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Shavuot Learning from Abby

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Mazel Tov Abby

My Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, focuses on, amidst other things, Isaac’s servant (Eliezer) looking for a future wife for Isaac. Eliezer goes up to the well and decides that he is going to look for the kindest woman to be Isaac’s wife. He asks Rebekkah to give water to him and his camels. She says yes and keeps giving him and his camels water until they are full. This kindness is one of the themes in the portion. Rebekkah embodies this because in the portion, she gets enough water from the well for Eliezer AND his camels. Camels drink a lot of water, up to 25 gallons at a time, and she keeps refilling her jug until all the camels are hydrated. Also, she gets water for Eliezer, which is a kind thing in itself. 

Rebekkah is a very good role model for everyone. She is very kind and caring, which are amazing traits to have. She connects to everyday life because with everything going on right now, a little act of kindness (it doesn’t have to be as monumental as hers), can change someone’s day. Rebekkah is also a very selfless person, because, in Genesis 27:5-13 Rebekkah says she will bear any curse that is inflicted upon Jacob (her son) because of her decisions. This shows that she is selfless because she could have just said “if there is a curse, too bad, you will bear it,” but instead she said she would bear any curse.

My Haftarah portion, I (1st)  Kings Chapter I, is about King David picking who will succeed him on the throne. He talks to Bathsheba and she reminds him that he promised her son, Solomon, could succeed him. He remembers this and publicly announces that Solomon will succeed him on the throne. One theme in this chapter is respect for elders. Bathsheba is respectful to King David in that she politely reminds him that he promised Solomon could be the next king, instead of bursting in and yelling at him. This is important because you should always respect your elders, and Bathsheba shows that good things can come out of doing so.

My Torah and Haftarah portions are connected because, in both of them, a type of kindness is shown (respect for elders and simply kindness) and this kindness ends up benefiting the people who do it in a good way. Rebekkah gets to marry Isaac because she is kind, and Bathsheba gets to have her son be king because she is kind. I think we can learn from both of these stories and characters to apply kindness in every part of our daily lives, because we never know what unseen good can come out of it.

About the Author: Abby is a current 7th grader who had her Bat Mitzvah this year. Her favorite Jewish food is matzah ball soup. She belongs to Emanuel Congregation, is an active member in NFTY Chicago Area Region (CAR), and spends her summers at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). 

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