Mazel Tov to Bar Mitzvah, Igaal Sizomu

We had the privilege of attending Igaal Sizomu’s Bar Mitzvah on June 9th, 2007 at Shomrei Torah in Los Angeles, where his father Rabbi Sizomu serves as a rabbinic intern while completing his studies at the University of Judaism. Igaal stood poised on the Bimah in his new khaki suit and beautiful Talit with matching Abayudaya Kippah and read from the Torah.

In Igaal’s Torah portion, Shelah-Lekha, Moses sends scouts to look at the Promised Land on behalf of the Israelites. While the land was acknowledged to be flowing with milk and honey, 10 of the 12 scouts are pessimistic about the feasibility of conquering it. The people react to the scouts’ reports by rebelling openly against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. By implication, they are also questioning the value of their allegiance to God. The result of their report was to harm the Israelites’ determination and self-confidence – “we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them” (Numbers 13:33).This negative report caused a lack of faith in the people’s own ability to confront the challenge of inheriting the Land, delaying entry into the Land of Israel by an entire generation.

Igaal taught us good leaders should help people to rise to a challenge, not cause people to doubt themselves. Igaal pledged to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a leader of his people. His father was visibly proud and excited, and commended Igaal for his lofty goals. Rabbi Gershom and Tziporah Sizomu praised their son’s compassion for others and natural ability to make friends. They assured him that these qualities would contribute to making him a good leader.

We created a college fund for Igaal, where he is saving all money he receives for his Bar Mitzvah for college. If you would like to contribute to Igaal’s college fund in honor of his Bar Mitzvah, click the button below.

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