Bre’sheet Shabbaton

This week, I am going to a Shabbaton because this week’s parastatals is Bre’sheet. Bre’sheet is the first parasha in the whole Torah, and it talks about the creation of the world. There are six days of work and one day of rest. The first day of creation is when light and darkness were created. On the second day, the water was separated into the oceans and the sky. On the third day, water and land were separated, and plants grew. On the fourth day, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets were created. On the fifth day fish and other sea animals and birds and other flying animals were created. On the sixth day, every other animal was created, including us. On the last day, G-d rested. On each day G-d saw that what he created was good, and he said כי טוב. At the end of each day he said, יום בוקר ויהי ערב ויהי_____.

My teacher is having a Shabbaton at her house because we have been learning about parshat Bre’sheet. In preparation for the Shabbaton, my class went over to her house to make chollent, challah, salad, noodle kugel, and brownies to eat for lunch tomorrow.  I am looking forward to spending most of Shabbat with all of my friends. Because I keep Shabbat I don’t have many friends that live in walking distance form my house, so having all of my friends together in one place on Shabbat will be fun.  This will be different than a usual Shabbat, because I will be at someone’s house for 5 hours, and I will be with all of my friends on Shabbat. This is important, because it gets people who don’t usually keep Shabbat and go to shul on Shabbat to keep Shabbat and go to shul on Shabbat. I really am looking forward to the Shabbaton.

1963: How this Traumatic Year Changed the Watsons

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!
In the book The Watsons go to Birmingham, the Watsons have a very interesting summer; I mean, they experienced a bombing. I think that this definitely changed them. The Watsons will most likely have a stronger bond after all of the trauma that they experienced. But, I also think that each one of them was changed too, especially the children.

I think that Momma and Dad changed and became a lot more cautious and protective of their children. Momma and Dad were frightened and wanted to make sure that their children were safe and not hurt. I know that I would have felt the exact same way if I had kids, and we weren’t all together when a bombing occurred. I would have been running around screaming my children’s names, crying, and digging through the rubble looking for them. This definitely was a terrible experience for Momma and Dad.

I think that Byron changed for the better. Byron is now caring and kind, when he used to cause trouble all the time. I know that Byron will keep an eye out for his siblings and make sure that they are okay. I think that Kenny changed and became a little more timid, but also more brave. He went into the church to find Joetta, and that takes guts. I think that he will be more sure of himself, and he will keep an eye out for his little sister. I don’t think that Joetta really changed; she didn’t even know that there was a bombing. But I do think that she will be a mature little girl as she grows older.

Overall, all of the Watsons changed in some way. They have all been scarred for life, but I think that they will embrace what they have seen, and use it to help them be kind. I think that they will definitely sympathize with any family that experienced or had someone experience a bomb. How do you think the Watsons changed?

A Speech to the City of Birmingham

Hello Birmingham, Alabama. I am President EM, and today I will be talking to you about the bombing of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church that happened just last week on September 15, 1963. I am here to assure you that all of the damage in the church will be fixed, but I know that the damage in your hearts might take a little more effort to be fixed. We will now take a moment of silence to remember Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, Rest In Peace.
After the Break

Let’s first talk about who bombed the church. I know that many of you are wondering who and why somebody would do such a terrible thing such as bombing a church. We believe that two members of the Ku Klux Klan or the KKK were either driving by the church and threw a bomb at it, or before Sunday school placed the bomb inside of the church. Don’t worry, we are doing everything we can to find the KKK and put an end to their terror. We believe that this was done because of segregation. I am sure you all know that there is a lot of segregation in the South. I stand with Civil Rights, and I believe that everyone is equal. Any place I see with “White Only” or “Colored Only” signs angers me. Everyone is equal, we are all people, no matter what we look like. It is not fair for you and I to be treated differently, and judged by the color of our skin. I am fighting for you all, and I hope you know that.

What can you do to help eliminate segregation? Well, you can first not use any violence. You all can hold protests and you can protest against “White Only” things, but you can not resort to violence. Being violent will just prove their points. Many white people believe that you all are wild, violent animals, but you are not. You all are kind,  wonderful people, so use that to your strengths. You all can hold marches and use signs that say things that you feel are wrong with this country. Don’t be afraid, you aren’t doing anything wrong by holding protests. You are fighting for what is right, and don’t let them change that. We all need to stand up for what we believe in and thinks is right.

