D'var Torah: Parashat Lech Lecha By Josh Kreinik
In this week's Parsha, Parshat Lech Lecha, Hashem tells Avram to "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you”(Genesis 12:1). Avram and his wife Sari got up and left their home to go to Canaan, having complete faith that HaShem would take care of them. When they got there, a famine caused them to go to Egypt. Avram knew that Sarai was a beautiful woman and feared that the Egyptians would kill him so that Pharaoh could marry Sarai, and therefore decided to tell people that they were siblings. Pharaoh then took Sarai and wanted her to be his wife.
Avram Avinu is a very strong and holy man. He fought and beat 4 kings with no fear. If Avram was able to do this, why couldn’t he fight Pharaoh in order for Sarai to remain by his side? The reason for this is because the cause of the fighting would be different. Avram fought the 4 kings in the name HaShem. Avram would have fought Pharaoh for a personal reason. An important lesson that we can take away from Avram is that when it comes to Hashem, we should take matters into our own hands to defend His name. However, when it comes to matters that have to do with ourselves, we should have faith that HaShem will take care of us and lead the way.
Club of the Week: North Shore Notes By Shira Cohen
m sure you are all familiar with North Shore Hebrew Academy’s outstanding newspaper: North Shore Notes! After all, you are reading it right now. Run by director of the Writing Center, Ms. Zabinsky, and assiduous senior Talia Dror, its mantra, “get in the know”, is nothing short of fitting. As you may have noticed, North Shore Notes has a new and improved website this year, http://northshorenotes.org/. Created by Talia, the website allows for parents, students, and teachers to easily access all articles and “get in the know”. Compared to last year’s system, “It’s a great alternative, and I hope to see it used for many more years,” Talia says.
The writing process is quite simple. Talia drafts a list of six to eleven relevant topics every week, sends it out to the student staff, and students choose from the list. The articles range from school activities, current events, dvar Torahs to sports, politics. and advice. Each week’s issue is different and “gives students the opportunity to express themselves and write about topics that interest them, ” says staff writer, Tamir Cohen. Talia provides students with plenty of time to write and submit their articles, ensuring that “we never have to be stressed out,” adds another staff writer. Upon completing their articles, students send them to Talia and Rebeka Nissan, the assistant editor, to be checked and approved. Rebeka loves that she gets to read a “plethora of stellar articles each week” and “how each writer has their own interests and opinions,” she says. The final touches are then in the hands of Ms. Zabinsky as she reviews the articles once again and shares them with the entire school to be read and enjoyed!
Finally! You are all familiar with the inside outs of North Shore’s spectacular newspaper. I’m sure you can all imagine what had to be done in order for this issue to be produced. All of this, however, would not be possible “without the dedication and help of each and every writer,” as Talia emphasizes. And, as Ms. Zabinsky adds, “Students are always at the very heart of the paper, and I am so proud of the many incredible ones I've been able to work with.”
You May Say I'm a DREAMer By Kayla Hutt
One key topic of the final presidential debate was immigration and the Dreamers. A ‘Dreamer’ is the label given to the immigrant youth that are affected by DACA and the DREAM Act.
Many Dreamers received temporary protection under the Obama administration, but now live in fear of deportation under the Trump administration. The ACLU said that they are unable to locate the parents of 545 children who were among the families separated at the border in 2017 and 2018. When asked about this report, Trump said, “The children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people… and they use them to get into our country.” He additionally stated that the children “are so well taken care of.” Meanwhile, Biden said, “Kids were ripped from their arms… and now they can’t find them...it’s criminal.” Trump continued to defend his zero tolerance immigration policies. On the other hand, Biden vowed to give a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. He said, “They’re going to be immediately certified again to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship.” However, when asked why the Obama administration did not do more to protect them, Biden conceded that it “took too long to get it right.”
