One of the staff members at my school has been having a hard time lately, and one day I guess it really showed. We all politely waited for her to compose herself and move on with her speech.

A day or two later, at our daily assembly, she publically thanked whoever had been the kind person who left a very thoughtful note in her office. She did this publicly, because in spite of the benefits of being on good terms with an influential staff member… the student hadn’t signed her name.

I can’t thank you enough

One of our school’s play heads (read: insanely busy person juggling production, seminary applications and a full day of class), must have thanked me at least four times for missing a class I don’t need to attend to sew (read: one of my favorite activities) a costume draft for one of the costumes girls (read: a good friend whom I’d do just about anything for.)

Four times! She deserves a reward better than play head!

(Great) Hair Day

I walked into school today for the first time with a major haircut I got over the break. Truth be told, I was a bit nervous, but I couldn’t exactly stick it all back on, right?

It would have been normal for everyone to comment. But not only did almost everyone I know everyone point it out– they all had something nice to say! Which tells you a lot about my former ‘style’ :)…

…but also a lot about how nice my ‘school-mates’ are. (And the teachers.)

Twins who share more than a face

Earlier this week at school the entire student body (everyone who was there that day, that is) sat in the auditorium for a shiur. The speaker handed a bunch of papers to one of the brave girls sitting in the front row, indicating that she should pass them out. As she turned to do so, not asking for help in any way, her twin sister jumped up as if she, too had been asked, and they efficiently shared the job.

While I was watching this, I saw one girl who was sitting in an awkward position and couldn’t get up. She was trying to reach the handout someone passed her, but to no avail. What did her sister (come to think of it, they are also twins, as well as good friends of mine) do? Despite being farther away, her sister saw her predicament, immediately stood up, and passed the paper the extra three inches.

We have so much to learn from these girls. Not that they helped– not even that they didn’t ask for help. Helping without asking can cause more trouble then it solves sometimes. 🙂

They each knew the other’s needs so well that asking was unnecessary. If only we could all reach such a level.

Holy Machlokes

We learned a most inspiring peice about Machlokes today. Why can Yidden not just stop arguing?!

Suppose someone at your workplace was doing something wrong. It wouldn’t have a major affect on you, but you thought you could help them correct it. After a few persistent ‘no’s, maybe even a few ‘my way is better’s, you would probably give up.

But say your brother or sister was doing something simmilar. Something that might bother them, but wouldn’t really have such a huge affect on you. Would you still try to help them? Of course!!! If they’re in any form of danger– spiritual, financial (as in our previous case), physical– you would do your utmost to stop them.

We don’t fight because we think everyone else is wrong and we’re right. We fight because we want to help all our Jewish brothers and sisters do the very best that they can!

And, like all other siblings, we might beat eachother black and blue within the family. But when an outsider threatens? “No one messes with my baby brother!” Please– in times of peace, may they come soon, lets remember how we feel about each other when the bigger threats loom.

Should you help people grow spiritually? Of course!!! (That’s a subject for a later post.) But if you’ve ever cried bitter tears over the ‘wars’ within– there is hope! We fight because we care!

A teacher is like a parent

One of my teachers is (ok, I’m following Lucky’s lead. However harmless ‘the type’ is, it shouldn’t be used.) a gracious and kind human being who goes above and beyond for her students.

Above and beyond like allowing a student who missed class to call her up in the evening the night before the exam to explain a complicated concept she missed?

In this tzadekes’s mind, why not? I am very grateful for such an attitude!

(Must get back to studying. Other teens know what that means!)

Negotiation and compromise

A story, basically word for word as submitted by a younger reader. (Some minor grammatical fixes.)

Once I had an argument with a couple of friends about where we should play for recess. I lost the argument, but someone from their group said he’ll  play a little later. He came to me and said “I see your point but I also see theirs”. He persuaded me to talk to them and we got along. He has a heart of chesed.

Door to Door service. Driven by G-d

If you don’t already know who I am, dear friends, this post will seal the deal for sure. This happened some time last year.

I love my high school. In fact, one of the things I dislike the most is how long it takes me to get there. Mornings, for various reasons, are shorter, but the average for an evening (no snow!) is an hour. 45-50 minutes on the bus, and then a short walk home. (Ten minutes if I’m fast, and 15 if I’m feeling lazy!)

And one day, we had a driver who doesn’t usually drive our route. For some reason, the girl at the very last stop wasn’t there that day. And, inexplicably, that it was somehow ok to drop me closer to my home, and double back to the original route. Not something that could happen every day, the driver stressed. But for some reason, today was ok. Today was also the day where I had almost literally fallen asleep multiple times. I couldn’t face the walk home, and I wasn’t able to get a ride.

I asked to be dropped at the end of my street. I was dropped right by my front door. “Hashem loves you.” Said the driver.

I heartily agree.

He’s not standing right at our side where we can see. We are riding on His shoulders.

Thinking about others

Play breakout was at our school  this week. I got a fairly minor part, but this isn’t about me.

Even though I had promised myself that I wouldn’t get upset, that for various reasons a big part wouldn’t be practical for me, and that if I was honest, I simply couldn’t act well enough, it did hurt a little. The mains are well, so amazing. Really cool this year. You know what I mean- if our play was a 5000 page novel, I’d read it just for them.

So when someone, (not a close friend but I’m working on getting along with her,) asked me what part I had, I couldn’t keep a slight note of regret out of my voice.

She told me what I’d been telling myself all along, but she made it seem real. “You know, it’s really the little parts that make a difference. They’re the ones everyone remembers. In Aladdin, the genie has an even smaller part than the tiger. But without him, there would be no story.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing, but how could I remember something so perfect word for word?

I thanked her for her sincere words and walked away, remembering that at least I got a part at all. And it wasn’t even just two lines. And then I remembered something.

“So, what about you? What part did you get?”

“Oh, me? I’m (insert main part here.)”


Dovid’s prayers

My school has a program where, at lunch break once a week, those who are interested crowd into one of the classrooms. The purpose is not to break the world record for the game sardines- I don’t think there are enough of us for it- but to say Tehillim. The goal is to say the entire Tehillim once over.

I say crowd not only because the room is fairly small, but also because there are more of us than usual. At the beginning, it was a struggle to get enough people to do all about 50 cards. Attendance has fluctuated since, but we have, at some points, done the entire Tehillim twice.

Today, when a few others and I got in a minute or so late- rather than the five it often takes to start- there were no cards left! The entire room was free of chatter, texting, side conversations- just the soft murmur of Dovid’s Prayers.