Remember The Ones Who Are Gone

Last Friday for our mitzvah trip,We went to a Jewish cemetery and we cleaned peoples graves. By doing that we observed the mitzvah of Kavod Ha-Meit. Kavod Ha-Meit is the mitzvah of honoring the dead. This was the first time this year we went there. We cleaned the graves by using gloves and filling buckets with water, soap, bleach, and detergent.

This whole experience was important for a few reasons. The first reason it was important was because we are following an important mitzvah of honoring the dead. The second reason this is important is because we are doing stuff no one else does. Last reason is that it makes people happy.

If I had to choose the most meaningful part I would choose the part when the drivers would send pictures of us cleaning there family members graves because all of them said thank you very much.

Remembering To Remember

Last Sunday night was the start to the Jewish holiday Shmini Atzeret. Shmini Atzeret is a Jewish holiday which is the eighth day of assembly. This holiday comes at the end of Sukkot and right before the start of Simchat Torah. On this holiday we add special prayers and one special service. That one service we add is the Yizkor service. The Yizkor service is a memorial service. We say prayers for the people who died. We also are suppose to remember them. They are a few people I remembered.

The people I remembered during the Yizkor service weren’t just family members. They were friends too. From my family I remembered the part of my family that died in the holocaust. I also remembered, my grandma (bubby), my grandpa (Benard) who escaped the holocaust. I also remembered my two uncles who died. Uncle Louie, and Stevie. Lastly from my family my great great uncle Maury who died on 4th of July this year at the age of 103. I also remembered two people who died who worked for the Jacksonville Jewish Center which were Don Kris and Scott Zimmerman.

I remember all these people because they loved me. My bubby would always want me to report to her about football. My Grandpa told me about escaping the holocaust and other things. He said I can do anything. My Uncle Louie loved sports. I would talk to him about them with my cousins. My uncle Stevie I never met in my life. He died before I was born. Coincidentally he died right before my mom got pregnant with me. My parents said that we past each other on the way. I was coming down and he was coming up. My great great Uncle Maury was a world war 2 hero in the navy. He helped the U.S. capture a Japanese submarine. He also told me that if you work hard for something, you can achieve it.

NFL Films Presents Throw The Long Bomb

For my first book of the school year I read the sports fiction book Throw the Long Bomb by Jack Laftin.  It is a really old book because it was published in 1967. The book centers around rookie quarterback Ronnie Baxter who was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants. The signed him to a rookie contract (two years) with a signing bonus. The New York had two other quarterbacks who were really good. He made it through training camp but will he make the team? I rate this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who loves sports books.

The Good and the Good

On Rosh Hashanah it is the books of life and death are written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. These are questions which are found from the yikzor prayer book. How many will pass and how many will be created? Who will live and who will die? Who in their time, and who not their time? Who by fire and who by water? Who by sword and who by beast? Who by hunger and who by thirst? Who by earthquake and who by drowning? Who by strangling and who by stoning? Who will rest and who will wander? Who will be safe and who will be torn? Who will be calm and who will be tormented? Who will become poor and who will get rich? Who will be made humble and who will be raised up?

Yom kippur starts tomorrow night. We are now in the last days of repentance. During the days of repentance, we are suppose to do tefillah, teshuvah and tzedakahI have done all of those things during the last ten days. I have done teshuvah. Teshuvah is when you forgive. Not only forgiving but you let other people forgive you. Its also when you say sorry to everyone you hurt and you tell them this is what I will do to make it better. In school and my neighborhood I have been going apologizing for everything I did to hurt them. Thank heavens they accepted my appology.

I have also done Tefillah. Tefillah is prayers. We do them in school Monday through Thursday. I even do more than that. I also went to Sunday morning minyan which starts really early in the morning. The last thing is Tzedakah. Tzedakah is a commandment by god. One is commandents is to give to the poor whether it is food, money, etc. I did tzedakah over the weekend. Since the summer I have been getting rid of my clothes and toys. I sell some of them, but some I rather just giveaway. My parents told me to put everything I didn’t want into bags. I made four big bags of clothes and toys. Plus a Samsung 20 in from the 90s. I never had the chance to give it to salvation army. Over the weekend I did. We added more toys and clothes and we brought it to salvation army.

Shannah Tova Have A Sweet New Year!

On Friday for our mitzvah trip we delivered hundreds of honey cakes to citizens all over Jacksonville because Rosh Hashanah was coming. Our middle school was split up into groups to deliver to different routes. My group was Channah, Jolie and I in Morah Eta’s car. We delivered to honey cakes to patients at a rehab facility. Since it was also 9/11 we got to deliver to first responders. This included the fireman and the police force.


Image Credits: Jolie


The delivery that was most meaningful to me was all of the deliveries we made because it made the person so happy.  At the rehab center one of the people we delivered I didn’t even know him. When we walked in the room, he was so happy to us. This man has parkinsons desease and a broken hip. He told us he could walk from the nurse and back. He motivated me to not quit on anything no matter what. He said,” When you guys deliver to me for Purim I will be walking.”


The deliveries enhanced my Rosh Hashanah because it is starting the new year by doing something good. It made think my year is going to be a lot better than it was and I am glad because you always want to get the new year started on the right foot not the wrong foot.

Forgive Yourself So You Can Forgive Others

What does a disney and the high holidays have in common? Well let me tell you how. Last Friday for our mitzvah trip we stayed in the building and watched the disney movie Big Hero Six. Here is a brief description for those who haven’t watched the movie yet.

