Kasey and Rachel’s information About Bar or Bat Mitzvahs

Kasey and Rachel:

Here is our elder buddy David:

This is Harriet:

This is Miriam:

We talked to our elder buddies about how to live a good life.  We spoke with Milly and she liked growing up in a Jewish home.  She loved how her home was a very warm place and she especially loved when her mama and papa cooked all those delicious meals on the holidays.  Milly is 90 years old.  Her mother lived to the age of 90 and her father to the age of 95.  She said, “Still when you walked by their door, you could still smell the cooking.  When you are brought up in a Jewish home, all they know is that you have to cook and eat.”  Rachel makes cookies with her grandma.  Kasey gets lots of yummy stuff when he sees his grandma and grandpa or they buy something.  Milly was very excited to see all of her grandchildren, who were coming from Philadelphia for Thanksgiving.  One of them, her grandson, was coming from UCLA.

        Harriet felt that it was very important to tell the truth and be honest in order to live a good life.  Both Kasey and Rachel felt that sometimes it is hard to tell the truth because you don’t want someone to get mad at you or you may not want to get into trouble.  Miriam felt that it was sometimes hard to tell the truth as well but still you have to.

        David felt that knowing the Torah was a must!  You will be leading a good life if you follow.  The torah has laws and ethics.  You have to treat people well and be a good Jew and a good American.

Here’s part of our conversation with David:

Rachel: What can you teach us about how to live a good life?

David: First of all you should know Torah.

When you grow up, you’re going to be reading that book.

Rachel: The whole thing!?

David: A little bit at a time, a little bit each week. It’s like 4 pages a week. I’ve done it many times. If you go to a synagogue on Saturday they read the Torah. They cover one portion. Over a year, they read the whole thing. They do it every year. Do you know about Rosh Hashanah? That’s the beginning of the year. . . So we Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the year, and 12 months later we have another Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah in Hebrew means beginning of the year. Rosh is “head”, Hashanah is “the year”: the head of the year, the beginning of the year. On the 10th day we have Yom Kippur and on the 15th day we have Sukkot, when we have those huts.

David B: So you’re saying the most important advice is to know the torah? Is that your advice?

David F. Yeah. Very important.

         We then spoke to a woman named Hilda.  She was 102 years old.  She went to school far away in Germany.  The schooling there was great and there was no anti-semitism.  Hilda remembers growing up in her family being wonderful.  She went to school, ran around and played with her friends.  Her family also kept a Christmas tree in their house because of the maids that were in their home.  “We celebrated Christmas with them and they celebrated Hanukkah with us.  It was a great understanding.  However, it is not like that anymore.”  

        Hilda had a brother and sister named Heidi and Hans.  Her sister was her best friend.  “We used to dance, jump and make nonsense together.  We used to bake with our mother..we liked to hold the bowl and get some of the good stuff with our fingers.”

Here is a part of a conversation with Hilda and our teacher David:

Hilda:  We all know a lotta lotta people, and they are all good people.  And we think they are until they prove to us the opposite, that they are NOT good people.  

David: That’s right

Hilda:  That’s how you have to see your friends and your enemies.    They are all good people.    And if your friends are very good, you try to be a little bit better in home and in school.    That’s all I can tell you.  

David:  (children didn’t understand her accent so he says):  She’s saying that you have to look at everybody and you start thinking that they’re good people until they show you that they’re not.  But she’s saying that you have to try to like everybody and trust everybody.

Rachel: Well, it’s pretty hard to like everybody.


Kasey thinks that the most important thing to live a good Jewish life is to always be honest and respectful. “I think it’s important to also know how to read a Torah in a Jewish life.  It’s also important to know how to write Hebrew and stuff.

“Murphy the dog lives at Orchard Cove and he loves to play with a tennis ball.  He is everybody’s friend.”

Rachel thinks that the most important thing to live a good Jewish life is to try not to lie or hurt anybody’s feelings. It is also important to listen to adults and to learn hebrew as well as be nice.