Today, I put the cover on the Torah backwards.  Now you my be thinking: “Hahaha nyah nyah,” In which case you are probably being quite nasty and should knock it off. But what I want you to think about is the fact that we all make mistakes. And we are usually quite nasty when it isn’t us who goofed up this time, or if it isn’t us having bad luck. I could go on and on about the nastiness of the kids in my grade, and anyone who wants this particular tangent can make a comment asking for it. But even G-d makes mistakes. Remember the story of Noah? How about when G-d thinks: I will take these people out of Egypt and into Israel… Oops! they aren’t ready. And in the grand scheme of of things, even G-d can fix his mistakes. But sometimes, mistakes aren’t fixable, and you can’t go up to the ark and turn around the Torah cover and pretend like it never happened. I can’t produce another Playmobil grappling hook to replace the one I broke. (For which I am still very sorry.) And that is just a thing we’ll have to work around. So the problem with mistakes is that people are bad at figuring out which ones are and aren’t fixable. I often find myself looking for a pencil, pen, piece of paper, or other thing, when my time would be better spent getting another thing to replace it. I also freak out about the most easy things to fix. (Just ask my 6th grade reading teacher about the time[s] I burst into tears over my lunchbox. Or my parents. Or my art teacher about that time I lost my recommendations for the NJHS application. Or my typing teacher about when I lost a test that I got signed. Though that was justified, as I got a weeks worth of “Didn’t turn in homework” highlights. But I digress.) Well, Shabbat Shalom!

By: Me, with help from G-d.


Memorial day


I wonder why Moses, when he says “these people should go back,” does not say “Is there anyone who has a family and children? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and they become incomplete for his loss.” I am not saying that a family without a father is incomplete, but from what I have heard, the loss of a family member hurts more than I can know (please G-d) or describe. I’m fortunate enough not to have lost a beloved family member, so I don’t know how to describe that loss. A vineyard can’t feel loss, nor can a house. But a spouse, children or parents are those who lose a war. A part of a quote from a Magic the Gathering card (Knowledge can come from anywhere) says “I count eight graves. Too many to call this a victory.” Ah, for the good old (old, old, old, old, old, old, old, old, etc.) days, when you could lose less than 8 soldiers in a war. But nobody really wins in war. Land, people, and the economy all suffer. Of all of these, only the economy really recovers. The land will always hold those graves, and the dead will not return from war.

For those who died to protect our country, Zikronam Liv’racha.

By me, with help from G-d.

Are you STILL here? Yaylaich V’yachshov L’veito Already!

Translation: “Then the officials shall address the troops as follows:’Is there anyone who has built a new house but has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another man dedicate it. Is there anyone who has planted a vineyard but has never harvested it? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another man harvest it. Is there anyone who who has payed the bride price for a wife, but has not married her? Let him go back to is home, lest he die in battle and another man marry her.’ … ‘Is there anyone afraid and disheartened? Let him go back to his home, lest the courage of his comrades flag like his.'”

He, he, he. 🙂 That’s the feeling I get when reading. ‘And the priests shall say to the people: ‘Get the heck out of here if you can find any reason to! Why are you still here? Leave! Leave! Leave!’ And then G-d shall magically make everyone else chicken out and the few of us left shall defeat our enemies.’

On the other hand, the people with a reason to should go.

Also, in every book I’ve ever read, the one who isn’t scared at all before battle is crazy. So if you say “If you’re scared, leave,” people leave, whereas if you say “It’s OK to be scared. Our enemies must be more scared,  for they know we have G-d on our side.” people stay because there are understanding people there and they gain courage.

And now I have it stuck in my head.

*Yaylai-ai-aich v’yachsho-ov l’veito, pen-yamut ba-milchama-ah, v’esh ache-e-er…* Darn… I just got it out…

By me, with help from G-d

About my synagogue and why I am doing this.

Yeah… I’m not very good at explaining why I’m doing this. But I have to make this entry. And so here I am. So I guess I should explain how stuff works at my synagogue, CBI.
So when you become a Bat Mitzvah at CBI, you have to do a whole bunch of things that everyone else is doing. And everyone has done. For, like, ever. I’m not sure you get to be Bat Mitzvah if you don’t do them right. And so everyone does them. It’s Tradition. So I think I have to talk about them. We have to go to a bunch of services, which is fun. (For me.) You get to know the people and how they lead services. Rabbi Pincus has this habit of doing Every. Single. Prayer. In the Siddur, including the ones nobody else knows. But he often does my favorite tune to Yismichu. (Link to sound probably forthcoming.) Rabbi Shaffer does all the camp tunes. Cantor likes Nigunim (am I spelling that right?) and she has a trained voice so she holds out the last note of a song for AGES and AGES and AGES (circa about 45 seconds, but still…). And she has a drum. It’s a very nice little African drum that she uses to accompany herself. She keeps it behind the curtain in the Secret Rabbi Room. And Rabbi Fuchs, our Rabbi Emeritus, (which is a phrase I copied from a Shabbat Bulletin without knowing what it means) asks easy trivia and then throws candy at us. (Think “What book of the Torah do we find the Mi Chamocha in???” “Exodus” *large bar of kosher Israeli chocolate gets thrown at me* *OM NOM NOM!!!!*) So now you know my Rabbis. Another thing you have to do is: Get a tutor, learn the service, learn your Parsha, learn the trope marks, and write a speech. And then, you have to lead services. And you have to do a Mitzvah Project. My classmates are currently ending World Hunger and Cancer and Poverty and Homelessness and all the things that are so wrong with the world that they need capital letters. I’m here, blogging. HAHAHA I WIN. NOT! This is harder than it looks. And maybe I’ll even get you interested in Torah. I hope. So, how did I pick preparations for war as my part of Shof’tim…?
I was given Shof’tim. My Birthday is in July, but the Rabbis will be on vacation during July, so my Bat Mitzvah is in late August. And then, since we only get to do 3 or 4 Aliyot at CBI, I had to pick between Cities of Refuge, Unknown Murderers, and Preparations for War. I picked preparations for war, and the rest, I hope, will be history.
By: Me, with help from G-d

An article and My Comments



I read this blog today (5/2/14) and I have some followups I want to make, being from an interfaith family myself.

First: Good Job! I have grown up with the occasional “Oh, you’re half Christian” kind of comment and with my parents coming home with me after Hebrew School complaining about the latest accidentally offensive statement, so to see someone address it is excellent.

Secondly: I want to address some of the things in this post.

I don’t think you should give more attention to the interfaith kids. It brings attention to it and I find it awkward unless you have a chatty teacher. Kids bring attention to it as a difference and then it gets teased, I have found. However, it should not be a conversation ender because that says “Don’t bring attention to your interfaith family or no one will want to talk to you.”

I think that it is not religious school that is the thorny part or even synagogue but rather regular school. I have had kids ask about my family’s religion and then say “Oh, so you’re only half Jewish.” or a similar comment. I usually reply “I am all Jewish, but I do come from an interfaith family.” I have found that people see religion as a matter of parents, not as a thing they can get close to. That is something I find quite sad. That they go to religious school because their parents “make them,” go to services because they “have to,” and they cannot connect to G-d because they are so focused on that they “don’t want to” and that it’s “a parent thing that they make them do.” Like Papa says: “going to shul once is a burden, but if you go every week,it gets fun because you know the people there and the tunes they use.” But I digress.

So all in all, I think this is wonderful, necessary advice… And that next week they should fix that darn Interfaith program for grownups, which my parents (especially Mama, who is Christian) find so disappointing.

By me, with help from Papa (finding the website) and G-d.