Category Archives: Mitzvot

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.

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.

I have a dream…

I have a dream that there will be world peace. People will stop fighting over land, belief, race, and all of the other world issues. People will have a balance between happy and sad; right and wrong; and good and evil. They won’t be judgmental in a way that makes people hide their true personalities or thoughts. The government will be stable and countries will have good leaders that can all work together for a common goal. There will be no physical or mental harm done relating to race or religion. Everyone will be accepted for who they are and what they offer. People will help others in need, care for one-another, and be selfless. Life is short, and it will only get shorter if we keep living the way we are living. We need to wake up from this dream and make things happen.

“The Shamash lights all the other candles – BE a Shamash!”

“The Shamash lights all the other candles – BE a Shamash!”

 

This quote is implying to be a leader. When a Shamash lights a candle it gives the candle fire, or what they need, to burn, or to do something. The way a person could be like a Shamash is to give a group of people what they need to do something, or being a leader. As the Vice President of Knesset, I work as a leader alongside the President. Between the two of us, we give the members of Knesset what they need to accomplish certain things. We make sure they know what to do, and they can do it. This is one of many examples of acting like a Shamash.

 

Another interpretation of this same quote is to give. The Shamash gives the light to the other candles. Without the Shamash the other candles could not have been given the flame. If a person were to act like a Shamash in this meaning, they could give to people and be selfless.

זוכר

For this week’s mitzvah trip, our middle school took a trip to the cemetery and we cleaned gravestones for people, in and outside of our community, who have passed away. Fulfilling the mitzvah of Kavod haMeit, we said a prayer at two graves for people who were big parts of our community. One of the graves belongs to Scott Zimmerman, and another to Mr. and Mrs. Galinsky. It was a very meaningful experience and a quite touching one too.

I felt that this experience was very meaningful because we had a chance to clean gravestones for people who may not have other family living to do it for them. As mentioned before, we went to the Galinskys’ graves and we said a prayer for them. This particular family doesn’t have anybody alive that is related to them left to say a prayer, or even remember them. This is why it is a bigger mitzvah, because we did this without expecting a “Thank you”.

One part of this project that was especially meaningful to me was when we said El Malei at Scott Zimmerman’s grave. Scott was a huge part of our Jewish community who’s unveiling happens to be next week. It was very comforting to hear this prayer while thinking about him and how amazing of a person he was.

All in all, this experience was amazing and super meaningful so I hope to do something like this again in years to come.

Shmini Atzeret

This Tuesday is a Jewish holiday called Shmini Atzeret. We add a yizkor service, which is a memorial service. This is so we can remember people who have passed away and think about others even if we don’t know them. This allows people to think about their loved ones who have passed away.

This Shimini Atzeret I will be remembering my two great uncles, Yehoshua and Lipman. Even though I didn’t know them I believe that they should be remembered. They both passed away during the holocaust. Thankfully, we did have family members that survived including their mom, Riwa, and dad, Chaim. I am very grateful for the family that I have and for the family that I once had, even when I wasn’t alive.

Sukkot Sameach!

This Monday is a holiday called Sukkot. This is when we shake the lulav and etrog and sit and eat in the sukkah. It is a commandment to be happy on Sukkot. So, why should we be happy even if we aren’t? The truth is, I have no idea, but I do have a guess. My guess is that because we just spent the past two weeks repenting for our sins, now we should be happy to enjoy this holiday. Have a happy Sukkot!