The Gift of Life


This week’s parsha is Ha’azinu, which is Moses’s goodbye speech, written as a poem. Because of that, my d’var Torah is written as a poem as well.

My Hebrew name means joy of song
And the parsha is Moses’ poem
And it seems to me
A long goodbye speech
Saying that Judaism is where you belong

God nourished and cared for Israel,
And they became spoiled and bratty
They left their parent
And went on to idolatry
For monotheism is difficult to maintain.

God wanted to destroy the people,
For they walked away from His good.
But God understands that enemies
May see that it was their work that destroyed the people,
And not God’s hand.

God will destroy those pitiful souls,
And say
Where are the gods that you worshiped?
Let them save you!

Therefore people be warned.
Do not abandon the God of Abraham and Sarah.
For because you did, Israel shall not be yours to enter.
The Holy Land is out of reach.

But, the world is a beautiful place,
Love it,
Love your parents,
Appreciate what you were given,
Chai, life.

In this parsha, Moses’ words say that God is our parent. God led b’nai yisrael through many hardships, so we must give God all we have in our hearts. In the Veahavta prayer we are commanded to love God with all our hearts and souls. We must respect God like we respect our parents, embrace God, look at the world God has given us and reflect. When doing something, think for a moment, “Would God think this is right? Would my parents think this is right? What is right?” Dig into your soul and remember that God is part of you. Open your eyes to life, see all the bright colors of the world. God and your parents gave you life, love it. So many people take it for granted, but life is a miraculous gift.

Speaking of gifts, my bat mitzvah project is a donation drive for Wigs for Kids. The campaign can be viewed at

Wriley Katcoff is an eighth-grade student at Krieger Schechter Day School.

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