sacrifices a bull to make up for the wrong doings of his two sons. He also sacrifices a goat for the wrong doings of the Jewish people. Finally, another goat is sent into the wilderness carrying the Jewish people’s sins. “Acharei Mot” is important because it taught us that God is forgiving. We now celebrate Rosh Hashanah every year to remind us that we have to be careful of our actions and that God will forgive us.  

My portion relates to Rosh Hashanah because if these events never took place, we might not even have Rosh Hashanah.  On Rosh Hashanah the casting away of bread symbolizes bad things you have done. You throw the bread into the water to get rid of those things to take the weight off you back then you tell yourself you will do better next year.  We throw bread much like Aaron sent away the scapegoat.


“Acharei Mot” shows us that God is very forgiving because He didn’t leave the Jewish people to fend for themselves after Aaron’s sons broke God’s rules.  Of course, there was punishment, but God didn’t destroy the Jewish people.  God didn’t leave us on our own. Instead, He punished Aaron and his sons, but when Aaron did what he was supposed to God forgave him.  If God had not been forgiving He could have destroyed the entire Jewish population; however, He did not, because He is forgiving.


“Acharei Mot” relates to me because I have done things wrong just like everyone else.  Yet, God still forgives me.  On Rosh Hashanah, I ask God for forgiveness, and you know what – he does? He forgives me.  Mistake after mistake, God will forgive.  God IS forgiving.


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