For the past two years, we have done Signature Events. In 4th grade, our Signature Event was to get a city in Florida, and research it and make an infomercial. (Mine was Jacksonville.) This year for our Signature Event each student was assigned a founding father or mother of America or Israel. We did something for our Signature Event in almost every resource. In General Studies, we learned about the Revolutionary War, and how to write an informational essay. In Art, we created a portrait of our assigned person using a style of panting called Monochromatic. This method of painting uses tints and shades. In Jewish Studies, we learned about we learned about the history of Israel and how it was founded. We learned about the long and hard process that the Jewish people had to go through to have their own country. I researched Theodor Herzl. If you don’t know who he is, watch the iMovie I made.
In honor of Israel’s 70th birthday, we were assigned to write a blog post on what I think are the four greatest achievements of Israel. We looked at this timeline, to give us ides.
My first one is that in 1964, Israel completed the National Water Carrier. The National Water Carrier is a pipe that carries water from northern Israel to southern Israel. This project is a big step to making the Negev Desert in southern Israel a place well equipped for planting and growing crops.
My second one is that in 1986, Israel introduced a new type of currency as the new national currency in Israel. This currency is called a shekel.
My third achievement of Israels’ is in 1999, two people, Amnon Shashua, and Ziv Aviram launch Mobileye. Mobileye is a system to prevent drivers from accidents. There are sensors all around the car, to alert the driver of objects around them. I think this one is amazing because this technology might cause fewer accidents, and fewer accidents mean fewer people dying.
My fourth and final achievement that Israel made, is in 2017, Miss Israel and former IDF combat instructor Gal Gadot, stared in Wonder Woman. This movie is the highest grossing movie directed by a woman, the highest grossing superhero movie film in the U.S., and the highest grossing female lead comic book movie.
Israel has gotten so far in the past 70 years. If you would like to visit the website, here is the link: https://www.israel21c.org/70-years-of-israeli-achievement/
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plague. Right now, we are on the 9th plage; the plague of Darkness. The plague lasted for 3, or 6 days. We don’t really know, but I’ll talk about that later. Moshe started the plague, and he started it by raising his hand, then darkness fell over Egypt. But only for the Egyptians, not the Israelites. The plague affected the Egyptians. Pharoah asked Moshe not to come see him again, and G-d hardened his heart.
Rashi has a question on why the Torah says: There was darkness in Egypt for 3 days, and the Egyptians could not see each other for 3 days. His question is: Why does it say it lasted for 3 days, twice? His answer is that the first 3 days was just darkness, and the second 3 days were thick darkness, kind of like a fog, but you can not even move! If you are sitting, you stay sitting, and if you are standing, you stay standing. There is a saying that goes along with Rashis’ opinion: חושך מיצרים People use this saying when they are describing something very dark. Another assumption that Rashi has is that during this plague, the Israelites didn’t steal jewelry, but they went into the Egyptians’ house to see if they had any valuables. So when they left Egypt, they could ask them for their valuables and if they said no, the Israelites would know that they were lying.
Which opinion of Rashi do agree with more?
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plague. Right now, we are learning about the 8th plague; the plague of Locusts’. Moshe starts the plague by lifting his hand, and a wind from the east came, and brought a swarm of locusts with it. We don’t know how long this plague lasted for, but commentaries say that if the Torah does not specifically say how long the plague is, they say it lasted for about a month. The plague affected the Egyptians, their animals, and all of their plants and crops. In this plague, G-d hardened Pharoahs’ heart, so the Egyptians and the Israelites could see how powerful G-d actually is. Pharoah told Moshe to stop the plague, and Moshe lifted his hands and a wind from the west came, and brought the swarm of locusts away with it. Rashi does not have an opinion on this plague.
What would you do if a swarm of locusts randomly showed up in your town?
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plague. Right now, we are learning about the 7th plague; the plague of Hail. Moshe starts the plague. He starts it by lifting his hands into the air. We don’t know how long the plague lasted for, but commentaries say that if the Torah does not specifically say how long the plague lasts for, we guess that it lasted for about a month. The plague affected the Egyptians and unfortunately, their animals. Pharoah was stubborn, and he hardened his heart.
