ISSUE 4

 

The Miracles of Sukkot By Tamir Cohen

The holiday of Sukkot commemorates the Clouds of Glory that Hashem provided for Bnei Yisrael throughout their 40 year journey in the desert; however, while the Clouds of Glory provided the Jewish nation with much protection, they weren’t the only miracle the Jews were blessed with over the course of their travels. Hashem also sustained them with the heavenly ma’an that fell down on their camp every morning, as well as the supernatural well that followed them on their journey, providing them with drinking water. Thus the question is asked, of all these miracles that god performed for the Jews, why is it that the only one we celebrate with a holiday is the miracle of the Clouds of Glory? What separates it from the ma’an and the well?


Among various answers, the Sages explain that while the ma’an and the well were both great miracles, they were considered integral for the survival of the Jewish nation. As parents are obligated to provide their children with food and water, the ma’an and well were just part of God's basic obligations to his children. The Clouds of Glory, on the other hand, were a luxury, a privilege, and something beyond God’s basic obligations to us- they were Hashem’s way of showing his immense love for the chosen nation, the nation He took out of slavery and later brought to the holy land. Furthermore, our Sages explain that unlike the ma’an and the well, the Clouds of Glory were a gift solely for Bnei Yisrael and not for the Erev Rav, another symbol of the unique bond between God and His people. It was in this merit that the Clouds of Glory are celebrated every year.


The Zohar, a jewish Kabbalistic source, refers to the Sukkah as “Tzela Dehemnoota,” the shade of faith, so to speak. The sukkah, in all it’s holiness, has the special ability to inspire us to come closer to our Creator, and further strengthen our relationship with Him. God willing, we should all merit to use the Sukkah as a spiritual tool to reach higher and higher levels of Emunah in Hashem. 

 

Vice Presidential Debate by Shoshana Horn

The Vice Presidential debate between Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence was coherent and inspiring, especially when compared to the raucous performance of President Trump versus Joe Biden. There was even some professional courtesy as VP Pence even congratulated Harris’ on her “historic” nomination. A respectful exchange of answers to the moderator’s questions occurred for most of the debate between the two. Harris’ answers were poised and direct, asking voters to remember their run for toilet paper while Vice President Pence pressed Harris on whether the Harris-Biden presidency would stack the Supreme Court. As expected, the Coronavirus pandemic was a major topic of debate, even before it began. Since VP Pence was seen at the Rose Garden that led to many positive COVID cases (including that of President Trump), there was a lot of negotiation between the Harris and Pence teams on how the location would maintain appropriate social distancing. The stage was set with large plexiglass shielding both candidates and their desks very far apart. Harris and Pence debated the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic with Pence maintaining the Trump presidency has been successful, while Harris declared she would only take a vaccine if Dr. Fauci and a qualified medical team were to approve it. There were some comical moments, especially with the fly landing and staying on top of Pence’s head, as well as Harris’ dramatic facial expressions. Overall, it was refreshing to watch an actual debate and just what the voters need to really assess the 2020 election.

 

Opinion Piece: Is Social Media Detrimental to Society? By Maytal Baruch

Social media seduces us into spending more time on our devices. It sends us notifications and advertisements that pop up on our feeds. Soon we become addicted and are distracted from living the meaningful lives we should be living.

Tristian Harris, Google’s former design ethicist, was in charge of making sure Google acted in an ethical manner. He said in the new movie The Social Dilemma that we have “fallen under a spell.” In the movie, he and other experts described the many problems of social media, and how these problems, if left unsolved, have significant effects on society. 

Social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have three main goals. They aim for engagement, growth, and advertising. In an attempt to reach these goals, there has been a clear shift from presenting these platforms as tools for connectivity to the creation of an addiction and manipulation-based technology environment. 

Social media is a business, and it makes money off of us. The more people engaging in social media, the more these platforms earn money. 

The people interviewed in the movie said that social media poses an existential threat to our society. It exposes us to fake news, which causes extreme political turmoil and forms a considerable divide. The movie also notes a tremendous increase in the suicide rates of teenage girls as a result of the effects of social media on their mental health. 


I’m not saying that the internet and social media platforms haven’t had positive impacts on society, but we must also take the negative impacts into consideration, and understand that their own creators believe it can lead to the downfall of the human race.

 

Lebron James Wins his 4th Championship so Let’s Appreciate Him While He is Still Playing By Jeremy Sofiev

After Lebron's win on Sunday night against the Miami Heat, he secured his fourth NBA championship and his third finals MVP adding yet another accolade to his already stellar resume. While this Los Angeles Lakers title will undoubtedly kindle more GOAT arguments about James vs. Michael Jordan, let's leave MJ out of it for a minute - because according to most, no one will ever catch him in the race. Instead, let's take some time to appreciate the greatness James has accomplished so far, because it's remarkable.
Game 6 was James' 260th playoff game, passing Derek Fisher for most all-time.
That's incredible on its own especially when you consider how hard James plays and how central he has been in every single postseason game he has played, the fact becomes even more impressive. Since making his postseason debut on April 22, 2006, James has never missed a single playoff game due to injury. Not one. Think about that. Almost every year the Finals are affected by major injuries. Last year it was Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. This year it has been Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo. Through 10 Finals trips, James' durability is unreal.
He's the only player in league history who has scored at least 6,000 playoff points. One huge reason James has been to nine of the past 10 Finals is because his court vision and passing tend to make the players around him a lot more effective. And after surpassing Stockton in Game 3 of this series, James now ranks second in career playoff assists. Only Johnson has more. Stats are one thing, but triumphs are the ultimate prize. As James sits on the precipice of another title, consider: Nobody in league history has been more reliable closing out a series than James, who has won an astounding 79% of his closeout games. 
At age 35, James is currently the best basketball player in the NBA. Maybe you think he's the greatest of all time, maybe you don't. Regardless, his ridiculous playoff stats make one thing crystal clear: Nobody has left a greater mark on postseason basketball for as long as this guy has. Let's appreciate his greatness while he’s still here. I hope you enjoyed watching him play and witnessing his 4th championship in one of the league's most historic and iconic franchises, the Purple and Gold.