Now let’s talk about the repairs that will need to be done the the church. We will, and we have been working day and night to fix the destruction. I kindly ask you to stay away from the church, because we are using big, heavy machinery, and we don’t want you all to get hurt. If there are any volunteers who would like to help fix the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church, your help is much needed. We are trying to get the church back up and running on November 12, 1963. I am personally helping out with the repairs, and I am on my hands and knees like everyone else, working to make the church and all of Birmingham safe and fixed.

Thank you for listening and I hope that we can work together to end segregation in Birmingham, and repair the church. This is a matter that needs to be addressed and changed. My heart goes out to all of you and I hope we can help change our ways and make Birmingham a great place again. I sympathize with the four girls’ families and all of the rest of you. Thank you, and good day.

Beware of the Wool Poo

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We just finished reading The Watsons go to Birmingham. One of the book’s themes is finding courage to deal with problems. I wrote about two examples of this happening in the book. While reading, figure out which one you think is more courageous. I think that the second one is. I would like to be like the Watson children and have courage and bravery.

One example of this happening in the book is when Kenny goes swimming in a whirlpool, even though he was told not to. He imagined that he saw the “Wool Poo,” his imagination portraying what he thinks death looks like. He thinks that the Wool Pool brought his family around one last time for him to see. He sees his sister, Joetta, and she tells Kenny to swim up to the surface. When he tries to swim up to the surface, Byron, his brother, is there to help him out. This relates to one of the book’s themes, finding courage to deal with our problems. Kenny used courage because he didn’t have to swim up to the surface, he could have just given up and stayed in the water and died, but he didn’t and he lived. Byron also used courage; he went into the water to get Kenny even though it was dangerous and scary. Both of them used acts of bravery and courage.

Another example of people using courage in the book was when Kenny went into the church to see if Joetta was okay after the bomb blew up the church. There was smoke and blackened wood shards everywhere. He was scared, but he still went inside to get his sister and make sure she was safe. I know that I would have been frightened to go into the church and I would most likely think that if I went in, something would hurt me. I would like to believe that I would have enough courage to go into the church, but I probably wouldn’t. It was really braver of Kenny to do that, and I would like to learn from him and try to be more courageous myself.

What I have learned from the book is that the Watsons are really courageous and brave. As I grow older, I would like to be like Byron and Kenny. Both of them did things that they were scared of, and that was really brave. How brave do you think you are?

Byron Watson: The Juvenile Delinquent

In the book The Watsons go to Birmingham, one of the main characters, Byron, gets into a lot of trouble; and having a friend like Buphead, does not help. I think that Byron does bad things and gets into trouble, because he is trying to be “cool” and impress all of his friends. Byron has a lot of friends that are older than him, and I think that they look a certain way or act a certain way that makes Byron think that he has to be like them to be deemed cool. Byron does some bad things and I am pretty sure that he thinks that it is cool!

Two ways that Byron has misbehaved, is when Byron plays with fire and cuts his hair. Byron likes to play with fire in the bathroom. He lifts toilet paper on fire, and he pretends that he is shooting a movie.Momma has already caught him, and told him that if he does it again, she will burn him. The reason she is so worried is because it is fire, and she had an incident with fire when she was younger. She tells Byron a story about how fire can burn down their house and ruin things, trying to make him not do it again, and to realize that playing with fire is bad. When he does it again, she burns one of his fingers. But he still doesn’t learn his lesson, because then he gets a new haircut. You might be thinking, oh, it’s just a haircut, but it is a conk, which means that he straightened his hair. His parents don’t like his new hair, because they say it makes him look Mexican, and he knew he wasn’t supposed to do anything to himself without their permission; he even tried to cover it up with a scarf. His dad then shaves off all of his hair as a punishment.

