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I don't normally follow football, but it's been hard not to get swept up in it. There's an atmosphere of excitement everywhere you turn.

Last night, I listened to the results on BBC radio. When England won, my neighbourhood erupted in horns beeping and fireworks exploding. That joy is infectious.

This week's parashah deals with building a nation. It tells us about ancient Israelite clans and how they apportioned land. At the end, Torah tells a story of how a group of women banded together to gain inheritance rights.

Nation building, here, is not just about who gets what. It is about the stories we tell. It is about how those narratives try to include people. The story in Matot-Masei is one about women's empowerment. The Torah wants us to see that as part of what made the ancient Israelites.

The English football team and their victories are also telling a story about what England is. They are a multi-ethnic group of boys, mostly descended from immigrants, whose teamwork has brought them success. That is a story that can make us all proud.

My highlight this week has been talking with parents and educators in the synagogue about how we teach our young people. We are working out which stories we will tell to help young Jews feel proud, empowered and inclusive. Let's make Judaism so exciting people can't help but get swept up in it.

Shabbat Shalom

Student Rabbi Lev