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VOLUME 6 ISSUE 17

GET IN THE KNOW!

Monday, February 8, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parshat Terumah

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How To Get Back Into School Mode After a Break

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A Much Needed Break

 

 

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Everything You Need To Know About The Iowa Caucuses

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Nashir

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Sean Penn Interviews Brutal Mexican Drug Lord

 

 

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Flint's Frustration With Water Contamination

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Zika Virus

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Human Embryos Editing

 

 

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DJ Khaled's Snapchat Takeover

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NFL Playoffs Recap

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Calvin Johnson's Retirement

 

 

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2nd Semester Advice

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How Well Do You Know Your Teachers?

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Art of the Week

 

 

 

 

Parshat Terumah

by Shani Kahan

 

Parshat TerumahShoham stones and stones for the settings, for the Ephod and the Breastplate. (Exodus 25:7)

In this week's Parsha, Parshat Terumah, the Jewish people have been requested to donate materials for the building of the Mishkan. Thirteen donated materials have been enumerated in the Parsha. Among the thirteen materials, the Shoham stone is listed second to last. Ironically, the Shoham stone was one of the most expensive contributed materials; how come the Shoham stones are second to last on the list if they were so valuable?

The answer to this question can be found in the Mishna. The Mishna articulates, "L'fum Tzara Agra"- the reward is in proportion to the action (Avos 5:23). The reward for following Hashem's commandments increases in proportion to the difficulty and effort required for their accomplishment. If one puts in the appropriate effort, he or she will surely be rewarded.

The Talmud asserts that clouds brought the Shoham stones; there was no monetary or physical exertion on Bnai Israel's part. Hence, the Shoham stones are mentioned in the end of the pasuk as opposed to the materials that were brought with more hard work and effort and were considered more important despite the fact that they had lesser worth.

The reward for studying Torah and additional spiritual matter is not proportional to the extent of one's success but rather to both the quantity and quality of effort that one asserts. If one truly attempts with complete heart and soul, he or she will be sufficiently rewarded for the work, regardless of whether or not he or she has achieved a great amount.

 

 

How To Get Back Into School Mode After a Break

by Lia Berger 

 

How To Get Back Into School Mode After a Break

During the lengthy January vacation, you probably got used to sleeping late, not doing any work, and watching a lot of TV. When school started up again on February 1st, it may have been difficult to get back into the mindset of being in school. It often takes a day or two to get acclimated to your school routine and to being back in class. Here are some tips on getting back into work mode after a long vacation.

You can start preparing for the second semester a few days before school starts. Get rid of old notes you longer need, but make sure you don't throw out anything you do need. Another thing you can do during this time is start waking up earlier and earlier. It is a break and you do have the luxury of sleeping as late as you want to, but it's hard to sleep late for two consecutive weeks and then wake up for the first day back at 6:00 am. By waking up earlier during the last couple of days of the break, you can ease into your school morning schedule.

On the first day back, make sure you have all your binders and school supplies with you. Getting to school a little bit earlier than normal can give you some time to reorganize your locker and binders, which can make the day easier. Get breakfast downstairs so that you don't go to class on an empty stomach. The day will go by quicker than you expect, and soon you will be used to being back in school.

 

 

A Much Needed Break

by Jamie Zuckerman

 

A Much Needed BreakThe January vacation is the most well-deserved break of the school year. Post-midterms, students in NSHAHS were gifted a two week vacation to recover from the stressful week of testing.

Students do many different things over break. Paulina Choueka, for example, enjoyed taking a trip to Turks and Caicos with her family. "I really enjoyed my trip. I got to relax and rejuvenate and prep for the second semester of junior year." Gabby Orbach, on the other hand, stayed at home to prep for the upcoming ACTs. "Although my break wasn't relaxing, I am well prepared for testing. Hopefully, my work paid off." Brielle Hoffman went on a family trip to Florida. "There wasn't much to do in Del Ray because the sun wasn't out much. I didn't tan as much as I wanted too, but I still enjoyed getting away for a bit." On the colder side,Greg Bari went on a ski trip with fellow juniors Evan Silbiger, Justin Silbiger and Zach Mor. "The weather wasn't much different in Vermont than New York, but we enjoyed getting away and hitting the slopes." The enjoyable things to do over break were different for each student but it seems like they were all great.

