Journal 24- “I am Slave”

Yesterday and today, as our Hebrew classes and our Meaningful Moment, we watched the movie I am Slave on Youtube. It is about a girl who was kidnapped when she was twelve from the Sudan and forced into slavery. She served a few masters before escaping and reuniting with her family. She was a slave for six years. This movie was filmed in 2010, and is based on the life of an actual person. It was a very powerful and sad movie. I still don’t understand how slavery can still exist.

We were asked why we would watch this movie in preparation for Pesach (Passover). Well, I think that we would watch it because it is about slaves, and we were slaves in Egypt. The whole theme of Pesach is Yetzias Mitzrayim, freedom and exodus from Egypt. Our bracha (blessing) for the day was one saying, Thank you, G-d, for making me free. This certainly applies to the movie because this woman survived during slavery and eventually escaped. She became free.


Passover items on sale.

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Go here to watch the full movie on Youtube.

SBC- C2, A3

Helllo WWW! I am back in the Student Blogging Challenge as a participant and a mentor. I have been busy (and I was in North Carolina for the past four days) so I did not get to do any writing for the second challenge. I’m sorry it’s late, but at least I’m doing it! I promise that you will see much more blogging for the challenge than this one post.

Activity 3. If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why?

Well, the cities to go to would be Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. Other “extra time” cities would be Pensacola, Gainesville, Boca Raton, and Key West. Now, I will explain to you what to see in these cities.


Tallahassee- Capital, lots of historic places, museums.

Jacksonville- One of the big cities, has a lot of entertainment, zoo, Adventure Landing, and me! One of two NFL teams in Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Orlando- A must to go for young families. Has Disney, Universal, Seaworld, and lots others.

Tampa- Has Busch Gardens, another one of the big cities, home of one of two Florida MLB teams, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Miami- Biggest city, lots of attractions. Home of other NFL team, the Miami Dolphins, and the other MLB team, the Florida Marlins.


Pensacola- Right on the Panhandle, lots of history and fun.

Gainesville- Average-sized city. Home of the Gators.

Boca Raton- Just a nice city overall!

Key West- Very beautiful, the bottom of Florida and the end of US-1.

Journal 22- Gone After 103 Years

Last Friday was the funeral of Tessie Taxier, who was 103 years old when she died. Our    middle school frequently visited her for the past 20 years, and our visits brought her much happiness and enjoyment. We would play the piano and sign for her, and she would play the piano for us. We are asked to write what we want our legacy to be when we die. I want my legacy to be for a great inspiration for many. I want to grow up and do something that will really help the world. Maybe I could become a great leader, or invent something. I could cure cancer or stop pollution. I just want to help as many people as I can.

My Meaningful Prayer- Ashrei

In our Tuesday prayer class, we have to find one prayer we find the most meaningful and answer questions. I chose Ashrei.

1. Why is this prayer important or my favorite? I like this prayer because it is organized alphabetically and talks about lots of different subjects. It is said that if you say this prayer three times a day, you are guaranteed a place in the world.

2. What do I think it means? I think it is talking about what the Jewish people will say about G-d, and how they will say it. It gives great praises to Him.

3. How is this tefillah (prayer) important for the prayer service? It is important because it is one of the main prayers that is sung and recited often. Also, it is an important “marker prayer” in the service because you know that we will soon have the Shema.

4. Are there specific verses I find more meaningful? What are they, and why? No, not really. I like them all and find them all really meaningful. I do really like the second to last one, that says G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked.

Journal 21- Feeding the CIW Workers

The last ten days, a group of about 50 Coalition of Immokalee workers have been touring ten cities. They toured last Thursday in Jacksonville. Last Friday, we served them breakfast. We gave cereal, milk, coffee, doughnuts, eggs, potatoes, and oragne juice. A worker spoke to us and told us a little bit of his story.

The tomato pickers are a case of modern day slavery. They are subject to long hours under the hot Florida sun with no shade or water, and subject to abuse. For one big bucket of tomatoes (which was overflowing), they got 50 cents. Now, thanks to the actions of the CIW, they are allowed to have water and shade, and the limit for a bucket as “full” was changed. They can report abuse without fear, and now they get paid 82 cents a bucket. i did not learn anything from the man talking, although it was interesting.

One of the four mitzvahs of Purim, the Jewish holiday that was on Sunday, is to give to the poor. This was giving to the poor because they are poor workers petitioning for rights. Another mitzvah is to have a Purim feast. This was a feast because we invited them to come and eat a big meal. I hope that we can all unite to help the tomato pickers get more and more rights. One day, they will hopefully not be “modern day slaves” any more.



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Journal 20- A Home for the Cats

Last week, for our mitzvah trip, we visited the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. The Catty Shack is a refuge, a permanent home for big cats. The cats come from places like zoos that are cvlosing down and illegal private owners. They have more than 40 animals currently. Thye have lions, tigers, cougars, foxes, leopards, bobcats, and coatimundis. They are an official non-profit orginization, and everybody volunteers. They have a medical facility at the campus, and a thrift store which all proceeds go to the Catty Shack.

We went to the Catty Shack to help us learn about Tzaar Baalei Chayim– the Ethical Treatment of Animals. That basically means to treat animals kindly. Even when we kill animals for meat, the Torah tells us to do it in a non-painful way. We have to cut the animal in a spot where it will kill it with one strike. It also forbids animal testing, and medical studies on animals. However, if the benefit for the human outweighs the pain for the animal, then we can do research.

I believe that the Catty Shack does do the mitzvah of Tzaar Baalei Chayim, for many reasons. One, they do not mistreat their animals. They give them enough food, water, and living space. The people provide toys so the animals do not get bored and can still exercise. Also, they have a fully equipped medical center right there next ot the animals so they don’t have to travel long distances to get check-ups. It is a non-profit orginization and the people volunteer, so you know that they care and aren’t doing it for money or some other wrong reason.



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Journal 19- “Look for the beauty in life”

For our Friday prayer alternative, we watch videos that have meanings. This week, we watched a part of an interview of the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor. Alice Herz-Sommer was 110 years old when she died, last week. (The interview was made in December 2011.) I believe that her view on life is amazing, and I wish that everyone could have it. She has remained very optimistic throughout her many years and all that she has suffered through, and that is probably why she survived the Holocaust. She thinks that we should always see the good in what is happening, not the bad.

An eulogy to her great, long life.