I washed my hands before the blessing over the challah. Washing my hands is a tradition my family has been performing since I was a kid, and I have continued to harry it on as a result.
Adon Olam was the first prayer (hymn) that came to find when reading this question. To me, this prayer means that G-d will always be there watching and protecting all of us. I especially like it because of its Universality. Everyone who is Jewish has heard this and knows it, even though the tunes it is sung to may differ.
Another important prayer in my mind is the Kaddish because of the emotion in contains when remembering those who have passed.
Passover is one of my favorite holidays for a variety of reasons. First off, the history and story behind the holiday is powerful and inspiring for the Jewish people. I really enjoy the food, especially Charosset. While Seders can take a long time, it is nice to have a table full of family socializing, and drinking wine (if you're of age of course).
My favorite memories are formed during the hunt for the Afikomen. Whether it was running around the house and tearing everything apart as a child, or being the mest Matzah hider now, it always is the best part of the night and I can't wait for the end of March/April to engage in these traditions.
I washed my hands before the challah blessing on Friday for shabbat. I have been performing this ritual ever since I was a kid. My family often goes to my aunt's house for shabbat. That side of my family is orthodox, and they would always get me and my siblings to wash and then help with the bracha, which also allowed us to be among the first to receive a piece of challah. Now I continue to do it as part of tradition.
At shabbat this past Friday, we spoke to the Rabbi about this week's Torah portion. We discussed why it was important for the Torah to list such basic rules of life which should be common sense to everyone. We determined that while these rules have moral goundings and might be straightforward, humans are subject to change their interpretations, and might change their moral views to whatever suits them best. However, having these basic rules in the Torah prevents them from being altered and also shows a backing by G-d. I had not realized the extent of the laws that were present in the Torah, and so I learned a bit about this subject.
I returned to the Chabad House for Shabbat this past Friday. I met new people who were going to Chabad for the first time, some of which were from Miami. In fact, one of them actually did a porgram in Israel with one of my cousins. The food itself was excellent as always, especially the challah. At one point, one of the Rabbi's sons started putting soup croutons in people's shoes which was funny but created a mess not ideal for Passover cleanup. Overall, the experience was great as always.
I had a conversationg with Rabbi Zev Gopin on 2/2/2018. I had some questions regarding the Pidyon Haben ritual as I am the first born male in my family and know that I partook in the ritual, but wanted to find out it's biblical significance. Additionally, the Rabbi is organizaing an event to fundraise for Chabad and wanted me to help in reserving a location in order to ensure the continuance of Chabad in the future. As the President of the Magic club on Campus, I have access to some of our campus resources, so he wanted to have a co-hosted event with our club and Chabad.
We also talked about the Birthright experience in general, in we talked about my impressions on Israel and thoughts about the current situation and my beliefs about the future of the State.
Almost every Friday my roomate Harry and I go to the local Chabad at our campus, and last Friday was no different. The Chabad experience we have is great because it is hosted at the Rabbi's house with homemade meals, and is very intimate, allowing us to socialize with everyone there. We also get to meet new people every week which is great, and reconnect with old friends. Not to mention the Challah is excellent.
At Shabbat, Harry and I perform magic to everyone, including the Rabbi's children who always ask us for new tricks when we go.
At the meal, the Rabbi always instills in us one lesson for the week.
I plan to continue attending these meals and growing my Jewish experience.
I talked to a few of my family members about my Jewish heritage, including my Mother and Father, and Grandparents. My mom and dad are from Venezuela and Peru respectivelt, but the roots of my Judaism stem from Europe. My grandmoth on my mom's side was born in Romania and lived through the Holocaust as a small child. She survived, and moved to Venezuela where she started a family.
A lot of my family traditions revolve around Family. We always try to eat Shabbat meals together, light candles to commerate those who have passed, and celebrate holidays together. The best traditions revolve around foods that we have to make during special occasions, my favorite being Charoset.
Our Judaism is defined by our family bond and making sure we all get together to talk and celebrate during the important times of the year. In order to continue my Judaism, I plan to continue learning about the Torah, Israel, and my Jewish background, and instill my beliefs and values with my future family.
I read "Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jews" by Rabbi Rachel M. Solomin at https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sephardic-ashkenazic-mizrahi-jews-jewish-ethnic-diversity/
Im Ashkenazic so I knew about about that culture, but reading the article helped me learn about the Sefardic tradition, and I found the creationg of Ladino very interesting since I have Latin heritage. Additionally, I was always under the impression the there were only Ashkenazik and Sefardic Jews, so it was great to learn about some of the other traditions, some of which are relatively new.
I visitied the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. The first time I visited the museum, I was on a field trip with my school in 6th grade. My father was a chaperone so I was walking aorund with him and a friend. The museum was emotionally draining, especially in seeing all the artifacts they have collected from the past, and knowing that it is barely a fraction of the total amount of suffering actually was. It upset me that most of the students sped through the museum without taking it in and conencting with it.
In college, I am an hour away from D.C. and a friend of mine needed to do a project on the Holocaust Museum. He asked if anyone in the friend group wanted to join, and I volunteered. Again, after all the years since going, I still remembered the museum and it still hit me hard. My granmother is a holocaust survival, so it was difficult to see some of the things she went though, and the things other people went to, many of whom perished.
Overall, while the Holocaust is a terrible event in Jewish History, and History in general, I think it is imporant to connect with it in order to remember those we lost, but also as a remidner of how strong we are as a people and community.
