Parashat Tzav (Bat Mitzvah), 2020

Shabbat Shalom everyone.

Thank you for coming today. My Parsha is Tzav and it is in the book of Vaikra (Leviticus) Chapters 6, 7 and 8. At first while trying to figure out what I wanted this to be like I had a lot of problems such as not knowing what I wanted to talk about. After taking some time to think about it and experiencing these recent events I saw that it would be a great idea to talk about them, as basic as this may be. We were not able to have services like normal due to the Coronavirus. This was something we did to keep the virus from spreading in our synagogue. And then we also had to postpone my Bat Mitzvah. This was also to make sure that we would be slowing the spreading of the virus. 

In my Parsha I find different situations that were common to all the people. One of them was when somebody cheated or stole or found something and didn’t return it to the owner, he or she had. Another situation was when a person wanted to be grateful for something he or she lived. In this case he or she brought a “Fellowship Offering.”

Also Aaron and his sons, the priests, would bring offerings to Adonai. In that case they would bring a “Grain Offering.” There were other situations, for instance, when a person committed a sin or when he or she felt guilty for doing something wrong. In those cases, they would bring a “Sin Offering” or a “Guilt Offering.” There were other offerings like the “Burnt Offering” for any other unexpected situation.

This brings me back to my point: how to deal with unexpected situations. And the COVID-19 pandemic was of course an unexpected situation that we had to face. My portion talking about how to do the sacrifices and offerings and the way I had put that into my idea was we were sacrificing being able to meet each other face to face or touch anyone so we could make sure we did not spread the virus to each other. In a way we’re following the instructions that were given to us so we could help each other. Without these actions things could have been a lot worse for everyone around us and there would have been a lot more people getting sick. As long as we all take part and keep a distance from each other we can keep everyone healthy and happy and it will all pass soon.

As I said, we had to postpone my Bat Mitzvah for the second time, and we have to be creative in order to make this possible under these circumstances.

I learn from my Parsha that no matter what challenges and difficulties we have, we need to prioritize life, but we need not to give up, and try again and again. This was the attitude of the Israelites in the desert. They, as all human beings, had problems. So they first tried to fix them, and then they brought to Aaron and his sons an Offering. 

We all can repair things, make them better, and not lose hope and faith.

Lastly, I want to thank the many people who helped me to come to this moment.

I want to thank my mom, the Rabbi and my friends for helping me

I want to finish saying a blessing and thanking God:

BARUCH ATA ADONAI, ELOHEINU MELECH HAOLAM SHE-HE-CHE-YANU, VEKIE-MANU, VEHI-GI-ANU LAZMAN HAZE