October 20, 2005
Bless the Children
Simchat Torah, the holiday called "Rejoicing in the Torah," falls on Oct. 26. We finish the cycle of reading the Torah and begin again. In Orthodox synagogues, the whole Torah (that is, the Five Books of Moses) has been read -- word for word. In many other synagogues, one section of the weekly portion has been read every week throughout the year.
Many people are called up to the Torah to bless it and be blessed. On this day, the children of the community are all called up. A tallit is spread over them like a Sukkah. When we, the grown-ups, bless our children, we understand the most important thing: that you, our children are the most amazing blessing of all!
Jews for Judaism is hosting its third-annual Creative Writing Contest for kids. The theme his year is "My Greatest Jewish Hero." They are looking for creative, uplifting and heartfelt work done by students in first-12th grades. Entries must be original short stories, poems or songs created specifically for this contest, about a Jewish person whom you consider to be a hero because he or she has inspired or influenced you in terms of Jewish life or commitment.
Entries may be no longer than 450 words in length, and must be typewritten and double-spaced. Each entry must be clearly marked with the submitter's name, grade and phone number. One entry per person. No joint entries accepted. Entrants must be presently enrolled in school and may not be older than 19. The contest has three categories: first-fifth grade; sixth-eighth grade; and ninth-12th grade. Three prizes will be awarded for each category.
Each entry must be accompanied by a completed entry form and must be received by Dec. 31, 2005. Mail entrees to Jews for Judaism, 9911 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035. For more information, visit www.jewsforjudaism.com.