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November 29, 1991 - Image 200

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A Memory Is Made In A Moment ...And Lasts A Lifetime

The Jewish News is pleased to share with you the first place winners in the
Memory Is Made In A Moment ... And Lasts A Lifetime essay contest, co-sponsored
by Women's Division of The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Jewish
Experiences For Families. It honors the publication of Harmony And Dissonance,
Voices Of Jewish Identity in Detroit, 1914-1966, by Sidney Bolkosky.

During my 15 years many
wonderful Jewish memories
come to mind, but one of the
most prominent in my life was
my first-grade Siddur party.
Each year at Hillel Day School
the first grade students recite
and sing the morning prayers
in an exceptional program. My
first-grade Siddur party was
held in the gymnasium of the
school. However in the midst
of all our excitement it
resembled an enormous
theater. The curtains opened
and to our surprise, there
were what seemed like
millions of people in the
audience waiting for the big
moment when we would
begin. Proud parents,
grandparents, sisters and
brothers all anxiously
anticipating our every word,
were nodding their heads in
unison, showing their
approval.
The rabbi said a few wise
words and then we received a
signal to begin. While I and
my fellow first-graders were
singing joyfully on the stage,
our Hebrew teachers were in
the wings singing with us
making sure everything ran
smoothly. I remember it so
vividly. We were all dressed in
our best clothes, beaming with
gaiety and singing
wholeheartedly. Chanting
Modeh Ani with our high-
pitched voices delighted and
entertained everyone.
After the first grade
concluded with the service,
the rabbi called each of us up
and handed us our very own
Siddur and an Elite chocolate
bar. The brand-new Siddur
had a clean, fresh smell to it
and there on the inner binding
of the book was my Hebrew
name. What a wonderful
feeling came over me. It was
my very own Siddur! How
proud I felt. The first grade
had worked very hard at
learning the prayers and this

L-8

FRIDAY, NOV. 29, 1991

was our reward. That night is
one of my happiest
reminiscences and I will
always carry the memory in
my heart.

Marissa Rothstein
High School 1st Place

My Memories Of
Jewish Moments

Ever since I can remember
I've been celebrating the Jewish
holidays with my family. When I
look through picture albums I see
pictures of me at age two trying
to light the Chanukah candles.
For me all the Jewish
holidays are especially
memorable. I remember all the
guests that fly in and the different
foods and the different
ceremonies. But out of all the
holidays, Pesach is my favorite
one. Maybe it's because I get to
participate in the seder, or
because I love the story so
much. But each year I wait
expectantly for Pesach.
This year however, went a
little differently. It started off with
a huge storm. Winds and rain
caused the electricity to go
out. At first it was fun, but after
the first day when the power still
hadn't returned, it was cold and
boring.
In my family my
grandparents have the first seder
at their house and then the
second seder is at my house.
Well, on the day of the first seder
my mom was more than a little
frantic. So was I. Mom was ready
to call off the seder completely.
I didn't want to give up at all
and neither did my sisters.
Though it was cold and the
prospect of the power coming on
seemed unlikely, we worked and
worked and worked. We trudged
up and down the basement
steps, pulling out china we hadn't
seen since last year and putting
our everyday dishes in their
place.
Then all the food that hadn't
been discarded was put down in
the basement and locked up. We
were all ready for a break, but
instead we kept working. We did

rest for a few minutes. We dialed
the electric company and pressed
redial over and over again.
Finally we got through to
them. They said there were
workers working on it and heat
and lights should be coming on
very soon.
Together my sisters and I
walked into the living room. We
were all quiet; probably we were
just tired. But to myself I said a
little prayer. I said I had done
everything possible and now all
we needed was the electricity.
I got up hoping the lights
would spring on, and went to get
dressed for the first seder still
wishful. Suddenly throughout the
house I could hear my littlest
sister's voice, "The lights are on,
the lights are on!"
I really do believe that God
heard my prayer. He saw how
hard we worked on preparing the
seder and restored the power for
us. I also think it was a little test.
We had faith that the power
would be returned and it was!
Another one of my favorite
memories is Shabbat. Not any
particular Shabbat but all of them
together are so special. Before
this past summer my family didn't
keep Shabbat.
But while I was at Camp
Maas we celebrated Shabbat.
They were always special, happy,
and relaxing days. I very much
wanted to continue the tradition
at home. Both my parents were
pleased with the idea.
So now every Friday night,
the table is set specially in the
dining room. My mother, my two
sisters, and I chant in unison the
prayer over the Shabbat candles.
Then everyone walks over to the
dining room.
First we say the kiddush, first
my dad, then me, then Jenny,
and Emily says as much as she
can. After taking a sip of wine we
say the Hamotzi. We eat the
special challah bread, and then
we come to my absolute favorite
part.
Everyone in my family
reviews in their mind what
happened over the week since
the last Shabbat. Then in order
we say the best thing that
happened to us this week. It's a

great way to think back on
memories positively and look
forward to the week to come.
The holidays and Shabbat
are what make living in Detroit
as a Jew so special. When I have
a family of my own I'm going to
continue to keep kosher, keep
Shabbat, and celebrate the
holidays. I hope that my children
will be able to look back on
things like these as happy Jewish
memories.

Beth Farber
Middle School 1st Place

Three Jewish
Memories

One Jewish memory that I
have was going to Israel. The
thrill of meeting my cousins in a
new country and going to see
and learn about their land was
very exciting. The thing I liked
the most was going to the
Western Wall and writing a letter
to God. I also enjoyed seeing a
bird sanctuary. Climbing Masada
was also a great thrill. I felt as if
my life was going to end if I
walked any further.
Another memory was going
to the Walk for Israel, and getting
to go to the Holocaust Center
with my father where I met a lot
of rabbis. I also went to a
Holocaust Center in Israel, and
there were pictures and stories to
tell the names of all of the
unfortunate children who died in
the Holocaust. There was a
section with many trees planted,
with plaques to tell us how these
people risked their lives to save
others.
The third and most special to
me was going to the bar mitzvah
of my friend David. David is not
like most of us. He was born with
Down's syndrome. He did not get
to have a bar mitzvah like most
kids at 13. He worked so hard to
learn to read the Torah. He was
27 when he finally did this. I was
very proud of him because for
him, this was the most special
day in his life. Things that are
easy for me, are very hard for
him.

Josh Grant
Elementary School 1st Place

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