By David Rosenhoch
On July 3, 2004, David Rosenhoch became a Bar Mitzvah at 14 years old. In honor of his 15 year Bar Mitzvah Anniversary, here is his speech from that special day:
My Torah portion is Balak, Numbers 24 Verses 1-13, and my Haftarah comes from the book of Micah. This story is about Balak, the King of Moab, Balaam a prophet, a talking donkey, an angel, the Israelites, who are the Jews, and G-d. Balak is worried about fighting the Jews. He calls Balaam. He asks Balaam to curse the Israelites, to hope bad things will happen to them. That is sad.
G-d says that Balaam cannot curse the Jews because G-d blessed the Jewish people. When Balaam is riding on his donkey, the donkey stops moving because he saw an angel on the road. Balaam could not see the angel. He hit the donkey with his whip. All of a sudden the donkey talked. Balaam saw the angel. The angel says do what G-d told you to do. When Balaam sees the Israelites, he blessed the Jewish people. He says 4 blessings:
- The Jews will help the world through good deeds, Tikkun Olam.
- G-d will give Eretz Israel to the Jews.
- Ma Tovu – How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling-places, O Israel.
- King David will come.
I have many homes: camp, Temple, The Jewish Center, Beard Avenue, West Palm Beach, SABAH, Bennett Park Montessori, and Southside Elementary. These homes make me feel happy and safe. These homes are my life. You all have homes that make you happy and safe.
In my Haftarah it says, “and walk humbly with your G-d.” I think that G-d is like a shadow. G-d is always with you.
Being Jewish is important to me. I like being Jewish. It makes me happy. I like to pray. I like Jewish songs such as Mi Chamocah and L’Cha Dodi. I like to go to Temple and pray. I like talking about G-d in class in Hebrew School. I like being with my family on Shabbat. I look forward to the holidays because Grandma and Grandpa come to visit us.
I’d like to say thank you to Cantor and the Rabbis for being good teachers. I’d like to thank my brother, Alan, for making my Bar Mitzvah better. Alan is very special to me. I’d like to thank all my teachers and my aides, Les, Denise and Mrs. Hogan for helping to bring me to
this special day. I’d like to thank Rich and Sue for being special friends. I’d like to thank Mom and Dad for helping me with my Parsha. I’d like to thank Grandma and Grandpa for helping me to get ready. I’d like to thank everyone for coming here today and helping to make my Bar Mitzvah Special.
David Rosenhoch is a 29 year old Buffalo native who was born with Down Syndrome.