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About The Iowa Caucuses

by Aryeh Hajibay 

 

Everything You Need To Know About The Iowa Caucuses

On the night of February 1, 2016, the nation watched as the state of Iowa casted the first votes in the nominating process for the 2016 presidential election. Over 180,000 Republicans and 170,000 Democrats went out on a cold winter night in The Hawkeye State to partake in a voting process far different than what we're used to here in New York. For years, the tradition has been that Iowa would be the first state in the union to send delegates to the National Convention in the summer, and candidates have been traveling the state, kissing babies and eating the famous Iowan corn dogs to gain some traction in the state. From the very first day, the candidates knew the pressure was on. On the Democratic side, what started out as a fifty point lead by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her nearest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, turned into a razor thin victory of three-tenths of a percentage point, though many argue it was virtually a tie. And for months, the polls seemed to have suggested that Real-Estate Tycoon Donald Trump would be the apparent winner, although Texas Senator Ted Cruz's remarkably well put-together ground operation proved the polls and the pundits wrong. The biggest surprise of the night was Marco Rubio finishing in a close third after Donald Trump. Clearly, the most anticipated night in the world of politics was full of surprises.

As mentioned, what's fascinating about the Iowa Caucuses is the unique way in which the votes are cast. As opposed to the modern primary system, like the one we have in New York, the Iowa Caucuses is, "democracy truly at work," according to Mr. David Miles, Chairperson of the History Department. On the Republican side, voters were told to meet at their designated caucus precincts by 7:00 CT. The voters first heard from a ‘precinct chair' chosen by the campaigns, and after hearing from them they wrote their candidate of choice on a secret ballot and waited for results. The Democratic caucuses operate in a different way. Each voter arrived at his precinct, heard the precinct chair speak on behalf of his candidate, and were then told to find fellow supporters and form a group or caucus. If a group did not contain 15% of the caucus-goers in the room, the candidate was not considered "viable," which explains why Governor Martin O'Malley had such a rough night. These voters now have the choice to either re-caucus, or leave the precinct and not vote. This is where things get interesting. Supporters of both Sanders and Clinton now tried to persuade these supporters to caucus with them, and many chose to caucus with Sanders. All ties were broken with a coin-toss, which in 6 precincts, worked out in favor of Clinton, something that outraged Sanders. Both candidates declared victory that night, since the race was so close and the final projections weren't made until the following day.

When it comes to Iowa, the game is just getting started, and while Iowa doesn't send too many delegates to the convention, it is a swing-state and is also important for gaining momentum. The next contest will take place in New Hampshire on Tuesday, February 9, where Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been consistently leading for months. This election is far from over, and it is up to the voters to decide who is the most qualified to be the next commander-in-chief and leader of the free world.

 

 

Nashir

by Arielle Sarraf

 

NashirIf you are in the choir, you embarked on the fun trip that took place this past week called "Nashir". Nashir is an event in which different yeshivot come together to hear each other's performances. NSHAHS's choir, which consists of about 50 people, departed for Nashir, dressed in all white regalia, on February 3rd at 8:30 in the morning. Two full buses conveyed them to the world of music, which took place this year at SAR High School in The Bronx. At first all the attendees sang in unison for practice, before everyone split up into small workshops. In these intimate sessions, the attendees were taught different singing techniques. After the workshops, the choir members ate lunch in the cafeteria with other students from the various high schools in attendance. The students then met up with their respective school delegations to ascend the stage and perform. Overall, Nashir is a thrilling experience, and North Shore choir members have the fortune to participate in it annually.

 

 

Sean Penn Interviews Brutal Mexican Drug Lord

by Aaron Silverman 

 

Sean Penn Interviews Brutal Mexican Drug Lord

Earlier this month, Mexico's blissful Mariachi band façade was shattered by sprays of bullets that accompanied the capture of infamous drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Guzman, whose sobriquet means "shorty", has gained notoriety in both the U.S. and Mexico for his illicit involvement in drug trafficking. As the head of the self-described "largest drug cartel in the world", the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman is responsible for smuggling enormous quantities of illegal drugs into the U.S. and for carrying out countless murders, kidnappings, and acts of torture related to his smuggling activities. Early in January, the brutal villain was captured by Mexican forces in his jungle hideout in Mexico's western Sinaloa state. He had been on the run since last July when he escaped- for the second time- from a federal prison facility. His recent capture touches off a tale of repeated incarcerations and escapes that has turned the Mexican president's cheeks red with embarrassment.

News of Guzman's capture was followed by reports of an interview of him conducted by actor Sean Penn for Rolling Stone magazine. The actor is best known for movies such as 2003's Mystic River- although until recently he was alien to most people born in 1990 and on. In any event, it appears that Sean Penn has a fixation with despots and fugitives. His El Chapo interview was far from the only controversial rendezvous he's had. He infamously met with an agent of Iraqi dictator Sadam Hussein in 2002. In 2005, he made a visit to Iran and met with representatives of that nation's fiendish leaders. Penn also courted and befriended former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Penn was apparently unperturbed by Chavez's erratic behavior, authoritarian demeanor, curtailing of democracy, and sponsoring of terror.

