Shabbat Shalom. Thanks for coming to my Bar Mitzvah. My Torah portion is called Ekev. Ekev is from the Hebrew root that means heel or footstep. My portion is an action-packed tale told in the first person by Moses. It was a story that I really had to listen to; it was if Moses was telling it directly to me. Anger is a big theme in Moses' story. I know it’s human to be sad, angry, happy and other emotions.

One thing that makes me angry is that when I get home from school, my parents always interrogate me. “How was school?, What did you do? How was the test?” And so forth. Who wants to talk about school once school is over? I sure don’t! I would rather plop down on the couch and watch tv or play some games! I’m not the only one who gets angry. Another person I’ve noticed get angry is President Bush, especially when he talks about Iraq. Now what did President Bush do with his anger? He started a war! These are 2 examples of anger and how it is dealt with.

Anger often makes me want to lash out at someone or something. Playing video games is a good way to help calm me down after I get angry. Sometimes I wish that this tactic would work on the world scene like in the Middle East right now. If the world leaders found ways to calm themselves down, maybe war could be prevented. I understand how anger can really get people doing things they will regret later on, but I’m happy to say that I’ve never gotten as angry as God does in my portion. Unlike God, I’ve never had the urge to wipe out anyone, well except for the ants infesting our house and the noisy squirrels in our walls!

Why does God get so angry? I think the main reason is that God had this really special gift for the Jewish people and they instead attempted to create their own god out of melted metal! Putting myself in the shoes of the waiting Israelites at the bottom of Mt. Sinai, I guess I can kind of relate to their losing patience when Moses failed to appear after more than one month’s time. Having faith in the unknown is difficult. I know because it was very hard for me to make the move from my home in Toronto to here in Minneapolis. Three years ago when we moved, I never imagined how happy I could be here in the United States.

The Israelites should have been more patient with Moses. Patience is a good thing. It helps you be less angry, helps clear your mind, and makes you think better. It also helps you prepare to become a Bar Mitzvah!

It took patience to get me here today. Thanks to: Annette, my great tutor, Mom, for helping me with everything, Dad, Judy and Danielle for coming all the way from Toronto to see me and for giving me the chance to not think about my Bar Mtizvah for two wonderful weeks in Arizona. Thanks to Ian for doing my music and invitations, my sister Sharon, for helping me keep my sanity this summer, my baby brother, Jeremiah, for making it so I could watch more tv when you kept my mom & Ian so busy.

Grandma and Grampa, for sharing the day with me, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and friends for travelling so far to be with me today, and a special thank you for the beautiful yads. Thanks to Rabbi Offner for your guidance. I gladly accept the responsibilities that Moses worked so hard to get for us!

Shabbat Shalom.