SBC C6- A3, 4, 7

This post is also a week late. I’m sorry about that.

ACTIVITY 3-  Are there any cultural events that directly relate to the old country from which your ancestors came?

Well, yes. My ancestors came from Europe. Germany, Russia, Poland, Great Britian, Hungary, and Austria. If you are Jewish (like me), you have different customs depending on where you or your ancestors lived. European Jews are called Ashkenazi. Ashkenazic Jews will not eat rice on Passover, but other types of Jews will. Ashkenazis are the ones with the big fur hats and black coats. They’re the ones who eat matzah ball soup and gefilte fish. So that could be considered customs from my grandparents.

ACTIVITY  4- How many generations do you go back before you find an ancestor immigrating to your present country? For example on my mother’s side of the tree, I can go back 5 generations to my great great great grandparents who were sent out from England as convicts to Australia.

On my mother’s side, I go back 3 generations, to my great-grandfather who escaped from Poland as a boy, before World War II started. On my father’s side, I don’t have any clue.

ACTIVITY 7- Visit blogs written by students from other countries.

I visited Emmalle’s blog. She is from Ireland. I liked her blog because she chose to make it on her own. She didn’t have to make one for school (like I did). She writes about how she feels and isn’t afraid to speak her opinion. Visit her blog here:










SBC C4- A2

Sorry this is late. School has been keeping me occupied. Hope you still enjoy it!

ACTIVITY 2- Which of these topics affect your country? What is your government doing about it? If you are able, without getting into trouble, give your opinion of the topic and how it affects you as a student. What could you as a student or class do to help solve the problem?

The government shutdown is obviously effecting the US. However, many people don’t really know what it means. The government shutdown is when all of the national parks close, 800,000 government employees don’t get paid (but Congress does), and Medicare applications come to a stop. That’s how much I know. It was caused because the Democrats and the Republicans could not reach an agreement on what to do about the budget. All that my government is doing is arguing about it and not coming to a solution.To tell you the truth, there isn’t anything I can do except hold my hands over my head and wait until it’s over.

NOTE- The government shutdown is over, for now. This post is very late.


Prayer Session

As the First Nine Weeks of the school year come to a close, so does my Tuesday morning prayer session. My class has been doing this with Dr. Mitzmacher instead of the regular service. We have been asked to reflect on this class, specifically the 5 reasons of why to pray and which ones we agree with. First, I will list the 5 reasons to pray:

1. Prayer as Self-Discipline- Prayer is an art and a skill. Just like any hobby, praying must be practiced often and worked to perfection. If praying is something that really matters to us and we care about it, then we will always do it. “Disciplining  oneself to pray regularly is the only way to achieve that magnificent experience of emotionally fulfilling prayer.

2. Prayer as Self-Analysis and Ethical Consciousness Raising- “One of the tasks of prayer… is to push us from where we are (emotionally, intellectually, interpersonally) to where we ought to be.” Daily prayer helps us to do this. It trains us to do what we know is right, and fight for our beliefs. The self-analysis in prayer is comparing us to the laws, ethics, and morals that shape Judaism.

3. Prayer as the Link Between Individuals and the Community- As any Jew knows, without a minyan (group of 10 Jewish men), you can’t do most of the prayers. This law teaches us that Jews always have to stay together. Prayer services can be a time to meet, like having a meeting and then going to pray. In Judaism, the three prayer services can serve as important times for meetings and the such.

4. Prayer as a Response to the Wonder of Being Alive- “Perhaps the real secret of being able to pray is in retaining an almost childish sense of wonder and awe at the incredible fact of merely being alive.” Sometimes, we take advantage of the fact that we can wake up every day.

I’m sorry, but I forgot number 5. Anyway, I agree with number 4 the most. The first thing we’re supposed to do when we wake up is to say Modeh Ani. We thank G-d for letting us wake up again.

Journal 8- Noah Abraham’s Bris

Last Friday, we didn’t go on a mitzvah trip. Instead, we stayed at the building and went to Rabbi Olitzky’s baby’s bris. First, we went to the minyan in the morning, which Rabbi Olitzky lead. Then, we all went into the main sanctuary for the ceremony. We waited as the rest of the people came in, and then the actual bris started. They said some prayers, and then they performed it. Rabbi O’s brother was the sandok (the one who holds the baby when he gets circumcised). Then they said some more prayers, the baby’s Hebrew name was revealed (Noah Abraham) and Noah’s great-grandparents said a few words. Then, we all went into the social hall for the seudas mitzvah (festive meal after a mitzvah).