I took the liberty of asking several of my fellow classmates their opinions on immigration as it was discussed in the final debate. Josh Kreinik told me he feels that “Trump’s policies on immigration [are a bit] extreme” and “he should allow more immigrants.” However, “Biden’s immigration plan is too lenient; we can’t let everyone in and grant them citizenship.” Josh clearly believes that we need to find some middle ground. Meanwhile, Talia Dror says that she “sides more with Trump’s policies on immigration.” “Although he may not convey his ideas so well,” she says, “his idea to put [up] a physical border is valid and in my opinion, necessary.” Another senior, Aviel Zurishaday, noted that if there is an immigrant that has “spent time in America working as an American, and abiding by every law an American citizen follows…[they] should be on the path to citizenship.” Nevertheless, Aviel says that he “would not trust Biden on the issue of immigration” considering “how awful it was under the Biden-Obama administration.” Finally, Jeremy Sofiev stated that “immigrants should be assessed on a case by case basis. If they are law abiding citizens that contribute to society, they should be awarded citizenship...if they are criminals and are a detriment to our society, they should be deported.” He says that Trump’s policies do not abide by this and can sometimes come off as somewhat racist. Meanwhile, “Biden is more worried about reuniting children displaced from their families at the border,” and “that’s important.” Of course, “no children should be put in cages or separated from their parents, because they have no control of their situation.”
There is clearly an array of opinions amongst the class of 2021, all with very valid reasoning. We heard from both Trump and Biden about their policies. Time will tell what will happen to the Dreamers.
Opinion Piece: Is the use of Electronics linked to Depression in Teens? By Tamir Cohen
We live in a time of change. Every day, new medicines are being created, new species are being discovered, and our technological capabilities are expanding like never before. Yet it’s during these times that we must take a moment and wonder: have these recent advancements in technology done any damage to our culture, economy, and society as a whole? When it comes to depression, especially in teens, the answer is most definitely yes. In fact, a new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science shows a possible correlation between increased symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts in teens who spend more than three hours a day online, on cell phones or playing video games. And to many medical experts, this is no surprise. “The study does confirm what a number of other studies have told us that not only has the average amount of time teens are spending online and playing video games increased significantly since the turn of the century, but also that the rates of depression have increased concurrently,” says Dr. Paul Weigle, a physician who specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry and chairs the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Media Committee. He continues, noting that while this correlation doesn’t necessarily indicate causation, the fact of the matter is that “increased time online directly causes depression, increased exposure [to video games, cell phones and the internet] is really the biggest change in the lives of children and adolescents during that time period.” Now, while the obvious takeaway from this discovery is to limit our time on electronics, it also acts as a microcosm of our ever-changing world. We’re constantly seeing changes in the way we live our lives on a daily basis. While many of these changes are good, we must also make sure to keep in mind what detrimental effects they can have on us.
The New Representatives for Israel on the World Stage in Sports By Gilad Azaharian
Anytime an Israeli celebrity comes to America, they are representatives of Israel and the Jewish people. Stars in Hollywood such as Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot and Tomer Capon have been in the spotlight for a few years now. In the sports world, there have not been so many great Israeli athletes that made it into the big leagues. Omri Casspi was the first Israeli to be drafted into the NBA, being drafted 23rd overall to the Sacramento Kings in 2009. The only other Israeli to play in the NBA was Gal Mekel. This year, two Israelis are projected to be drafted into the NBA, on very different paths: Deni Avidja, and Yam Madar.
Deni Avidja is projected to go top 5 in this year's NBA draft. As combo guard-forward, he is the most promising prospect to ever come from Israel. Avdija previously played professionally for Maccabi Tel Aviv at 18 years old. He was also a member of the Israeli national championship team at the FIBA U20 European Championships in 2018, and led the team to a second victory in 2019. Israel had never won gold before 2018, but with Deni they became the second country ever to win gold back to back. What makes Deni so special is that he is extremely versatile. At 6’9 and possessing extreme skills, including great shooting and ball handling, Deni is capable of playing four out of five different positions for a basketball team. In my opinion, he is very similar to Italian star Danilo Gallinari. They are both extremely versatile players with great shooting who can fit into any team. Avdija is expected to come into the NBA and have immediate impact helping the team who selects him win games.
