||[Oct. 12th, 2005|04:13 pm]
|||||"King Without a Crown" Matisyahu||]|
New to this community, but hi! My hebrew name is Chaia Esther, and I love poetry. Was wondering if I could post a not-so-great college essay idea for critiquing. Anything would be very helpful. Thanks!
One of my names is ***** ********* *****. And the other, although a mouthful, is Chaia Esther Bat-Avracham V’Yehudit. From looking at me, no one would guess my heritage or my religion. My hair and eye color and complexion mask this source of identity. In Hebrew school, my teachers used me as an example of an Aryan when we studied the Holocaust. When people -Jewish or otherwise -find out my religion, they ask if I am “full Jewish”. I answer that yes, both my parents and all of my grandparents are Jewish. No matter my appearance, I feel very passionately about my religion and culture.
I began questioning my religion and my Jewish studies before my bat-mitzvah in seventh grade. I wasn’t willing to let myself do something that I didn’t believe in, and my parents were proud that I was thinking for myself. Were the stories from the Torah really true? Did I really believe that there was a G-d? I contemplated the teachings, read the translations for the Hebrew prayers, and examined the reasons for our many traditions. I want to remain committed to learning more. Hebrew always intrigued me. In Hebrew school we learn to read, write, and chant Hebrew, but we do not learn to understand the language fluently. I’ve memorized countless prayers but have no idea what some of them mean. It has always been my goal to take classes to learn how to translate Hebrew as well as conversational Hebrew. The Hebrew letters do not always have a corresponding English letter that makes the same sound. This applies to the vowels as well, since the vowels are not actual letters but lines or dots in different orders beneath the letters. When writing in cursive, vowels are not even used. The exotic traits of the language intrigued me and I wanted to be the Eliezar Ben-Yehuda of my class. Just like how he brought Hebrew back to Israel, I would bring the language to an understanding in Fairfax, Virginia.
I’ve looked forward to college for a long time so that I can finally explore further. Not just Hebrew, but other parts of my religion and how it compares to others. My comparative religion class in Hebrew High was one of the most helpful classes for a tenth-grader meeting so many different people in a huge high school. I imagine that in college, I would be able to explore these subjects and others in much more depth. If I walked into a synagogue and took a poll of who believed in G-d and who didn’t, I would get some very interesting data. We are free to explore the religion and believe in different aspects of it, while still being as Jewish as the people dovening (praying) next to us. I would like to have this same experience in a classroom where there are so many different opinions that could all be correct; where I would debate and discuss new topics that contribute to my own and others’ identities.