Its about a fourteen year old boy Hiro who is obsessed with robotics. He builds robots and uses them to compete bot wars. Some of them were illegal others weren’t. He lives with his Aunt Cass and his older brother Tadashi who attends a robotics university. One night Tadashi offers to take Hirro to his bot war and on the way Tadashi stops at the robotics university. He shows Hirro all the cool inventions they have and he meets all of Tadashi’s friends. Tadashi shows Hirro a secret one that was for Hirro. Baymax the robot that can help you with any medical help. Hirro tells Tadashi he wants to attend the school. Tadashi tells Hirro that they hold a showcase to get into the school. Hirro invents a way where microbots can be built into anything based on what you are thinking. Hirro presents it and gets into the university. After there is a mysterious fire and Tadashi goes in to try to save his professor and they died. The aftermath was depressing for Hirro until he found a little microbot. Where were all the others? Hirro builds a team of his university friends and baymax to find out what happened.

“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

This quote reflects the movie and life because no one is perfect. We have all done bad things. In the movie Hirro was a good kid who helped people but he let his emotions get the best of him. He wanted revenge on his brothers death. Like I said before this means no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.

This movie relates to the holiday Rosh Hashanah because in the movie the people were doing good and bad things. On Rosh Hashanah we ask god for forgiveness because no one is perfect. We also throw our sins away and get a fresh start for the new year.

Dreams Do Come True

Have you ever wanted a dream to come true? Any dream whether it is big or small? I have a lot of dreams. One of mine for example is be a sports announcer like Kevin Harlo, Phil Simms and Gus Johnson. Lets just say it came true.


It all started the week I went to camp. It wasn’t just any camp. It was the Harlem Globetrotters Shoot For the Stars basketball camp. The traveled around the country and it was hosted by two former players. It was hosted by Michael Douglas and Shorty. When I got there on the first day I met a bunch of campers who were really nice and I became friends with all of them. When camp started all the campers were split into groups which were also our teams for the week. My team was the dream team.  Shorty then said on the last day they will be competitions and prizes on Friday.

I couldn’t believe it was the last day of camp already. I was so nervous about the competitions. Unfortunately, I lost but who cares. Then, it was time for the all star game. All the parents and campers from others camps were there. I barely heard myself thinking, but I was ready to win and to start. I ended being the sixth man. Did I mention they had an announcer there with music. It was tip off time and oh man we weren’t doing our best.  We trailed 14-2 at halftime. Shorty was announcing, but he didn’t want to do it. So, he asked all of the campers if they wanted to announce the second half. I haven’t heard so many people in my life till then say me at the same time. Shockingly, he chose me to announce.  I was ready and I said in the microphone, ” How is everyone doing?” Everyone else was cheering. Then I put on the song Watch Me everyone ran to half court and started dancing. The second half started and I was announcing everything that was happening on the court fluently and not to loud. Next thing I know the game was over.

I knew it was all over, but it was an amazing experience. My team lost the all star game 31-14. The dream team came in second for the week. I made a lot of new friends and we all are plaining to return there next year. I had my dream come true of announcing a basketball game no matter it was real or not it was real to me. I hope that was one of many broadcast for me. I am Zachary signing off for ESPN.

A Summer Full Of Science

This summer I did a lot of things. For example I went to Nease high school basketball camp for three weeks. At the camp all the high school players and coaches. It was a really fun camp for 3 weeks. Then I went to another basketball camp in Orange Park. The camp was called the Harlem Globetrotters shoot for the stars basketball camp. The camp was hosted by two former Globetrotter players. After camps ended for the week I would go to the JCA to workout swim and to play basketball.

I did not realize till now how much science I did over the summer.  There is so much science in basketball that people mostly don’t know about. Trajectory, force, gravity, energy, motion, and air pressure are all parts of the science of basketball. This all has a big part in basketball.



Poverty Equals Hope

Last Friday for our first mitzvah trip of the year we went Malivai Washington. Malivai Washington is a place that helps kids in Poverty.Kids come there after school and receive a snack, homework help, and tennis lessons. These kids don’t get three meals a day. On Friday we made 175 bags of food to give to kids at Malivai Washington. The 175 bags of food consisted of a juice box, pudding, a snack, crackers, and a fruit snack.

The mitzvah we did was the mitzvah of giving tzedakah. We did this mitzvah by giving food to the children who go to Malivai Washington. We gave them food as an act of kindness, but this also gave them hope. The whole experience made me feel really good inside, because I like doing things to help the community. One day whenever I have a family I want them to have the same good feeling that I have when I help out people in need in the community.

I think the reason we did all of this is because what we did was helping people in need. Those kids deserve to have more than one meal and a snack. We are giving them hope that people do care that they aren’t worthless. The quote ” Poverty is not being without money, but being without hope means exactly what I said before we are giving this kids hope by giving them food. If they get nutrition it can help there brain and they can do better in school.

Running Out Of Time Book Review

Have you ever wondered how fast and slow time actually goes? Time goes by fast when you are having fun and time goes slow when you are doing something boring. In the book Running Out Of Time by Haddix time is very important. The book takes place in a frontier village in Clifton, Indiana. The book centers around Jessie a girl whose mom is a midwife who takes care of sick people. There was an outbreak of diphtheria in the village and the children start to die. Jessie is now being sent on a dangerous mission beyond Clifton to bring back help. On the way she discovers the world is more bad then she ever imagined and then finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time? Read the book Running Out Of Time by Haddix to find out. I would rate this book five stars because it is so intense and I like intense books. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action and adventure.