Students are in the J-Life room, singing and listening as part of preparing for Shabbat with T'filah - prayer. They are wearing school uniforms.

Excellent student-led T’filah

After our break for Pesach, we had a packed T’filah at the Magid Campus this morning! Students from across the school crowded into the Tzev Lev Jewish Life space as we sung, davened, and listened to two drashot.

Year 12 student Maddy gave a drash on ‘M’tzora’, which was one of the Parashiyot in the holidays. Maddy concentrated on the spiritual purification in the parashah, stating that we can use Pesach and the start of a new school terms for spiritual development. Reflecting that physical acts can help us remember the spiritual, Maddy encouraged us to stop, examine ourselves and reflect on how we can become better versions of ourselves. We can all ask, have we made good choices recently? If we made bad ones, why did we make them and how can we make better choices?

Finally, Maddy spoke about the message in ‘M’tzora’ that words should be used for uplift and encouragement. We should try to avoid lashon hara (evil speech), which can be damaging spiritually and socially. Instead, we should try to inspire and cheer people on through our kind words.

Teacher Geoff Garber gave a drash on ‘Acharei Mot’, based on the teaching of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (B”H). ‘Acharei Mot’, like much of Vayikra (Leviticus), is focused on the details of mitzvot, including animal offerings, the garments of priests, kashrut and family purity. Geoff Garber focused on supporting the land of Israel, quoting the Talmud (Ketubot 110b) that “Living in the land of Israel is of equal importance to all the commandments of the Torah.”

Geoff said that God asked the Jewish people to be a role model for humanity by building a society characterised by justice and the rule of law, welfare and concern for the poor, the marginal, the vulnerable and the weak, a society in which we would all have equal dignity under God. Geoff ended his drash asking us to think about ways we can continue to elevate the land of Israel through our actions.

Thank you to Maddy and Geoff for their thought-provoking drashot, and to the Va’ad Yehadut – Jewish Life Year 12 student committee for organising a wonderful morning T’filah!