A little bit of Torah to bring in Shabbat!
From your Penn State Hillel Staff
Read this week's Dvar, and past, on our website!
D’var Torah–literally a “word of Torah,” a lesson or sermon interpreting a text, which can be delivered by anyone reflects a fundamental Jewish belief in the infinite interpretive possibilities of Torah. This concept is best articulated in Mishnah Avot 5:22, “Turn it and turn it; for everything is in it,” and in the rabbinic assertion that each person who stood at Sinai saw a different face of Torah (myjewishlearning.com).
Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot
D'var by Alona Lipetz, Israel Fellow
Leaders aren’t born- they’re made.
In this week’s d’var, we conclude the reading of the Torah with Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot, and begin Sukkot by reading the Book of Prophets. The Torah ends as it begins, with an act of kindness. These acts of kindness -God clothing Adam and Eve, and God burying Moses) is to remind us that we were given the Torah for good.
As the Torah concludes, we find that Moses dies at the age of 120. He is considered to be Israel’s greatest biblical leader. It is important to understand that Moses was not born a leader, he became a leader. He became a leader out of necessity when his people needed him to rise to the occasion though very difficult times. Moses made it his life mission to fight for the freedom of his people by accompanying them to the Promise Land. Although he led his people there successfully, he unfortunately died before he was able to enter into the Promise Lead. Although he wasn’t able to cross over into the Promise Land with his people, he made sure that each of them knew that they had the potential to achieve greatness in their own way.
To me, that is what a true leader, a true hero, does for his people. He helps each individual find the strength that already lies within and he helps you connect to that strength. A great leader, like Moses, will wander the desert with you, for as long as it takes and uplift you to higher ground, but he will let you cross the finish line on your own. Moses selflessly fought for a land that he loved without having the opportunity to enter. It is said, that even God grieved the loss of Moses.
After reading this week’s d’var, we are reminded of Moses and his strength. We are reminded that there is a leader inside each and every one of us. But, with great power comes great responsibility. When you choose to lead, people look up to you and the choices you make sometimes affect others. True leadership doesn’t require changing the world; a leader can choose to lead a community service initiative, help those in need, or simply be a helpful, supportive friend and family member. Whatever type of leader you choose to be, you can make an impact! In the Torah we conclude the parsha with “Hazak Hazak V’nitkhazek! Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!”