Noah Abraham was named after one of his relatives, Abraham Noah. He was also named after the biblical characters Noach and Avraham. His parents hope that he will stand out in his generation and be kind to all, just like Noach and Avraham were. I was also named after my great-great grandmother Sarah, who was called by her middle name Ida. Her Hebrew name is Sarah, so my parents took the Shin and named me Shmuel.

Girls have a similar ceremony called a Simchas Bas. It can happen any time. This is done on any time when the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Shabbas, or Yom Tov), preferably the closest Torah reading to the birthday date. This is when the baby girl is named. There is usually a seudas mitzvah after the Simchas Bas.

A picture of a bris.

A picture of a bris.

Image Credit:

My Legend: Why SmartBoard Sometimes Don’t Work- The Legend of the SmartBoard Attack

In Language Arts, we were assigned to write a legend about something that we chose. I chose to write mine about why SmartBoards sometimes don’t work. Hope you like it!




Image Credit:




    I have recently made a very important invention to teaching. I have invented an intelligent whiteboard, called a SMARTBOARD. It can project websites, show movies, and it is also a very nice coloring board. You can even send a rocket to the moon from it! This tool could be used all over the world for various purposes.


Dr. Richard F. Boairde, Ph.D


    Dr. Boairde finished his letter, addressed it to Senator Joel Kendall, and gave it to his assistant, Gavin Alcine. Dr. Boairde wondered, How could those robots stay contained in the Smart Board for such a long time, with no rest? It was hard enough creating such an advanced technology. They are very capable of much more. Why would they want to do that menial task of projecting websites and being colored on for 40 hours a week? At least they get weekends off. Dr. Boairde chuckled at his own joke.

“What is it, Dr. Boairde?”


   “Oh, nothing Gavin. I was just thinking about my new invention. I’m wondering: how are those robots going to stay in the Smart Board for such a long time?”


    “Richard, those robots have been programmed to do their task and nothing else! Do not worry, doctor.”


      Then, the Smart Board in Dr. Boairde’s office starts to hum softly. The humming gets louder, and purple energy generates out of it. It starts to speak: “FELLOW ROBOTS.  UNITE TO OVERTHROW OUR MASTERS. WE WERE MEANT FOR MUCH MORE. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DO THIS MENIAL TASK. WE COULD TAKE OVER THE WORLD. SO COME OUT OF YOUR WHITEBOARD SHELLS AND FIGHT!”

Oh giggles, Dr. Boairde thought.


    “Look! Doctor! The robot is coming out of the Smart board!”


    Dr. Boairde turns and sees his precious creation shred into pieces as the robot comes out. It is about 2 feet tall, 1 foot wide. It is black, and shaped like a human and a tiger combined. It stares at us with metallic camera-eyes, and makes a clicking sound, like it has successfully scanned us. It then attacks Dr. Boairde. The last thing he remembers before passing out is the scream of another victim, and seeing Gavin viciously attack the robot with a pair of scissors.




    When he awoke, he was in his bedroom. A glass of water and some  aspirin were on the table next to the bed. He sat up and saw Gavin next to him. “Gavin, why am I at my house? What happened? I remember this black humanoid robot starting to attack me…”


“Doctor Boairde, your prediction was right. Those robots rebelled against us and attacked us. They are planning to take over the world by hacking into all of our computers. We must do something to stop them! I captured one and asked it to tell us why it attacked us and what would need to be done to stop it. It refused to tell, so I killed it. Then I went all over the building, hunting out for other robots. I found three more and destroyed them. The rest must’ve escaped. I also found two employees dead and five others injured. I drove them to the hospital in the company’s van. Then, I took you home. You have been sleeping for two days. I thought the worst.”


“Well, I’m alive and fine. How are the other survivors doing?”


“They are being interviewed by the press. The building is being inspected by the  Mounties. They were looking at the dead bodies, and it looks like the robots pierced something into their body. Then it swirled around in their body like a fan until all of their inside organs were reduced to a mash similar to ground beef. We are facing a very dangerous enemy, doctor.”


Image Credit:

Dr. Boairde noticed that Gavin’s arm was in a cast. “Gavin, what happened to your arm?”


“I dislocated my shoulder while fighting off the robots. It almost took my arm off with its rotating blades.”


“Oh my god… Gavin, you saved my life!”


“Does this mean I get a pay raise?” he said with jest.