Less known than Deni is his Championship teammate, Yam Madar. Yam currently plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv. Yam has been dubbed by Overtime, the famous media company, as a “European Steph Curry.” Ironically, what makes Madar special is his defense. He has been called by some scouts “a top 5 defensive point guard in the world.” Yam wakes up every morning at 6 AM and serves in the army until 3 PM. After he finishes, he heads to practice. When asked if he’s nervous about going to the NBA he said, “Kids my age, they’re having bullets shot by their heads. I’m playing basketball. There is no pressure.” This quote is really all you need to hear to understand the type of person Yam Madar is. I can’t wait to see both Deni and Yam in the NBA getting buckets with all of Israel cheering them on.
Art of the Week: "Society's Masks" By Ella Shusterman
North Shore students only continue to wow everyone with works of art that are both beautiful and meaningful. This issue’s “Art of the Week” describes a piece done by 11th grader Shani Ort titled “Society’s Masks”. It is not only incredible to look at but also conveys an important message about our identity and individuality.
In her art class, Shani was assigned to create a piece of art inspired by a fairy tale. She chose “Little Red Riding Hood”, and focused on how the Big Bad Wolf deceived Little Red Riding Hood by concealing his true identity and pretending to be someone else. He put on a mask in order to fool her, and Shani related this idea to the masks people tend to wear in today’s world. Her painting includes one person with multiple masks surrounding him. The person is wearing a red hood, and this is meant to symbolize someone who is being deceived by others, just like Little Red Riding Hood was. He is also wearing a blindfold, signifying how the masks people put on blind us from their true identities.
Shani’s painting incorporates the idea of how important it is to embrace one’s real self. People are often tempted to put on “masks” because they are so concerned about the way they are perceived by others. With society’s standards about how we should look or act, people are afraid of being judged for who they really are. However, Shani’s outstanding painting emphasizes how people should live to their full potential and let others meet their authentic selves instead of pretending to be someone else.
Show Review: Your Lie in April By Lior Edrich
When quarantine started in March, I decided to kill time by watching Netflix. I came across Your Lie In April, a Japanese animation I had previously watched about 4 years ago, and decided to rewatch it.
The plot of the show is incredibly engaging. 14 year old Arima Kousei, a piano prodigy, is suffering from post-traumatic disorder after closely linking his piano performances with the abuse he suffered from his dying mother. He hadn’t played the piano in over two years and each time he tries to, he cannot hear the notes. His life ultimately changes when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a revolutionary violinist. Kaori dedicates her time to helping Arima’s relationship with music. What he doesn’t know is that Kaori has a painful secret, one that will unexpectedly affect his whole life.
As someone who has been playing piano for almost 13 years, it really opened my eyes. I related to Arima and his issue with not hearing himself playing due to anxiety. Kaori taught me that while I play, I should “feel” the music rather than try and get to sound absolutely perfect. For some reason, this message only hit me the second time watching it and not the first time. Maybe it was because I had grown as a musician.
Another thing about Your Lie In April that impressed me was the beautiful art in the anime. The music was of course the main focus of the show, but the illustrators did a wonderful job animating. The colors and their gradual variations are outstanding. Since it is animation rather than live action, you can create much more to show the emotion and tone in a scene.
Advice Column: How to Stay Organized in a Hybrid Learning System By Chloe Ganjian
Our school’s new hybrid learning system may make it more challenging for students to stay organized and on top of all their work. Organization is the key to success in high school, and it is crucial that we do not let this new system hurt us. To stay organized, I strongly recommend using a planner to write down all your tasks each day. Planners are great tools to use to stay organized because you can write down everything that you have to do for each class, and when you get home, you won’t forget anything. Once you complete a task in your planner, you can cross it out and feel good! Most planners come with calendars as well, so you can write down the due dates of all your upcoming tests and assignments to ensure that you won’t forget about them.
Another way to stay organized in this hybrid learning system is to constantly check your emails. Since we are home for half the week, most teachers send out assignments and homework through email. Especially this year, it is crucial that you check your email regularly and read everything your teachers send you. In addition to this, many clubs send out emails reminding students of important meeting dates. If you don’t check your email, you may miss out on an amazing opportunity. It is also important to check your email because Dr. Vitow regularly sends out updates that you wouldn’t want to miss!
If you use these tips, try your best to stay organized and work hard in high school, you will certainly accomplish great things!