Simultaneously, Penn has been a leading figure in humanitarian efforts in post-Katrina New Orleans and in Haiti during its disastrous 2010 earthquake. How can a man so ostensibly dedicated to humanitarianism and goodwill also be on good terms with some of the world's cruelest people? My hunch is that Penn has adopted an anti-government stance, no matter the issue, in order to gain publicity. It could be an attempt to compensate for a waning acting career. Dabbling in political activism is evidently not a suitable pastime for Penn, though. If a desire for an unconventional political career has him cultivating friendships with some of the world's most notorious villains, than Sean Penn should just stick to whatever's left of his vapid acting career.

 

 

Flint's Frustration With Water Contamination

by Yaakov Spraragen

 

Flint's Frustration With Water ContaminationHopefully both the water system and the lives of the people of Flint, Michigan will begin to clear up soon. This impoverished city dealing with a lead-contaminated water system recently caught the attention of the media. Images of the rashes on children who've bathed in the water and photos of brown liquid spilling from faucets have spread through social media and news organizations. The crisis dates back to April 2014, when Flint stopped buying water from Detroit and began using water from the Flint River, which corroded underground pipes, spewing lead into the system and poisoning children. Residents of Flint were also exposed to chemical byproducts, bacteria and disease. The people of Flint were repeatedly misinformed and told that the water was safe until just now. Two employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have been suspended, and an administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resigned because of the recent disastrous events, which have left the city of 99,000 reliant on just bottled water.

Flint's urgent need for clean water has put people in motion. Online fundraisers through crowdfunding websites and movements created through social media have accumulated millions of dollars worth of donations in order to support this city. The FBI and Poison Control Center are also on the scene and investigating the crisis with hopes to prevent this from happening again.

Through the efforts of poison control and the support that Flint is getting on media websites, the disaster-stricken city will hopefully recover and lead-contamination of water will cease to be an issue.

 

 

Zika Virus

by Leeal Kahen 

 

Zika Virus

A relatively new mosquito-borne virus is prompting worldwide concern because of an alarming connection to a neurological birth defect and its rapid spread across the globe. This virus is a Zika Virus. Zika is often transmitted when an Aedes mosquito bites a person with an active infection and then spreads the virus by biting others. In the United States, the first case of locally acquired Zika was reported. However, this time it was not from a mosquito bite, but instead it was sexually transmitted. There is also growing evidence of a link between contracting Zika virus during pregnancy, and giving birth to a child with microcephaly. Microcephaly is a congenital disorder in which the brain of a developing fetus fails to grow normally, leaving the baby seriously deformed. As a result of this, several health officials from countries all across South America are urging female citizens to avoid becoming pregnant, in some cases, for up to two years. "As long as the mosquito keeps reproducing, each and every one of us is losing the battle against the mosquito," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff stated.

 

 

Human Embryos Editing

by Yair Atlas

 

Human Embryos Editing
Recently, scientists in the U.K. have been permitted to genetically edit human embryos in order to investigate the causes of miscarriages. They were given permission by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. They are planning to experiment on about 30 embryos at the Francis Crick Institute in London. They are only permitted to allow the embryos to grow to 250 cells and it is illegal for them to implant the fetus into a woman. Dr. Kathy Niakan, the person who submitted the research application, is interested in finding which genes cause miscarriages to occur and how they cause miscarriages. Mouse models have indicated that genetics plays a role in miscarriage. The embryos will be donated by couples undergoing IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment with extra embryos. The DNA will be edited with the use of a technique called Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) - Cas9. CRISPR uses viruses to input new DNA strands into cells. The researchers will be investigating a gene known as OCT4. This has been shown to play a role in healthy embryonic development in mice. The research will not take place until the researchers receive approval from an ethics committee. This is expected to occur by March.

 

 

DJ Khaled's Snapchat Takeover

by Rachel Ahdoot 

 

DJ Khaled's Snapchat Takeover

Ever wonder what the key to success is? All you have to do is add DJ Khaled on Snapchat and you are guaranteed success. If you don't add him, you're missing out on some major keys. His motivational talks and crazy adventures have made him one of the most inspirational figures for today's teens.

