Shabbat Shalom from CLTC 2!
Posted on 07/03/2010 @ 11:51 AM
Greetings from CLTC at AHA. Below is a D'var Torah one of our AZA's wrote for Shabbat. We thought it was fantastic and wanted to share.
All: Shabbat Shalom CLTC 2!
Shabbat Shalom. This week’s Torah portion comes from the book of Numbers versus 25:10 – 30:1. The portion is Pinchas. Pinchas is still one of the less action-packed Parshot. It starts off with a census of all the men of Israel. After all the men are counted one man, Zelophehad, dies. He dies with five daughters, no sons, and in that time females could not inherit land. The daughters petition Moses to get their inheritance and it ends up with G-D accepting their claim and changing the Torah’s laws of inheritance. After that Moses names Joshua as his successor and the Parshah ends with a detailed list of the daily offerings and offerings for some major holidays.
What really connected with me was what the daughters of Zelophehad did. Not because of the feminism that was put into the Torah, which are some of the first rights for women in the Torah, but mainly because of them making a change. These ladies believed in something important and they fought for their cause. This is the same as us, as Jewish teens. Not just because we’re Jewish, but teens and leaders. If we want something, we can get it.
Originally, the laws of inheritance were detrimental to the daughters, as well as all women. These five daughters saw this problem and decided to do something about it. They petitioned their cause to Moses, the highest authority in the land, and did not stop until they got what they wanted.
Women were not nearly considered on the same level or as close to the men’s level in this time. The fact that their opinions were not worth as much as the men’s did not deter them from their cause. They set their minds on something and went for it. They started their process with the end in mind. They did not go into their arguments with anything random, but first they were proactive by learning to understand where Moses and the laws were coming from. After they understood the other side, they could successfully be understood and make their case.
Now, after learning about what these 5 women did, what connected with me the most was that they truly did make a change. This is exactly what we here, in BBYO, can do. We are here to make a change. If we see something, anything wrong it is not only our right, but our duty to rectify the situation. In this Torah portion G-D shows that anyone and everyone should stand up for what they believe. There are so many opportunities for us to change the world. There are so many opportunities for us to influence those around us.
All the change starts with ourselves; first we must believe that we are able to make the change; we must change ourselves. Many wonder how they can possibly better the already great world and how they, as individuals could even begin to have an influence. You must start within yourself. In this portion the women see the unjustness and decide to change it. They want to improve their own lives. Once you are ready and willing to be heard in this world, it is absolutely time to start being heard! Each and every one of you here has the power to change your chapter, your council, your region, the international order, and even, the world. We are able to make these changes through so many different channels and means. We can start with our own attitudes or working on the Stand Up campaign.
So many before us have stood up and made changes in this world. So many have been heard. So many have done the undoable. So many have altered how they or what they stood for were viewed. So many have already started to make this world a safer place. Just as the Torah shows, it is our turn. It is every person’s job to change the world.
There should not be a single person here who cannot go home and rebuild this world. Not only is it good for your community, but it is also shown in the Torah. Make everything we have learned here worthwhile. We can go home and make our chapter even stronger than it was before through numerous different mediums.
We have learned so much here. Over these past 11 days here we gained so much knowledge and experience. We learned what it takes to be leaders. Now, as we come back to our chapters and regions we have the tools and resources to step up as BBYO leaders. But we also have the tools to step up as Judaic leaders. We know how we can incorporate Judaism into BBYO. Just as the Torah shows, we should make a change. We should change something about our chapters, especially in a Judaic sense.
Just as these five women had the power to change something they saw unjust, we have the power to change something we see unjust. Let us put everything we have learned to work and make the best of all of our opportunities here in BBYO. I implore you to do all you can to make the changes you want. Pinchas shows that you can make a difference if you set your mind to it, follow what it says and make that change!