Tuesday, September 9, 2014
TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Ethan Moskowitz on Ki Tetze
Everybody who knows me knows I am very good with directions. I have even been called the human GPS by the kids at school.
From an early age, I was told I would stick my arm out of the stroller to tell the person pushing which way to go. While still in a car seat, I told my grandmother how to get from my daycare to my home.
Then there was the time, when I was still pretty young, when I gave my other grandparents clear directions on how to get from IHOP to the JCC, so we could play mini golf after breakfast.
But my favorite “Human GPS” moment was the time when my dad was driving
on Bedford Street, and a guy in a van next to us rolled his window down to ask how to get to the Merritt Parkway, because 95 was closed at Exit 9. My dad thought about it, then turned around to ask me what I thought the best way was. I of course knew right away the way to go, which he repeated to the man in the van – who had a look like he wondered if he should trust a kid in a car seat.
This connects perfectly to my portion of Ki Teitzei which offers a road map of a different sort. This rode map gives us directions to being kinder and more sensitive people. This is the kind of road map you won't find on a GPS or Google maps – only in the Torah.
One law in particular talks of lost and found objects. In chapter 22 Verse 1, in the Book of Deuteronomy, it says it is our obligation to help a lost animal to find its way home. I'd like to think I do this every time I help someone with directions, such as the first time I was going to the Lower Fairfield County Food Bank to volunteer for school. One of my classmates' father was lost and ended up in Darien. I had to tell him he was in the wrong town and needed to turn around and go back to Stamford. Helping at the food bank was so enjoyable and fulfilling that day, that I made it my Mitzvah project.
For those of you that are not familiar with the food bank located in Stamford, it is Lower Fairfield County’s primary hunger-relief organization, providing food to more than 85 non-profit agencies and programs that serve low income people in a six town service area through bags of groceries and congregate meals.
I have spent many hours volunteering at the food bank, bringing food donations with me with each visit.
This ties back to my portion of Ki Teitzei which has a law that says we must leave some remains of our crops in the field for orphans, widows or strangers; basically, those in need. I feel great that people who can't afford food are able to eat.