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Jewish Journal

Hey Kids!

by Shoshana Lewin-Fischer

November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

The Fire Within

"Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right ... and what is easy."

These are the words of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the film "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the fourth film based on the popular series of books by J.K. Rowling, which opens Nov. 18.

FYI: In Israel, the latest film is called "Harry Potter Ugevia Ha'Aish."

Will you be seeing it?

Stump Your Parents

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," introduces a slew of new words and concepts. Quiz your parents, grandparents and older siblings and see if they know what is true and what is false. Are they as smart as Harry's gal pal Hermione Granger or as clueless as Harry's cousin, Dudley Dursley?

1) An auror is another name for the captain of the Quiddich team.

2) The only person to survive the Avada Kedavra, the killing curse, is Harry Potter.

3) The Death Eaters are the supporters of Lord Voldemort.

4) Gillyweed allows a person to fly.

5) The Floo Network is the No. 1 television channel in the wizarding world.

Bonus question: What three schools are in the Triwizard Tournament?

Jr. Sherlocks

Thanks to following eagle-eyed readers who spotted the error on last week's Hey Kids: Ariel Weinreich, Ilan Elkabetz, Renina Michelson and Mimi Erlick.

Halloween Yes or No?

Mimi Erlick, 10, says: "It's a pagan holiday, yes, but it's turned into a Hallmark holiday and it doesn't have much of a pagan theme anymore. I think that Jewish children should do Halloween. It's not bad anymore." Mimi went trick or treating in her neighborhood with two other Jewish families.

Kein v' Lo

This section of the page will be a way for you to sound off on an issue. This month's kein v' lo (yes and no) is about Harry Potter. How does Harry Potter remind us about Jewish values? Is Harry Potter a positive influence for young Jews? Here's some stuff to think about:

The Kein Side:

• Hogwarts is like a yeshiva where wizarding students go to learn. Learning there is hard work but important. That's the way school should be.

• Harry's nemesis Voldemort (aka "He Who Must Not Be Named") is like Amalek, the evil force that tries to destroy the Jews in every generation. So the idea of an evil force makes sense for Jews.

• Harry bravely supports his friends and teachers, especially Dumbledore (who is like a rosh yeshiva, the wise and good leader of a school).

The Lo Side:

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• The Torah forbids magic.: "When you come into the land ... there shall not be found among you any one who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to God" (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).

• Harry Potter is set in a Christian world -- with Christmas trees and Christmas presents. In the books and movies, it's like other religions don't even exist.

• The books are too violent, and Harry's character sets a bad example by trying to solve dangerous problems himself, when he should call for the help of adults.

• Hogwarts and magic may seem like fun, but they aren't real. Kids have to learn to value real life and real school. The real magic is how well you can live your life: how hard you work, how well you treat people - without using magic.

You debate, you decide. Remember, before you offer your opinion think hard about the other points of view. We want to know what you think. E-mail your thoughts to kids@jewishjournal.com with the subject line Kein V'Lo: Harry Potter.

Answers to Stump Your Parents

1) False (an auror is a wizard specializing in detecting and detaining dark wizards); 2) True; 3) True; 4) False (Gillyweed enables a person wizard to breathe underwater); 5) False (the Floo Network are navigable fireplaces); Bonus: Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.

 

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