Why Max is My Superhero
Posted by Allison Fine on January 19, 2009
It is a wonderful week to be an American, isn’t it? I just want time to stop right now when everything is new and shiny and there are no door dings and scandals and disappointments. Of course, I’m speaking about the Inauguration, but I’m also speaking about my oldest son who was Bar Mitzvahed last Saturday.
Max is a terrific kid and I’ve never been prouder of him than when he gave his sermon. His portion was about Moses and the burning bush. He compared Moses to a superhero who was both heroic, but also hesitant, fearful and very human. Each one of us can be a superhero, he said, who can help to rid the world of injustices like hunger and homelessness. But, I’m not doing justice to his words, so here they are, I hope you find his talk meaningful and enjoy it:
Dear friends and, of course, family. Thank you all for being here and for some of my relatives who have come a long way and who have made it without any hardships, I hope you have enjoyed me reading the Torah and you will stay long enough for me to finish my speech.
My Torah portion, Shemot, is about how Moses found a bush that was engulfed in flames but not consumed by them. God comes and enlists Moses to go and ask Pharaoh to let the Jews go. But Moses doesn’t want to go because he thinks that either the Jews or Pharaoh won’t believe him or that he will mess up and stutter while talking to Pharaoh. But God gives Moses some signs that he can use if the Jews don’t believe him. God turns Moses’ rod into a snake and back and gives it to him to show to Pharaoh if he doesn’t believe him. God tells Moses to use his brother Aaron as his speaker, but Moses has to be with him to tell him what to say. Finally, Moses goes and eventually frees the Jews from the evil Pharoh’s clutches.
Moses as a Superhero
In my Torah portion, Moses is not yet the famous Jew he will become, but he still saves the Jews from Pharaoh, which, I think makes him a superhero. As most of you know, superheroes are something I know a lot about. I think a superhero is anyone who stands up to a bad guy or someone who steps up when they see something wrong, like Moses did to Pharoh. Especially if they’re afraid, like Spiderman sometimes is and Moses was, too. A superhero is also someone who might have super powers like Moses did with the help of God when he was able to turn his staff into a snake and back. But many superheroes, like Batman, are also human which means that he or she makes mistakes, just like Moses did when he murdered an Egyptian because he saw an injustice happen when the Egyptian was hitting a Jew. And last a superhero is someone that everybody looks up to and wants to be because they have courage and sometimes powers but also because they are human like us. So we all want to be just like them because we know in our hearts that if we try we can become superheroes, which I think is what all the Jews thought of Moses after he rescued them from Pharoh.
In my quest to become a superhero, and stop injustice wherever it may be and become a Bar Mitzvah, I did two mitzvah projects and I have decided to give some of the money I receive today to a group called Hope for Henry Foundation. They help children in hospitals by giving them gifts, including a lot of superhero toys and pictures. My first project was a breakfast run that I did early in the morning with a bunch of my friends. We gave breakfast to the homeless in New York City. The people that we fed were not only homeless but they were starving as well. We handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste and one man came up and said he didn’t have any teeth to brush. We need to help people so that no one has to live this way. My second mitzvah project was working at a food bank. We had to sort different cans of food and decide whether the food was good enough to eat or to set bad ones aside. Eventually, the bad cans broke the metal table they were sitting on which tells you that there was a lot of bad cans. It was disappointing to see how many companies and people donated bad food and didn’t really care about hungry people. We shouldn’t’ be giving out things that we want to get rid of; we should be giving people important things that they need.
It is an injustice that people living in America are hungry. And superheroes are important because they can stop injustices from happening. It was clear to me at the food bank that each one of us can be a superhero for hungry people and fight this injustice.
I would like to thank all of the people who helped me with my bar mitzvah. I would like to thank my mom and my dad, my two brothers who kind of supported me, my grandparents who always made me feel so nervous about this day and especially my Grandpa Jerry who would have done my whole haftorah for me if given the chance. I would also like to thank the Cantor for helping me with my torah and haftorah portion and the Rabbi for helping me with my sermon. I would like to thank Sharon Kirschner for helping me with my mitzvah project. And last thank you to all of my friends who came to the breakfast run, you helped to support me a lot.
Thank you God for making this day very special to me and for all of the loving and caring people who joined us today. In the future, I hope that everyone can be a superhero to make the world a better place and to stop hunger and other injustices.
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