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Newsletter Article

What follows is my newsletter article from the May-June 2011 Newsletter.

A few more questions from our Religious School students.

How was the first person made?
According to the Torah there are two stories about the creation of human beings.  In the first God creates a human being (adam) just by saying, “Let there be a person.”  Then God divides this person in half and makes the first man and woman.  In the second God creates adam out of adamah (earth).  In this story God is more like an artist who is fashioning a clay pot.  Then God realizes that something is wrong.  Adam is really lonely.  So God creates the first woman, Eve, out of his rib so that they can keep each other company.  So in the first version God creates the first people and in the second God creates the first couple.

Why do we only believe in one God?
Is this a trick question!  The answer is because there is only one God.  I know it is really hard to think about something or understand something that you can’t touch or see, but that is what we believe.  I believe we can see God when we see beautiful things or when we see people do really wonderful things.

Do you keep kosher?  What are things that kosher people do?
Yes.  I really like keeping kosher.  It makes me think about being Jewish even when I am eating.  Keeping kosher is about only eating meat that has been killed in the least painful way.  It is about not mixing milk and meat and it is also about only eating those animals that God says in the Torah are permitted.  But keeping kosher is not only about food.  It is also about doing the right thing.  The word kosher means fitting or proper.  So the most important thing is always to do the right thing.  That is what a kosher person is supposed to do!

Will another Holocaust start?  Please say “No.”
I wish I could say no, but unfortunately too many have already happened since the Holocaust we learned about in Religious School.  This is why we have to focus really hard on making the world a better place and doing kosher things.  If everyone tries to do the right thing then another Holocaust can’t happen. 

Recently Annie Bleiberg, a Holocaust survivor, came to our sixth grade class.  The following quotes are what some of our students wrote after listening to her story.  Their words give us hope that no more Holocausts might happen!

“When she said how all the people were dying for no reason at all and it just occurred to me how all the people just probably fell asleep and never woke up.  Also when she said how they were freed from the camps and ghettos and they were crying tears of joy.”

“What I remembered most was when she was telling us about how she got the number on her arm.  This stood out to me most because of the way it happened and what happened when it occurred. “

“This is a picture of when she jumped off the train and fell on the snow.”

“It amazed me how Annie never gave up on life no matter how tired or how hungry she was.  She kept fighting for freedom and life.”

“Annie said to us, ‘Don’t give up.  Life is worth fighting for.’”

Amen.  Annie always says it best!

Have a great summer!  Thanks as always for your questions.