In my opinion, part of Judaism is trying to make the world a better place. Everyone can do little things in their daily life to improve the world we live in. “Tikkun Olam” means “repairing the world.” I hope that every day people will come together and help out in their communities and help each other as well. Although I know our world will never be perfect, at least trying to make it that way can make the world a better place to live in.
One thing about mitzvot is that every Jew is obligated to do so. This is especially true when they reach the age of thirteen and become a bar or bat Mitzvah. This translated to “son or daughter of God.” The word mitzvah alone means commandment, as in the Ten or 613 commandments in the Torah. These are practically the words and will of God and should be carried out. Every Jew is at the very least obligated to do some of the everyday ones like not murdering, honoring your father and mother, etc. Some people think doing a good deed and doing a mitzvah are the same thing, in some cases this may be right, but not all the time and not literally. They are similar, however, and both are nice to do. Anyway, the mitzvot were likely put into the Torah so that one of the ways of life a person can have is simply following all of them.
Hope, I find, is something we rely on too much. We use our hope for better as a scapegoat for our current mistakes or situations. All our lives, people ask us how we hope to see ourselves or our world in five, ten, fifteen years from now. Honestly, though, can we really answer that question? We have no idea what the world will be like in any given amount of time; we don’t even know if we’ll be alive at that given time. Even if I don’t wind up being alive in the next five, ten, fifteen years, there are many things that I hope for the entire world of the future.
Community – What It Means to Me to Be Part of this Temple and Part of the Jewish People by Josh Eichel
Being a part of Temple Rodeph Torah and the Jewish Community means a lot to me. TRT is an amazing place, and I cherish every moment I am here. I love to spend time with my friends at the temple, and I have been challenged to learn here throughout my years in religious school. I enjoyed attending Hebrew high school every week, especially because I was able to pick the classes that I wanted while having fun with my friends. Being Jewish is more than just a religion for me; it is a way of life. I have friends that I met by going to temple, and I make observing Shabbat a weekly event. I am proud to be able to continue Jewish traditions in my home, such as having Passover seders and lighting the Hanukkah candles.
The RAC trip to Washington, D.C. was an amazing experience for me and I am so glad I had the incredible opportunity. It was so cool being with all the Jewish teens from around the country. I had no idea there were so many of us. I learned so much from this trip.
First, the homeless men that spoke with all of us were so inspirational. They really taught us that we need to be more grateful and appreciate what we have. Everything we complain about is nothing compared to what they go through each and every day.
This year at Hebrew high school has focused on ethics and morals that we should live by. We have had group discussions on many different subjects that allowed me to gain a new perspective on many different issues and learn what Judaism says about them too. Ethics deals not only with how we treat others but also how we treat ourselves. Teenagers have many life-changing decisions to make; these include how to deal with peer pressure and avoiding irresponsible behavior and that could negatively impact our safety and our futures.
Judaism affects my life everywhere I go; it affects what I do when I am at home and when I am out in public. I will do things that make me different from the other religions and make me Jewish, for instance I will keep kosher by not eating shellfish or pork, this makes me feel closer to God. I keep Kosher in both my house and in public, whether I am with friends or with family.
Community – What It Means to Me to Be Part of this Temple and Part of the Jewish People by Jesse Persily
Temple Rodeph Torah has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, from long before Hebrew school began up until today. I am honored to stand before you as a Confirmand, and I am proud to say that I am a member of this amazing religious community. Through all the time I have spent at the temple, whether for services, carnivals, various youth group events, or my religious studies, I’ve truly been able to discover my own Jewish identity with the help of the bonds I have made over the years.
Being Jewish is definitely a two-way street. While it’s not always easy and it sometimes requires a lot of effort on our part, Judaism gives back to us so much in return.
Being a part of the Jewish people is focused on a few main ideas. One of them is keeping Judaism alive. It is important as Jews that we uphold the traditions that have been passed down over generations and we observe the holidays that are part of our religion. This is the part of Judaism that creates a strong bond between every Jew and keeps people all across the world connected.
Arriving at my Confirmation was a long adventure that started over seven years ago. When I began my religious education in third grade, I probably would have rather been anywhere besides that classroom full of strangers. Just the fact that I was being forced to go to Hebrew school by my parents was reason enough for me to hate it. Week after week, I dreaded the days I had to sit through another class. But to my surprise, as time went on it became less of a chore to go to class..
Mitzvah: literally, a commandment. Figuratively: something more. Generally, a mitzvah is a good deed which is done, not specifically for God, but for the sake of a good moral decision. They are performed for Tikkun Olam – good deeds making the world a better place. Mitzvot can be different for different people though; some people have different ideas of a good deed. My particular idea of a mitzvah is largely based on justice. Regardless of opinion, some things are just good deeds, and some bad. So with that philosophy, these are the mitzvot which I would do for God and for Judaism..
From the time I was born, my parents set me on a direct path to Judiasm, however my road to Temple Rodeph Torah and my upcoming Confirmation had many stop-offs along the way. Religion has been an important part of my family’s life and soon after I came into this world, I was taken to temple where I received my Jewish name, Chana Rifka, in honor of my father’s and mother’s grandmothers. At the age of three, I entered pre-school at another Reform congregation, where I learned the fundamentals of reading and speaking Hebrew, our Jewish customs, history, holidays and traditions.
Throughout my entire religious school experience I have gained useful skills and knowledge to help lead me to a successful Jewish adulthood. After becoming an adult in the temple community, I feel from that point at age 13 my Jewish identity started to mold and help me give back. From the early age of eight years old in third grade to a mature 16 and in tenth grade, I have grown into a young Jewish woman..
I could start this off by saying that I hope for our future we will have equality for all, world peace, no more hunger, or violence, and no poverty, or unhappiness. But, in today’s society, not even God could probably accomplish these things. There is always going to be some bad in this world and that is what makes the good seem even better. This is what I want for the future. I want people to see that bad days and disagreements will happen, and sometimes, unfortunately, the people will die over them; it is inevitable. I want people to celebrate the good in the world and not waste their lives away over the bad. If the whole world just smiled more, it would be a better place to live in.
I have been studying Hebrew and attending Hebrew school since I was in fourth grade. I had just recently moved, so I started religious school a year late and I was behind. After some effort I was able to catch up with the rest of the grade, although, because of my late start, I needed to push my bar Mitzvah back several months. My birthday is in January, but the set date of my bar Mitzvah was in June. To be honest, I really wasn’t going to complain about it being pushed to a warmer month.
Before I started this essay, I wanted to know exactly what “ethics” are defined as, so I consulted the only place that I thought could give me the answer I was looking for. You guessed it: Google. According to the world’s largest search engine, ethics are: Moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.
A person’s ethics can come from many different places. They are a combination of all of the factors in your life that can drive you to do or not do something. In my case, my ethics are a combination of my parent’s ethics, my own ethics that I have developed through my experiences, and my religion’s ethics. In general, the focus of my ethics is to be as good a person as I can be. I hope to be remembered by my friends and family as a person who did his best to do the right thing and avoid hurting others.