One example of people trying to act “cool” and be like others happening in real life is when one of my friends used to suck up to another girl because of her popularity. My friend would dress a certain way and act a certain way, just because this one girl did it. One of the flaws that the girl had, was that when she felt unsure of herself, she would get mean. She would say all of these hurtful things to everybody, including me. My friend copied her and was mean to everybody, even me. She would act really nice and be my friend when the girl wasn’t around her, but when she was around that girl, she was mean. I eventually told her what I thought was happening, she told me that it was true, and we resolved the issue.

In the end, Byron becomes a better person. He isn’t as much of a troublemaker, and let’s just say, I’m pretty sure Byron won’t be playing with matches in the near future. I think that deep down, the whole time he really did have love and affection for his family and he really did have a kind and caring soul, it just took a traumatic experience to bring it out. Through the ups and downs, he took care of his family, especially his younger brother. Why do you think Byron caused trouble?

A Delirious Campout

I’m missing freetime for this. I just packed a bag for the campout, not realizing that I packed way too much. I’m carrying a 200lb bag, a sleeping bag, and a pillow. My shoulders ache as I trudge halfway across camp. I have a gut feeling something won’t be right.

I clambered onto the bus, thankful that I would be with all of my friends. Our bus driver, Steve, is the best! He put the radio on, and let us go on our phones. When we started up the mountain to the campsite, it was drizzling. By the time we were halfway up, it was pouring. Because we are so high up, the storm cloud is right above the bus. We are at such an angle, that we are starting to slide down the mountain. I am so blanched!

Oh no! We just took a wrong turn, and now we are in the wrong campsite. “I am so hungry,” Alexandra moaned. “Me too,” Shayna agreed. “I just want to get off this bus!” I said. All the while, it was still pouring.

An hour later, we were finally at the campsite. The camping staff, Cody and Hannah, dash through the rain to put the food in the cabins. For some reason, they have the food when they walk back to the busses. Hannah climbs onto our bus, and tells us that the cabins are locked! We can’t sleep inside of them, we can’t start a fire, we can’t sleep in tents, we can’t even go outside to pee! The bus rattles as thunder shakes the earth. I can see lightning in the distance. A daunting thought hits me, are we going to wait it out and sleep here?!

Thankfully, Cody comes to his senses and calls the Welcome Center, informing them that we are on our way back to camp. I am ecstatic! We slowly make our way down the slippery slope. Along the way, we somehow lose Cody’s bus. Apparently, he had to stop to cut down trees that were falling in the road left and right. We pull over in front of this intimidating rusted trailer. Suddenly, a light comes on in a window. This alarming shadow stands in the window with something in his hands. He starts hitting himself with it like he is trying to hurt himself. Steve saw that we were all freaking out, so he called Cody and said, “Sorry Cody, my girls are frightened and need to pee so we gotta go.” I sure am glad we are leaving! That was really creepy!

We are about a half an hour from camp, and our bladders are about to burst. We stop at a gas station, and I rush in. I am overwhelmed by the smell of so many different foods. After I pee, I walk around, my mouth watering, wishing I could just take one bite. I sure am hungry! As we get back on the bus, Miriam complains, “Why can’t we buy one bag of chips for each bus? We are all starving!” Jackie shushes her and says, “We are only ten minutes from camp; you will eat soon.”

We are finally back at camp. We grab our stuff and thank Steve as we head inside. We get to eat leftover meatloaf for dinner tonight instead of hotdogs. Yay! On the outside we are like, whatever, but everyone is secretly crying inside. At least I will have a crazy campout story to tell my future campers.

עשרת ימי תשובה-The Ten Days of Repentance

This week, is עשרת ימי תשובה or the Ten Days of Repentance. During these days, we reflect on how we acted during the year, and how we might want to change our ways and become better people. I want to work on not being so anxious. We are expecting hurricane Mathew, a category three or four hurricane. When I found out about the hurricane, I got very anxious and scared. I am going to try to work on this by taking deep breaths and thinking about the positive, not the negative. Like, I could be happy that we don’t have any school today or tomorrow instead of being scared that it will flood or that a tree will fall on my house. I really like that I have a really good work ethic, and I get great grades in school. I would like to keep working on this by not procrastinating and doing my work right away. What would you work on?