Shalom! My name is Bennett Taubman and I am a 7th grader at the Brandeis School of San Francisco. At Brandeis, I enjoy playing tenor sax and clarinet in the band. The best part of school is that I get to hang out with a great group of friends, many of whom I have known since kindergarten. Aside from school, I spent years singing in the San Francisco Boys Chorus and now play clarinet with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra. I love playing soccer with my friends, and I also enjoy basketball, volleyball and fencing. Time with my family is particularly important to me and I enjoy spending Shabbat dinners and holidays, such as Passover, with my family.
Over the last year, I have been preparing for the occasion of becoming a Bar Mitzvah. I have gained much from my preparation and learned about the struggles of commitment and time management throughout the process. My Parshat is Toldot, the same as my dad’s when he became a bar mitzvah. Toldot covers a large part of the story of Jacob and Esau, from when the twins were born all the way through Esau giving away his birthright and Isaac being tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his older brother. I found this momentous parsha to be deeply engrossing, allowing me to explore the ups and downs of family relationships and the meaning of teshuvah. We have a lot to learn from Jacob and Esau, and how to make peace with each other after relationships have been fractured.
I want to thank Rabbi Ain, who took time to help me work on my drash. I also would like to thank my tutor Randy Weiss for all the learning and open-face tuna sandwiches. Finally, I would like to thank my parents and sisters for their endless support and nagging. I needed all of it!
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.