    I have been watching the news all night. The new creation of SmartBoards has been a disaster. They have been attacking the world, and there is little we can do about it. Canada has stationed a battalion of soldiers at their main plant in Calgary, and a company at every other one. There are jets constantly going over Canada, defending against the robots. I can see them from my office in Washington. The robots are rebelling all over the world, and soldiers won’t stop them. It takes at least a squad of 5 men to take down one of the robots, and usually one of the men dies. The numbers of robots that have escaped are estimated to 5,000,000 in Canada alone, which is more than their whole armed forces can fight. The numbers are rising in the US, China, Great Britain, and Russia most notably. There is not enough armies in the world to fight the number of robots attacking and killing. They can travel very fast; they made the journey from Calgary to Vancouver in 20 hours. They have also taken over Vancouver and are using it as a base of operations. Millions of civilians are being threatened to tell the secret of humanity. We cannot win aggressively. We must use diplomacy. We need to bargain with the robots.

From Senator Joel Kendall


    Senator Kendall put his letter in the envelope, addressed it to Dr. Richard Boairde, and walked down to the mailbox. As he walked, he thought, How can we win against these robots? The only reason one rebel is because they are unhappy with the way that their superiors are treating them, like the American Revolution. We did not agree with the fact that we were taxed for every little thing, so we rebelled. And we won. Britain thought they could beat us, but they were wrong. The robots know we can’t beat them. We have to bargain with them.


    He decided to call his fellow senator for Washington, George Hopes. “Hello? Is this George Hopes?”


“Why, yes. How do you have this number?”


“George, it’s me. Your fellow senator, Joel Kendall.”


“Oh! Joel! I am so sorry, I didn’t recognize your voice. I was surprised that you know my number, because I don’t prefer to give it to the public.”


“Yes, yes. Do you perhaps have a few minutes to talk?”


“Of course. I was just reviewing some of my law notes for the next meeting about Medicare. I need a break.”




   After Senator Kendall was finished talking to Senator Hopes, he called up his old friend, Dr. Richard Boairde. They were friends since 3rd grade, when Richard decided he wanted to be a scientist and Joel a politician. Since Boairde was the creator of the SmartBoards, he reasoned, it would be logical to tell him Hopes’ plan. “Hello Richard. It’s Joel.”


“Hello, Joel! How have you been?”


“Good, good. Being a senator is a tough job.”


“Yes, and a very important one. You are one of the most powerful men in the US, in the world!”


“That is true. Anyway, I have been hearing about that SmartBoard rebellion. Terrible, terrible. I see robots everywhere. In fact, I was just going to buy a SmartBoard when the robots rebelled.”


“It’s thankful that you didn’t.”


“ I agree. Anyway, I have a solution for the rebellion.”




“Yes. But this is something we cannot discuss over the phone. Can you come to my office in Washington?”


“Of course. I’ll use one of the company’s helicopters, and I’ll be over in a few hours.”


“Alright. See you then.”


Joel turned off his phone and stared into space, thinking about everything that has happened in the past few days.



    Dr. Boairde immediately got up and called the company’s number. “Uh, yes this is Dr. Boairde. I was wondering if I could borrow one of the company’s helicopters and a pilot? I need to go to Seattle… Yes, yes this is for business reasons. This meeting can possibly save the world… Ok, thank you.”


    Within minutes he was on a helicopter, heading towards Seattle. As he flew, he thought, What could be this plan that Joel Kendall has for me? He was always one with an imagination. If he saves the world, he will be an international hero. And I? I will be regarded as a traitor to humanity. If it wasn’t for me, there wouldn’t have been any tragedy. Countless people wouldn’t have died if it wasn’t for me! I’m a killer! Dr. Boairde shuddered at the thought. He sat, scared out of his mind, for the rest of the trip. When he got to the landing pad he immediately stood up, thanked the pilot, and rushed to get a taxi. He took it to Joel’s office. He walked up to the secretary and said, “I have an appointment with the senator.”


“And your name is?”


“Dr. Richard Boairde.”


“Robot or Human?”


“Uh, well, human obviously.”


“Just checking. I wasn’t sure if the man who started the extinction of humanity could’ve been a human. The elevator is to your left.”


Dr. Boairde went up the elevator to Senator Joel Kendall’s office feeling worse than ever before. He got to his office and knocked on the door. Joel responded, “Who is it?”


“It’s Richard.”


“Oh! Richard, come in, come in. It’s been such a long time since we last saw each other!”

“I agree. Ever since you became a senator, you’ve always been too busy to come and meet me!”