 

COVID Hits the White House By Chloe Ganjian

Recently, President Donald Trump and the first lady have tested positive for  COVID-19. Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, was apparently the first person in the White House to test positive for COVID-19. On Friday, October 2nd, the president revealed through Twitter that he and the first lady both tested positive for the virus. Shortly after the news, President Trump announced that he was going to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in an abundance of caution. The President tried to remain optimistic and sent out several videos to Twitter thanking the American people for their support. According to The Washington Post, after experiencing fatigue and other symptoms, President Trump began taking a cocktail of drugs as a precautionary measure. From what we know, the president has been taking zinc, polyclonal antibodies, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin. 


At least 22 people across Donald Trump’s White House, election campaign, and military leaders have tested positive for coronavirus. This includes senior advisor Stephan Miller, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, and Kellyanne Conway, the former senior advisor. 


The President says that he is feeling much better and extremely well thanks to the Walter Reed Medical Center. He has even said that he is ready to return to in-person rallies and debates, but whether he is still infectious remains unclear. Wishing everyone a speedy recovery.

 

Club of the Week- Investing Club By Shira Cohen

The investing club, run by Mr. Garfinkel, the Chairperson of the Business Department, is perfect for anyone interested in… you guessed it, investing! Meeting once every two weeks over zoom, students explore, research, and discuss ways to increase wealth through all types of investments. This includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, options, collectibles, and more! To make the learning more enjoyable, Mr. Garfinkel incorporates kahoot games into his lessons, and rewards students who place in the top three. Students also participate in Investopedia, a stock simulator where they may invest “money” into stocks of their choice. Those who earn the most money can win prizes! This allows club members to learn more about the stock market and how to invest their money efficiently. In addition, Mr. Garfinkel encourages the club’s officers, and members, to occasionally speak about their favorite stocks. This introduces students to stocks they may be unfamiliar with or have simply never considered investing in. It is both an educational and enjoyable experience. As Junior Aaron Kahen, a loyal member of the club, states, “It’s truly a great club led by an amazing teacher. I highly recommend joining!”

 

Advice Column: How to Relieve Stress and Stay Active as we Learn Virtually By Rebecca Schatz

School is tough for everyone, but we, as students, have to find a way to cope with the stress. School is exhausting enough when we are able to go into the actual building and learn in a conventional way. Now, with the transition back to full time Zoom, school has been an even bigger struggle for kids. Remote learning on Zoom has always been a real challenge for students. It is difficult to be attentive and participate on Zoom, and then do homework for hours afterwards. 


Free time for high school students is crucial. There are four minutes in between each period of the day. If we were in the building, we would be walking to class in these four minutes; instead, students should use this time to their advantage by loosening up in between classes. It is a good idea to go outside and get some fresh air throughout the day, especially in these four minutes. I would recommend going outside for a stroll or run during a free period, or even quickly stretching. 


Another good way to make sure you have free time after school is to get your homework over with right away. It is counterproductive to let your work pile up, so when you get an assignment, it is smart to get it out of the way so that you can relax at the end of the night. Making checklists is an easy way to stay on top of your work. They are also an excellent way to stay organized. Another is having a planner. Hopefully we will go back to regular school soon, but for now, these are a few useful tips I personally use to get through remote learning.

 

Book Review: Educated by Tara Westover; By Hannah Swartz

A book that I would recommend to any high school student is one that I recently read, Educated by Tara Westover. The book discusses Westover’s overcoming her survivalist Mormon family to go to college. Westover's first real form of education would be attending Brigham Young University. The book explores her past and how it continued to play a part throughout her entire education. She struggles to find balance in her radical religious past with the new modern society that she chooses to participate in. Somehow, Westover manages to relate to the average person despite the main character’s eclectic past and experiences. Although the events that spurred her emotions are not so ordinary, the emotions themselves are ones that relate particularly to adolescents. After reading this book, I was left analyzing my own life and the relationships within them. Anyone looking for a thought provoking and overall inspiring story should look no further.

 

Art of The Week By Abigail Mottahedeh

The art program in North Shore continues to grow every year. A specific art piece created by Evie Hakimian called ”Coded by Society” stood out to me, as it is a detailed and meaningful work of art. Evie created her piece with imagination and skill to express an important idea and her feelings. Her artwork highlights the idea of a society controlling an individual's actions and beliefs. Evie used many different artistic techniques to effectively convey her feelings. 


The painting's intricate background represents computer code which is used to symbolize how the woman’s personality or character is “coded” or “programmed” by society. The different colors used for the women’s skin represent different aspects of her personality that she chooses to hide due to fear of judgement from society. 


The painting draws attention to the importance of individuality and being comfortable in your own skin. Unfortunately in today’s day and age, society expects people to act a certain way to avoid the social stigma of being labeled "too different". Evie Hakimian’s unique work of art is both aesthetically appealing and communicates a strong and crucial message to teenagers.

Click on the original article to view Evie's work.

 

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