In class, we look if Rashi has any opinions on this plague. He had two questions. His first one was: If there was fire on the hail, how did it not melt the hail, and how did the hail, not put out the fire? His answer is that the fire and hail “made peace” with each other. There is a saying in Hebrew. It is: נס בתוך נס It means that there is a miracle within a miracle. His second question was: Moshe had to pray to G-d to ask him to stop the plague. In the Torah it says he had to go out of the city to pray to G-d. Why did he have to leave the city to pray to G-d? Rashi’s answer was saying that if there are idols anywhere around you, you are not allowed to pray, because it will be like you are praying to an idol. Back then in Egypt, the Egyptians would bow down to idols, so there were idols all around Egypt.
What do you think the most valuable thing the Egyptians lost during the plagues?
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plage. Right now, we are learning about the sixth plague, the plague of boils. In this plague, Moshe starts it. He starts the plague by throwing פיח כבשן (ashes) into the air. After he threw the ashes, all of the Egyptians, and their בהמה (animals) had boils. We think this plague lasted for 1 month, because it does not specifically say in the Torah how long it lasted for. In this plague G-d hardened Pharoah’s heart, so he could show the Israelites and the Egyptians that he had a lot of power. Pharoah did not let the Israelites go.
In class, we also look if Rashi has any opinions on the plague. This time, his question was: In the previous plague, דבר (cattle disease), all of the Egyptians’ animals died, but in the Torah it says that the animals also got boils. How is this possible? Rashi explains that only the animals that were outside got the disease, and if the Egyptians had a barn, or kept the animals in their house, the animals would not die.
Of the last three plagues, which one do you think was the worst?
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plague. Right now, we are learning about the 5th plague; the plague of livestock (מקנה) disease. In the 5th plague, all the Egyptians’ livestock contracted a disease, and eventually died. But, none of the Israelites’ livestock died.
We do not know how long this plague lasted, but most people think the plague lasted for a month. Previously, Aaron started the plagues, but this time, Moshe started the plague. The plague affected the Egyptians and their livestock because ALL of the animals died. Nowadays, people wouldn’t mind so much if their cows, sheep, and camels died because, well, we can go to the grocery store, and the mall if we needed clothes or food. But back then, if you wanted meat, you would need a cow, and if you didn’t have a cow, no meat for you! If you needed new clothes your sheep could not provide wool. Lastly, if you needed to go somewhere very urgently, you would need a camel to ride to get to your destination. As you can probably guess, Pharoah got super mad about this plague, especially when he heard that none of the Israelites’ animals, died. What would you do if all your livestock died? What would you do for clothes, meat, and transportation?
In General Studies, we created a poem or a free verse. We did this by writing down a noun on a piece of paper. Next we, rotated to the right, and wrote an adjective on each person’s paper until we got back to our own seat. The hard part was that we only had about 30 seconds at each desk, so we had to think about an adjective for the noun in a really short amount of time. I thought that it was really fun because we got to see what everyone else thought about our noun, instead of just using our own words. My noun was the world. I like that I chose that noun because there are son many adjectives for the world, so I got to make mine very descriptive.
In Jewish Studies, we are learning about each plague. Right now, we are learning about the fourth plague, Wild Animals. Moses started the plague for the first time, instead of Aaron. The Torah dosen’t specifically say how long the plague lasts, so famous commentaries say it lasted for a month. The plague a affected the Egyptians and their houses. Pharoah got very mad, and did not let the Israelites go, because his heart was hard. Which is a metaphor for being stubborn. Rashi does not have any famous opinions on this plague. So far, I think that this has been the worse plague of all. Another thing that happened this plague, is Pharoah let the Israelites pray to G-d. Back then, they would pray to G-d, by sacrificing animals on a מזבח, Alter. To Egyptians, Sheeps were considered a G-d, so Moses had to pray out of Egypt. Since Rashi didn’t have any opinions on this plague, what are some of your opinions?