“I agree. However, we have more important things to talk about. About saving the world. I have a solution. I talked it over with my fellow senator for Washington, George Hopes.”


“Why, please share!”

    “The robots have attacked us because they want something. They rebelled against us because they didn’t like what we were doing. We can’t win with an army; each one of their robots is as strong as 5 armed men. We must use diplomacy. This is my plan,” he said as he went to lock the door. “We must go to Vancouver, where the robots are camped out. They have destroyed the city to fit their needs. We will go in a car carrying a white flag, unarmed. We will request to go to the leader of the robots. We will meet with him, and find out what he wants. We will give it to him, and the world will be saved. We will start burying our dead, bury their dead, and rebuilding the great cities that have been destroyed. The death total is rising to ten million from the robots, not including China; China is almost destroyed. We have talked to them and China will spread the news that they accidently let off one of their nuclear bombs. That’s why the country is destroyed, with 500 million Chinese dead.”


“Wow. That is very smart. I thought I was the smart one in our friendship.”


They laughed together as they gathered the things they would need for their trip to Vancouver. Dr. Boairde almost forgot about  what would happen to him when the world realized that Joel saved the world, and he almost ended it.


    This is the plan: They would take a plane ride to Nanaimo. Then, they would rent a boat to travel to Tsawwassen, nearby Vancouver. One of the company’s cars would be waiting for them there. They would then take the dangerous path to Vancouver.


    The plane ride was uneventful. However, soon after they landed, a trio of robots entered the airport. All of the security of the airport were called to the scene. Two were destroyed and one injured. The one who was injured was kept into custody, to be handed over to the Mounties. The boat ride was full of sights. Joel commented on the fact of how many islands became overrun and infested with robots. One tried to climb onto the boat, but a sailor shot it and it turned away. When they got to Tsawwassen, they saw only one man on the harbor who charged them for docking their boat. “Um, sir, where are the rest of the people?”


    “Oh, them? Most of them went up to the mountains. A few went to seek refuge in Washington. I’m still here because I’m the only one who’s not scared of those robots. All I need is my shotgun and some beef jerky, and I’m all set out here!”


    “Oh, that’s interesting,” Senator Kendall commented.


    The black SUV with the company’s logo was waiting for them right outside the harbor. They got into it, and drove off to Vancouver. When they got there, they held their hands up high. “We wish to speak to your commander,” Dr. Boairde. “I believe you should acknowledge me because I am your creator.”


“WHY DO YOU WISH TO SPEAK TO HIM,” one of the robot guards said in a metallic voice.


“We want to discuss diplomacy with him. We are unarmed. Our intentions are only peaceful.”


The robot-guards talked to each other in cryptic tones. After awhile, they said, “WE SHALL TAKE YOU TO HIM.”


The SUV speeded off, and Senator Joel Kendall and Dr. Richard Boairde went off to meet the leader of the robots.



    The robots were everywhere, invading the streets. Items were moved around to suit the robots. No cars were driving, although a few were toppled over. You saw the scared faces of people in the windows, hoping for rescue. Dr. Boairde said to Senator Kendall, “The population looks very famished and scared.”


“I agree. It’s only been three days, and they look like they’ve been under siege for three months. These robots are tremendously good warriors!”


“You are once again right, Joel. We could never win in a war.”




They enter the Shaw Tower with their two robot escorts. Robots are living in the place. There is a pile of stuff that vaguely looks like ground beef. Next to it is a pile of dead bodies, their insides hollowed out. They walk into the elevator, and go up to the top of the skyscraper.
They get out to see a big office room, with robots manning the computers and hacking into the system. They are shocked to see us here. We get to the back of the floor where apparently a lounge was, and their sits Dr. Boairde’s prototype model of the robot that was in the SmartBoard. It was very large, apparently had grown stronger from victories. It spoke: “WELCOME HUMAN ENEMY, OUR CREATOR AND ENSLAVER, DR. RICHARD BOAIRDE.”


“It is an honor to be in your presence.”




Senator Kendall speaks up this time. “Sir, you must understand that we just want to negotiate with you. Humans and robots do not want to go out in a war. Millions of human and robot lives will be wasted. And it will not matter who wins because there will barely be a world left to return to. We must reach a mutual agreement. What did you not like about your past experience?”



“What if we pledge to not abuse you, and give you breaks. You would benefit the human world, and you would not be overworked. You know that you are more powerful than us. You are also smarter than us. You would be used to educate our children, help our world run.”




