Tears of a Tiger

Alcohol is a killer. People die everyday from driving under the influence or being a victim of a mistake of somebody who was under the influence. Rob, a character from the book Tears of a Tiger, by Sharon draper, was both a victim and a killer.

 

The big plot of the book was when four High School boys were in a car. They got into a crash because the driver, Andy, was drunk, along with two others who were in the car, causing one of them to die, Rob. This is an example of things that occur all the time in “real life”. Showing the results of this incident, including the impact it had on all of the boys and their friends, could influence and warn young readers to be responsible.

 

The author, Sharon Draper, had to have put a lot of thought into this book to make it have such an impact. The different perspectives of the characters, including the poems, letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, and police reports really added to the understanding of the situations on all sides of the story.

 

Andy’s Character Development

Recently I finished a book called Tears of a Tiger, by Sharon Draper. In the book, one of the main characters, Andy, was drunk and got into a car crash, killing his friend Rob. The major theme of this book was Andy’s guilt and how he dealt with this tragedy.

 

Andy is like many young people today. He can be dumb and he can be irresponsible, but he can also feel guilty. He was the cause of the death of one of his best friends, which is the irresponsible and dumb part. What happened after caused the guilt.

 

Andy is different than most teens because he became depressed after his friend was killed. While I know there are many depressed teens out there, which is awful, the average teen is not. Andy’s personality in the book went from having a good time with his friends to being depressed and eventually killing himself. Obviously, this is a very drastic change.

Andy changed a lot throughout the course of the novel. As stated before, he was happy and having a good time with his friends. He later becomes depressed because of his huge mistake. This sounds like a normal teen’s feelings if this ended up happening to that “normal teen”. Overall, Andy’s character development goes from 100 to 0 real quick.

Last Mitzvah Trip

This is one of your last school sponsored mitzvah projects. What is the one project we have not done that you would like to do? Since I won’t be scheduling mitzvah projects what project will you take on for yourself?

Next week will be one of our last mitzvah projects. One project that we have not done yet is a beach clean up. I think it would be not only beneficial for the animals in the ocean that could be killed from pollution, but also for the environment.

For my last mitzvah trip I would like to go to the cemetery to clean gravestones. This has been the most powerful mitzvah trip for me throughout all three years doing mitzvah trips so I would like to be able to go one last time together. I have yet to find my family in the cemetery, which I have just recently been told has been buried there, so I would really like to go and clean their gravestones.

Never Forget the 6 Million

Last Thursday was Yom Hashoah, or a Holocaust Remembrance day. The Holocaust was when 6,000,000 Jewish people were murdered by the Nazi’s because of the Jewish belief. The awful part was that it wasn’t even the Jewish belief that the Nazi’s didn’t like, it was the fact that the people were Jewish. So many people died as a result of this. We should continue to remember the acts and stories from the Holocaust so it never happens again. It is important to tell the stories of both survivors and those who unfortunately did not survive so people are informed about what really happened.

 

In order to make sure we, and generations following us, don’t forget these stories is by teaching them the background and passing along the stories. Once they know why this all happened and what exactly happened, they will understand that it was pure evil and was not deserved. 6,000,000 people did not deserve to die because the Nazi’s wanted to see them dead. That’s not how the world works, or should ever work. This is why we must remember.

Binge- Tyler Oakley

Binge, by Tyler Oakley, is a very funny and good book that I just finished. It is about Tyler Oakley who is a famous Youtuber. The book is a collection of stories about his life and how he became a famous Youtuber.

One of the main stories he talked about was how he developed an eating disorder and how he was able to overcome it. He was overweight and during gym class, he would always be the last one to finish his running mile. He started realizing that he didn’t like how he looked or how he felt so he began virtually starving himself. Later, his parents figured out what was going on and were able to get him help.

One of the major themes of the book was about how he is gay and how he has coped with this during his life. His dad did not accept him for who he was, but he later was able to look past it. His mom did accept him for being gay, so he had a good support system.

I thought this book was really funny because of this interesting perspective of the modern world, so I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. I would recommend this book to anybody in 8th grade and up because of some of the content.

Mount Carmel, Model Sedar, Mitzvahs, Oh My!

On Friday we visited Mount Carmel, a home for the elderly, and we did a model sedar for them. Many of the people there do not speak English, causing a language barrier. It is important to do this for them year after year, regardless of the language barrier, because it  fulfills the mitzvah of Hiddur P’nai Zaken. This means we are respecting the elderly.

The other reason we do this is because some of the residents at Mount Carmel may have forgotten how to conduct a sedar over the years. This was important because we helped them be able to fulfill mitzvahs on, or close to, the holiday.

Ha Lachma Anya

As a part of the Passover sedar, we get to the point where there is a paragraph called the הא לחמא עניא. This is about how you should welcome anybody who needs or wants to have a Passover sedar with you.  This is very important because it shows that you are supposed to allow anybody who is hungry to celebrate with you. Even in the times of the earliest Passover sedars there were less-fortunate people who needed help to have a sedar and have food. This reminds me of when we have our mitzvah trips on Fridays and help the hungry. Being a part of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and doing weekly mitzvah trips helps me help others by delivering food to the homeless, donating the needy, and helping animals in our community. This Jewish value of giving is very important to me because it makes you feel good knowing you did something to help somebody. The biggest impact it has made on me is that I am now more grateful for what I have.

 

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

In the Declaration of Independence, it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is a strong statement that certainly speaks for all of the people in the United States of America. This explains the most important rights of a human being, all of which I definitely agree with. It is super important, not only as an American but as a Jewish female, to hear these things.

Throughout history, Jews have been looked down on for crazy, made-up, reasons that make no sense. The part of this statement that talks about “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” proves that the United States supports these three main rights for each and every human, including Jews and other religions and races. Knowing that our past leaders wrote this and that they truly believed in everything they wrote, leads me to believe that the future for Jews will be a lot brighter than our dark, unfortunate past.

This sentence does not only make me think about being a Jew, but also a female. Females are constantly looked down upon for no reason whatsoever. Without knowing a person, it is not common for one to think, “oh, she probably can’t do this,” or, “she probably can’t do that,” simply because “she” is a girl. This stereotype that “women aren’t as good as men” began decades ago. The clause, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” leads me to believe that anybody can do anything if they set their mind to it, regardless of gender.

 

In conclusion, I strongly agree with this sentence and believe that it represents the United States of America in a great way.

Skinny: She was starving to fit in

Recently, I read a book called Skinny, by Laura L. Smith. This book was about a girl who developed an eating disorder. At first, she was just an ordinary girl who thought she was overweight, but it escalated to a different level later. Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 9.37.26 AMWhen everything in her life got stressful, like her boyfriend breaking up with her and having dance tryouts, she dealt with it in a different way. Her coping mechanism was to virtually starve herself so that she could “fit in” in other ways.

 

This was a good novel because it taught me about this disorder that affects many people in the world. It showed Melissa’s point of view as she went through this journey of developing an eating disorder and dealing with it later. This book would be a good read for middle schoolers and up. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.