Nathan Marks' Bar Mitzvah

Nathan2015PHSaThis Shabbat, we hope you'll join the CBS community as we celebrate Nathan Marks' bar mitzvah and toast his coming of age!

Nathan's message for the community is just below.


Sholom. My name is Nathan Marks. I am a 7th grade student at the Presidio Hill School. When I’m not studying for my bar mitzvah, I enjoy reading books and cooking.

In my parsha, Miketz, the Pharaoh has two dreams, and then Joseph interprets them. Joseph says that the dreams mean there will be seven years of good harvest and then seven years of famine. The Pharaoh then appoints Joseph as second in command of Egypt, and he supervises the collection and distribution of grain. The famine was all over the region, and Joseph’s brothers (except for the youngest one, Benjamin) come to get grain because they are starving in Canaan. The brothers do not recognize Joseph, but Joseph recognizes them. Joseph says that he will give them grain, as long as they bring their youngest brother brother back from Canaan and leave one brother, Simeon, with him as a safety deposit. The brothers go back to Canaan and tell their father, Jacob, that they have to bring Benjamin to Egypt to get Simeon back. Once the brothers return to Egypt, Joseph sets out a magnificent feast for them, but he leaves the room to cry because he is overcome with so many feelings. While they are eating, Joseph tells his servants to fill his brothers’ bags with gold and Benjamin’s with a special silver goblet. In the morning, after they set off, Joseph tells his men to chase after them, and instructs them that the one with the goblet will have to stay with him.

Like in the parsha, my mitzvah project -- raising money for the San Francisco Food Bank -- is to help people who are food insecure (they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.) Like Jacob, most of us have the ability to help people who are food insecure get food. A group of friends helped me with packing apples into boxes. We packed about 29,000 pounds of apples in one afternoon! I am also donating a portion of any gifts I receive for my bar mitzvah to the food bank. Thank you to Rabbi Glazer for being there to help me, and to Marilyn Heiss for helping me with my torah and haftorah and my d’var torah. Also thanks to my family for being there.