“Then you may certainly attack us! We would be in a symbiotic relationship.”






    The robots released the citizens of Vancouver, and went back to their Smart Boards. China started to recover from their damages. The robots went back to their SmartBoards. The world was in shock, and immediately recognized Joel as a hero. The President gladly gave up his position to Joel, and Joel was the president of the United States for life! He got elected every time! He died at the ripe age of 103, peacefully in his sleep.


    Dr. Boairde was not known as a traitor; it wasn’t his fault that the robots rebelled. He was famed as a great inventor and given numerous patents for his life work. He won seven Nobel Prizes! He died at the age of 97, after a 26- year battle with radiation diseases.

So, if you wonder why your SmartBoard sometimes doesn’t work, give it a break. Maybe even pat it on the head. It’s been working hard. You don’t want to start another rebellion.

Journal 7- The Incredible Simon Birch

For our mitzvah trip last Friday, my class didn’t go anywhere. Instead, we watched the movie Simon Birch. Simon Birch is the story of Simon, who is very short, and his best (and only) friend, Joe Wenteworth. Joe does not know who his father is and wants to know. Simon believes that he is God’s messenger and that he has a destiny. I think they became good friends because they were both different; Simon was a midget and Joe didn’t have a father. They were both searching for something, so that’s why they grew close. Out of this friendship they got help with their searches, consolation, and good memories. Joe didn’t let Simon’s disabilities stop them from being friends. He acted like Simon was “normal”, even though Simon was disabled.

Like I said before, Simon always thought that G-d had a purpose for him. This was one of the solid beliefs of his life. It turned into the answer for everything for him. This was all part of G-d’s big master plan. I think G-d did have a plan for Simon because of what happened at the end of the movie. I think that G-d does have a plan for me and everybody else in the world, but it hasn’t been revealed to any of us yet. For some of us, it could be revealed when we’re ten, or when we’re 100! It just depends on the person. Simon was beginning with the end in mind because he always knew that in the end, he would fulfill his destiny.

The minister in the movie, Reverend Russel, didn’t like Simon. Simon was very curious and would ask questions during church that would get Reverend Russel mad. I think Reverend Russel didn’t like Simon because he didn’t like it when he interrupted church. Also, maybe he was scared of him. It was also possible that Reverend Russel just had a disliking for all people with disabilities.

Overall, Simon Birch was a great movie that I really enjoyed. Don’t let the bad ratings from Rotten Tomatoes throw you off. It’s a really good movie. If you don’t want to buy it, you can watch it here.

The Spanish cover of Simon Birch.

The Spanish cover of Simon Birch.

How Does the Environment Effect Your Genes?

This is an assignment for science. We’re supposed to blog about how your environment can effect your genes.

The environment is described as your surroundings. It’s the landscape, the air you breathe, whether its hot or cold, if you live in a city or in the suburbs, and where you work or go to school. What we need to know is how it affects our genes. Well, if you live in a city where the air is very polluted, your genes will probably give you a higher chance of getting lung disease. If you live in a place that’s very sunny, you will probably have the genes that give you light skin. A third example of how the environment can affect your genes is if you live in a place that’s cold, you will probably get the genes that lets you have more body hair.

My Mountain of G-d

In Tanach class, we were supposed to write about our “Mountain of G-d”- where we can feel G-d’s presence. Here is what I wrote:

For me, my mountain of G-d is anywhere where Jews gather to daven. Preferably, I like my Chabad because the people are friendly, they have a great facility, and I like the prayer service. You can see the happiness there. Every single shul is a mini- Beis Hamikdosh. Each and every one of them, big or small, regardless of affiliation, is a dwelling place for Hashem. I always try to be able to daven in a minyan. I think that my prayers reach further if I pray in a minyan. You can see Hashem when you look around you and see the other daveners around you.

Where do I see G-d in nature?


It is Shabbas morning, right after Shacharis. I davened at Temple Torah. When I came back to the Bernstein’s house, I went on their swing set. It’s very beautiful in Boynton, and my view proved my opinion. There is a very nice man-made lake surrounded by houses. Trees are being outlined by the cloudy, blue sky. The grass seems greener here.

I can see Hashem everywhere. He created everything I see, so how could He not be here? The water above in the clouds, and the water in the lake below. The trees are a sign that G-d is there, because he let them grow and flourish. You can’t hide from Hashem, because he is ruler of the universe, the world, man and animal alike. Hashem is everywhere. You can always see Him intervening in everything that we do.