I watched hope for heroism at:
The link was provided on Bring Israel Home and I chose to watch it to learn more about injured soldiers and programs to help them rehabilitate.
The video showed me more about the heroism of the IDF, and it was crazy to see how people my age sacrifice themselves physically and mentally for a Jewish state they believe in.
In the past, I have never really celebrated Israeli holidays other than the occasional "Birthday" of Israel. However, after going to Israel for the first time on Birthright, I have gained a stronger connection to the Homeland and plan on taking part in more activities associated with the State of Israel. One of the most meaningful moments of my trip was a visit to Mount Herzl and listening to stories told by leaders and Israeli soldiers about fallen friends. I teared up listening to how people my age and younger gave up their lives protecting a home for all Jewish people. It's crazy to think that while I am in the United States going to college, in Israel, people my age are fighting wars. After meeting soldiers and listening to the stories, everytime I would walk around Israel and see children, I would think, "wow, in a few years, they will be joining the IDF." What brought this closer to home was meeting family in Israel after the trip (I extended), and learning that one of my Grandfather's cousin's grandson is about to go into the IDF. Throughout the trip, I gained a larger respect and knowledge of these soldiers, and because of it, I have a new meaning for and connection to Yom Hazikaron.
Be inspired by Mayim Bialik and 5 other young individuals who followed their passions - hip hop, environmental sustainability, TV and more - to overcome challenges and effect change. See how they stood by their convictions and find out what it takes to make your own mark.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Due 5 activities worth 15 points and earn 10 bonus points.
AboutThe 100 Point Challenge is an opportunity for returning Taglit-Birthright participants to TRY a variety of Jewish activities, find those activities that they LOVE and want to continue to LIVE. Bring Israel Home participants can choose to complete any Jewish activity that speaks to them to earn 100 points. 50% or more of the American participants in a participating Taglit-Birthright bus must earn 100 points on the Bring Israel Home website within three months after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to earn a Bring Israel Home reunion. The Bring Israel Home 100 Point Challenge is divided into two milestones. Participants must earn 50 points within the first month of returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to qualify for the following milestone. After achieving the first milestone, participants have two months to earn their final 50 points of Jewish activity. The milestones are clearly outlines below:MilestonesMilestone 1: 50% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 50 points of Jewish activity in the first month after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience. Milestone 2: 50% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 100 points of Jewish activity in the two months after achieving Milestone 1. Travel Stipends*:
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the State of Israel - engage with its history and people, get the facts on Israel's hot topics and discover why Israel is so central to world news and politics. In Israel Inside/Out, animated diagrams and interactive footage give you an insider's view into one of the world's most intriguing and mystifying countries – no airfare required.
The series features commentary from world-renowned experts on Israel and the Middle East, including Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz and Princeton professor Bernard Lewis.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Go behind the scenes of popular Hollywood movies with Cinema: The Jewish Lens – an innovative and inspiring film-series blending Hollywood and Judaism.
Watch scenes from classic and contemporary movies and discover Jewish wisdom together with actors, film critics and world-renowned Jewish thinkers.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Shabbat in Israel give you a taste of something delightful?! You can continue to keep that feeling alive by completing the Shabbat badge. Complete the two activities below and earn an additional 10 point bonus!
What is happiness? Am I happy? Can I become happier? What do happiness and Judaism have to do with each other, anyway?
Get the answers to these questions as well as the secret to being happier with Jerusalem U's new series Habits of Happiness featuring world-renowned Positive Psychology expert Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Complete these activities to go on a hevily subsidized Israel 2.0 Trip or Internship program. Complete the all activities below to earn a 10 point bonus (in addition to the activity points)!
Get Jewish wisdom with your personal Torah trainer. Learn Jewish philosophy, history, traditions - or anything that interests you! Click here to apply to Partners in Torah. Watch this video to see more about Partners in Torah. Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Complete the Sabra badge to learn about what life is really like in Israel.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Judaism 101 provides a broad overview of Jewish thought and insight. Course topics include Love and Relationships, Achieving Success, Gossip, Kabbalah, the History of Jerusalem, and Jewish Contributions to World Values.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Masa Israel Journey is the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel for young adults (18-30). Masa's diverse portfolio of study abroad, internship, service learning, or Jewish studies programs help you grow—as a person, a professional, and a leader— while also developing a robust global professional network. Since its founding in 2004, over 120,000 young people from more than 60 countries have participated in Masa Israel programs.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge. Note: Masa Israel Journey is intended for North American participants only. Unfortunately, Israeli participants are not eligible for Masa.
At The Maimonides Fellowship, you will have the opportunity to meet with like-minded peers with a choice of over 100 locations nationwide. The program meets 1x a week for 10 weeks and includes an exciting Shabbaton Weekend Retreat. The weekly meetings include FREE food, along with dynamic discussion on HOT topics relating to Israel and Judaism. Upon completion, Fellowship participants typically receive $300-$500 CASH or a FREE/Highly subsidized trip!
Take part in interactive classes from the comfort of your own home with the JU Max online learning program. Classes are all live, online, and interactive with top notch presenters. Participants who complete the entire class will be eligible for a FREE TRIP BACK TO ISRAEL and can also receive college credit*. NOTE: JU Max is only available to students and young professionals who do not live near a local Maimonides Class option. To see the list of local options, CLICK HERE.
Classes are Monday evening 9-11PM EST.
The next course runs from Feb 12 -April 16.
CLICK HERE to learn more and access the JU Max application.
To earn the Cyber Badge (bonus 10 Points), you need to be accepted to the program and provide proof of attending the first 3 classes.