Shalach Manot

On Friday, middle school went to deliver Shalach Manot for Purim. Here is a picture.

Finding Volume

In math we learned how to find volume. Here is an example. (Shape not drawn to scale)

Finding the Area of a Triangle

This week in math we learned how to find the area of a triangle. You multiply the base times height and divide by two. Here is an example.

Unfriended

Recently, I just finished a book called Unfriended, by Rachel Vail. It is about a girl named Truly who unintentionally dumps her best friend for a chance to sit with the popular kids. She got her nickname Truly from the name her parents used to call her, Yours Truly. She got the name for being honest and considerate. She hopes her friend Hazel won’t mind. Her former best friend, Natasha, dumped her and became popular. Will Hazel forgive Truly? This was a great middle school book, describing complicated friendships. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction.

Finding Area

This week in math we learned how to find area. You multiply length times width. Here is an example.

Hey, Little Ant

We just finished a book called Hey, Little Ant, by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. It is about a boy who sees an ant on the sidewalk and is deciding if he should squish it. To his surprise, the ant talks to him and begs him to let him live. The story ends asking what you would do. Would you squish the ant or not? I would not squish the ant because the ant never did anything. The boy wants to squish him because his friends squish ants all the time.

This goes with a Jewish law: צער בעלי חיים
the ethical treatment of animals. The basic idea of this is that the benefit for humans has to outweigh the pain and suffering of animals. The benefit of the boy doesn’t outweigh the pain and suffering of the ant, so he shouldn’t step on the ant. Although some ants are pests, this ant in the story didn’t do anything. The ant should live because the boy didn’t have a reason to kill the ant.

Righteous Gentiles

This week we had a speaker come in to talk about Righteous Gentiles. They were people that were not Jewish rescuing Jewish people during the Holocaust. A man named Ivan Beltrami began to defend Jews and joined the resistance. He was a doctor, and as a intern, he hid Jews in the hospital.

Dr. Beltrami also sent messages between other resistance centers. He was also able to hide Jews in his home. He spent hours warning Jews about raids and roundups. Dr. Beltrami even saved Jews from deportation. I can’t imagine how brave he was to do that and risk his life for strangers. I would not have been able to do that.

If I were in that situation, where if I would be endangering my family for a stranger, I wouldn’t know what to do. Dr. Beltrami and all of the other Righteous Gentiles were extremely brave and courageous. I don’t think I would have been able to do that for someone. I wouldn’t want to endanger my family and myself. They rescued people they didn’t even know, knowing that they were doing something dangerous.

Finding Percents

In math this week, we learned how to find percentages in a question. I have come up with a question and answered it.

Yanek’s Story, a Story of Survival

The book Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz is about a boy named Yanek. He is living in Poland during the Holocaust. He overcomes many obstacles in hopes of surviving. In my opinion, the most dreadful thing that Yanek had to deal with was when he was in Auschwitz.

The first thing that Yanek had to endure had to do with his best friend Fred. First of all, Fred became Yanek’s first friend since the war began. Yanek hadn’t had a true friend since the war since Uncle Moshe, Yanek’s uncle, told him to be no one and make no friends. Fred made Yanek feel stronger because he had someone to talk to. They ate together, slept near each other, and worked side by side. Unfortunately, Fred became sick. One morning, Fred couldn’t get out of bed, and the Nazis beat and hung him. I can’t imagine losing my best friend, especially in such a cruel way.

Secondly, Yanek lived in horrible conditions. The floor of his barrack wasn’t even a real floor. It was a muddy swamp. Everyone slept on a wooden shelf. There were no pillows, no blankets, and no mattress. I can’t imagine living in these conditions and am grateful that I have a bed. The food, like always, was awful. They were only given a bowl of tepid soup. The prisoners had to use latrines instead of a normal bathroom. At night, they were forced to use a bucket.

Finally, Yanek was put in a death march. Everyone from Auschwitz was forced to walk to the next camp. The Nazis forced them to go in the death march because they were afraid of the Allies coming and liberating the Jews. I can’t imagine having to walk so far, especially in the cold. They were only given half a loaf of bread to last the trip. Yanek watched people fall to the ground, either from frostbite or Nazis shooting them. Yanek watched Ally planes flying overhead and dropping bombs. He wondered if they would be liberated.

In the end, Yanek had to endure so much pain. No one should ever be treated that way or suffer that much. Yanek witnessed the death of his best friend, walked endlessly for miles and miles, and lived in horrible conditions all to survive. I can’t imagine having to suffer that much. All in all, Yanek had to overcome many hardships to survive this terrible time in his life.