Confirmation Class of 5774 – Personal Meditations

Rachel Beck                             REDEMPTION

 

Give me the strength and hope to go through life with a smile. Give me the strength to be positive in a world that is stressful, troubling and terrifying at times. When I fall or make mistakes, give me the strength to get up and move forward. Strength, a strong voice and hope are all I need to live life to the fullest and truly be happy.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? If you asked me what Confirmation meant to me three months ago, I would have said it was furthering my Jewish education. I have now learned that it has a much greater meaning. Confirmation is hope, strength and most importantly, social action. Being confirmed isn’t a destination; it’s a milestone in both life and Tikkun Olam.

 

 

 

Emily Esquenazi                      GOD

 

Life can be a lot of things. Life can hit you with storms and sunshine, love and hate, good and evil. I pray for that indescribable feeling of happiness and strength, when a streak of light shoots through every part of me, when I can’t help but smile, when I want to run into an empty field on a beautiful day and bask in pure joy. Thank you, God for making life the way it is. The tough times demand strength while the good times evoke joy. Even with all the evil in the world, God blessed everyone to be different in their own way and to have the ability to be like YOU.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation is a symbol of a journey to my place in the Jewish community and an acceptance of the responsibilities that come with it.

 

 

 

Noah Genovese-Mester            LOVE

 

When I was 2, my little brother, Jack was born. Jack has Autism. I never understood why he was different but I always went out of my way to protect and love him. Although Jack rarely speaks, I often wonder how much he truly understands about the world around him. I realize that God has created all of us to be different and yet similar in so many ways. Jack can’t TELL me how much he loves me but, when I look into his eyes, I know he does. God made Jack capable of doing what everyone else does, albeit in a different way. Realizing this made me understand, that God has made all of us unique yet, no matter how different some of us may be, we are all alike in ways we don’t realize. God has given us the ability to find the common ground.

 

 

 

Noah Goldstein                        TORAH/LEARNING/GOD/COMMUUNITY

 

Dear God,

 

Trying to understand your Torah and your teachings is hard so, Thank You for friends to join us on the way.

 

Trying to interpret what You mean and apply it personally is difficult so, thank You for teachers who explain it and help us to create our own ideas.

 

What You teach us is a way of life. It’s a commitment to help the world, to help other people and the calling to be the change we wish to see in the world.

 

God, thank You for giving us a community so we can work together to implement Your commandments together, as Jews.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation is helping to change the world in a Jewish way, using Jewish values to shape the world into the way it really should be and into a world that we are proud to live in.

 

 

 

 

Jen Koppel                               PEACE

 

There’s something about the sun’s rays seeping in and marinating my skin with a healthy glow that’s so relaxing. The second those ear buds finally settle comfortably in my ears reassures me that the clamor of the world will soon be tuned out and replaced by my favorite country music playlist. Feeling salty water come up, engulfing my toes in the toasty sand that washes away my worries. I know this is where I am supposed to be and I have reached nirvana. The little things in life mean the most. It is challenging to see yet so obvious when felt.

 

 

 

Dear God, help all of us to take a step back and become one with our inner peace and find You.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation means being a productive member of a Jewish society and taking an active role in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.

 

 

 

Amanda Margolies                   CREATION

 

Thank You for all the beauty of the world that surrounds me. Thank You, most of all, for giving me the ability to appreciate your creations. I love the sounds, sights, smells and feelings that begin my day. How can a day be anything but good when it begins with the smell of fresh air, the sounds of birds chirping and the feeling of the warmth of the sun on my face?

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation is a celebration at the end of 10th grade. At the end of this year, we can finally say that we all made a difference in the world.

 

 

 

Kerin Miller                              COMMUNITY

 

Eyelids drooping from lack of sleep, fingers numb with cold, but the connection I felt with God was undeniable. At that moment, I was one single candle among over 500, illuminating the Jefferson Memorial.

 

 

 

It didn’t matter how old or young, devout or non-practicing, wealthy or struggling, from New Jersey or Arizona… we were all one, united by Judaism. We were a community of shining candles sharing a moment of prayer as we bid farewell to Shabbat.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation symbolizes a continued growth as a Jew. I’m no longer the 13 year-old “daughter of the commandments” but a young Jewish adult. I have learned through my continued education, to embody the values of Judaism.

 

 

 

Joy Mizrahi                              SOCIAL ACTION

 

We are the people who go against the odds. We are the people who have a voice and we can be heard. We are all one . . . we are the difference . . . we can change the world. Tikvah (hope) and Koach (strength) are the footsteps to Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation is the beginning of the next step in my Jewish education. It means that I have reached a point where I am able to keep learning more.

 

 

 

 

Marlee Neugass                       CONNECTION TO GOD

 

We are a part of the something more, the something bigger that connects us all. That which we cannot even begin to understand. Standing steadily-footed on this earth, we are surely, perhaps unknowingly a part of it. It is not within us because we are inside of it. Each one of us, we make up the spirit of the universe. Maybe that’s God. We are constantly surrounded by it. It never leaves us. So we are never alone.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? To me, my Confirmation is me telling myself that I am still up for the challenge that God gave me… the same one that I accepted when I became a Bat Mitzvah… to do my part in healing the world.

 

 

 

Jen Onefater                             PEACE

 

In the sixteen years that I have lived, I’ve heard of more instances of human on human conflict than anyone should hear in a lifetime. War, murder, oppression, bigotry . . . all it takes is glancing at a newspaper to be reminded of how seemingly easy it is to resort to violence and hatred.

 

 

 

Which is why I bring forward this question: If we cannot be at peace with ourselves, how can we be at peace with others? The idea of reaching inner peace is underestimated in our society. Perhaps if there was more emphasis placed on how to better ourselves in the moment, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time shaking our heads at a person whose inner conflicts went too far and got the best of them.

 

 

 

Jacob Parish                             TRADITION

 

Prayer, learning, acts of kindness all are elements that bind us together as Jews. To me, tradition is at the top of the list. Gathering around a table to have a seder with my family is a highlight of my year. It gives all of us a chance to connect with each other as well as providing a link to the past and the future. Knowing that I am continuing traditions that began many centuries ago and establishing a path for future generations, fills me with joy and fulfillment.

 

 

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation is only a step in continuing my Jewish studies and actually taking action in our community. Those in need might be Jewish or non-Jewish but we are all human beings.

 

 

 

Raquel Rosen                          NATURE/CREATION
God, as I gaze out at the stars at night, marveling at their beauty, I am reminded of Your everlasting existence and am able to comprehend the meaning of my life here on earth. I am here to make the world a better place. It is simple to find the majesty that You have placed into everything on this planet but it is the determined and open-minded who will learn to love and appreciate Your wondrous creations.

 

 

 

Sarah Skran

 

What does Confirmation mean to me? Confirmation means working towards Tikkun Olam and also realizing that it never ends. Through this you learn more of what it means to be a Jew.