Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Beautiful 5th Grade D'var Torah on Parshat Ekev

This afternoon, 5th grader, Emily Hoff, shared these words of Torah that she wrote with members of The Davis Academy's Board of Trustees. It's a proud "rabbi moment" to see the smiles and looks of appreciation on the faces of those who devote so much time, energy, and talent to guiding our community as they listen to such an inspiring example of the fruits of their labor. I'm sharing Emily's D'var Torah here with her parents' permission so that others can enjoy her message. 

Torah Portion: Ekev (Dueteronomy 7:12-11:26)

Hi, my name is Emily Hoff, I am a 5th grader and have been a student at the Davis Academy for 5 years. I have two siblings at Davis, also.  Sadie is in 4th grade and Jeremy is in 2nd grade.
I am going to give a D’var Torah, which will connect this week’s Torah Portion to our daily lives.

The Parsha I am talking about today is Ekev from the 5th book of the Torah, Deuteronomy or in Hebrew, D’varim.
I am going to start with a quotation from the Parsha. “Impress My words upon your very heart. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, and teach them to your children.”
This quotation reminds me of the V’ahavta, which happens to be my mom’s most favorite prayer.  This prayer talks about making “God’s Mark” on everything. To me, this means show kindness to others and make the word a better place. It also means that if you see anything or anyone, you see good and beauty in it. For example, when I see my best friends, I see beauty in them and that makes me feel good.

As a 5th grader, I am learning about slavery in social studies. Eventually my classmates and I will go on a Civil Rights Trip to Birmingham, Alabama as well. We all learned that the world needed kindness at both these times. Today, we can strive to be kind people and make our world a better place. At Davis we have opportunities to practice being kind by doing Mitzvot like making blankets for Scottish Rite, being book buddies to preschool kids, and at class meetings and all around school.
The rock band “incubus” performs a song called  “if not now, when”.  The members of this band are Jewish and Rabbi Micah reminded me that the name of this song comes directly from an ancient rabbi named, Rabbi Hillel.  It seems that whether in the Torah, in our daily lives, or even in rock music, Jews are trying to teach kindness.

Thank you for coming and have a great meeting!

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