Esther's bat Mitzvah Speech
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Today I am an adult, scary, right?  In the past months I have thought about what  this milestone occasion signifies. I came up with a lot of differences between childhood and adulthood; and I realized that most of the differences are privileges. After considering this I came to understand that for every privilege there must be a responsibility. If there weren’t, what would make a child unqualified for the privilege, and an adult eligible? So for each privilege there must be a responsibility. Such as to have a pet you need to feed, water, and take care of it; or be allowed to cook you need to pay attention so you don’t set the ravioli on fire.

My Torah portion concerns one of the responsibilities of being an adult. My Torah portion states: 

    “See I have set before thee this day life and good, death and evil.”

It goes on to say that if you do not follow G-d’s ways and do as G-d bids

    “ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days upon the land”.

In other words, if you obey G-d and follow the commandments in Torah then G-d will bless you; if not, you will die sooner. In past times when Jews were persecuted, following Torah’s teachings was difficult. Those who did took a much harder road, but benefited themselves and future generations by passing on the teachings. As I, and others of my age continue to grow and mature we must make similar decisions. We must choose whether to study for school or to go out at night; to get honest grades, or to cheat, to treat the everyone with respect or to judge people according to stereotypes.  Such choices are on a smaller scale but are still measures of character and maturity.

I would like to thank my family and friends for helping me reach this day. Everyone has been very supportive. My parents have helped me learn lessons in life and friendship. My friends are wonderful. Most of you have only known me for a little over a year, but I know I count on you for anything. My friends who live in Michigan have known me most of my life, and we have so many happy memories. I would also like to thank Rabbi Siroka for helping me study and assuring me that I was going to do well even when I was positive the opposite was true. I’m looking forward to growing older and more responsible with all your guidance.