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Everybody makes mistakes. Even though we try to do things right, it is inevitable to eventually slip up. In this week's Torah portion we see how even Moses, one of the most heavily praised figures in Judaism, made a mistake. 

As the Israelites were traveling through the desert, there was no water, and the people assembled against Moses and Aaron. They asked, ‘Why did you bring us here in the wilderness to die? There isn’t even water to drink.’ G-d then told Moses to speak to a rock, which would miraculously bring water and solve the Israelite’s complaints. Yet, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses hit it with his staff. This breach of G-d’s instructions angered him and thus prohibited Moses from entering the land of Israel. 

However, this isn’t the only sin in the parashah. Yet again, the patience of the people grew short and they complained of insufficient food and water. Instead of blessing the Israelites with another miraculous rock, G-d sent poisonous snakes against the people, biting many of them to death. Nonetheless, G-d still gave the Israelites another chance and provided them with a cure. 

This parashah demonstrates that even highly praised figures and the chosen nation could slip up. Nobody is perfect, yet G-d still gives us a second chance. Yes, there are negative consequences that might cause us to suffer, but we can learn from these experiences and take them as an opportunity to grow as a person. 

Today, we celebrate the last school day of this academic year. Upon reflection, this year has been quite a roller-coaster. With the pandemic, online classes, and covid restrictions, we faced many obstacles. We may have slipped up in some areas, such as not handing in assignments on time, being behind in class, or drifting from valuable relationships. However, it is important to remember that we still have tomorrow. Let us deal with the consequences now and learn from our mistakes.  So let us seize the day and do the best we can, and remember to learn from our mistakes instead of beating ourselves up. Tomorrow will be a better version of us, and hopefully so will next year. 

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom! 

Eden, Grade 10