Some of his major keys include: "The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows" and "Follow code and keep your face clean." If you haven't heard of DJ Khaled, these tips might seem ridiculous, but the more you watch his daily routine in Miami, the more drawn to him you become. What really gets people to connect to and follow DJ Khaled is how much support he shows for his fans. "When you're close to the victory line, expect a lot of surprises and road blocks," he said in one Snap. "Stay focused, overcome it. That's how the great ones do."

All over social media, teens have taken it upon themselves to represent and show their support for DJ Khaled. If you watch out for that little golden key emoji, you will spot it more than a dozen times while scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

Interestingly, if there is one thing I've noticed from watching DJ Khaled's Snapchat stories, is that he is never working. I guess Snapchat is his major key to success.

 

 

NFL Playoffs Recap

by Josh Peyser

 

NFL Playoffs Recap As we near the Super Bowl, we begin recapping the incredible NFL playoffs. During Wildcard weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs shut out the Houston Texans, 30-0, and the Green Bay Packers defeated the Washington Redskins 35-18. Due to two late unsportsmanlike penalties and costly fumbles, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16. The final game was the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Minnesota Vikings. This was one of the coldest games in NFL history. The Seahawks won due to a missed field goal with nine seconds left. The Broncos, Patriots and Panthers breezed into the next round. The Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals game was the most exciting of all playoff games. The Cardinals, the NFC's No. 2 seed, thought they had won until Aaron Rodgers, in a play reminiscent of Green Bay's win over Detroit this season, took the snap with 5 seconds to play, scrambled and threw to the end zone, Green Bay receiver Jeff Janis jumped up and made the incredible catch to tie the game. In overtime, the Cardinals won after a 75-yard catch and run by Larry Fitzgerald led to a Larry Fitzgerald touchdown. In the Championship round, the Broncos won because of a rare missed extra point by Patriots Kicker Stephen Gostkowski. In the NFC, the Panthers breezed by the Arizona Cardinals. The major headline of the Super Bowl is that this could possibly be Peyton Manning's last game.

 

 

Calvin Johnson's Retirement

by Arie Monas 

 

Calvin Johnson's Retirement

Prior to the 2015 NFL season, wide receiver Calvin Johnson notified a few of his friends and family members that he would be playing in his last career season. When coach Jim Caldwell was notified about Johnson's retirement, he urged the star receiver to not rush his decision. He did not want to lose his best receiver in the middle of his prime. The 30 year old has already played nine seasons in the league, constantly battling injuries. Many teammates acknowledged his great career by posting pictures with him on their social media accounts. The number two overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft broke the record for most receiving yards in a single season when he caught for 1964 yards in 2012. He also has the most receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619) in Lions' franchise history. These records make him a great candidate to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

 

2nd Semester Advice

by S

 

2nd Semester Advice Dear S,
How is high school going by so quickly? What can I expect throughout the rest of my time here?

Sincerely,
Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,
With midterms and vacation now over, it is time to get back into the swing of things. Coming back from a break is always a difficult. However, NSHAHS has jumped right back into everything.

At the beginning of the year, you viewed yourself as a small freshman in the crowded hallways. Perhaps you joined a club or two and you tried to solve the mystery of high school. At one point or another, you managed to adjust. Since you have adjusted to the new atmosphere, time started to move at an instantaneous speed. Going through the first semester of freshman year is one of the most difficult parts of high school. You slowly have to adjust to the new environment before you can become involved. By the time you have fully opened up to the concept of being in high school, you are already finishing first semester. However, there is still plenty to look forward to.

The second half of the year is usually much more hectic than the beginning of the year. Second semester at NSHAHS is always jam-packed with exciting events. The second half of the year, although shorter, is known as the most eventful. From the Journal Dinner to Shiriyah to the Israel day parade, the end of the year is always busy.

It is truly shocking how fast your high school experience will fly by. One day you are receiving your lockers at freshmen orientation, and the next you are applying to college. While you may be halfway through your first year at NSHAHS, you have not yet experienced everything.

Sincerely,
S

 

 

How Well Do You Know Your Teachers?

by Arielle Sarraf 

 

How Well Do You Know Your Teachers?

Good luck guessing this week's mystery teacher! Don't forget to vote in the poll.

1. I have three incredible children.
2. I love to sing.
3. I was in the army when I was younger.
4. I have one grandson who I love so much.
5. I was on my high school basketball team.
6. This is my tenth year at NSHAHS.
7. I run a popular club in this school.
8. I enjoy reading books.
9. I love to travel with my husband.
10. My love for Israel is indescribable.


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Art of the Week

by Leeal Kahen

 

Art of the Week This beautiful piece was created by sophomore Joelle Galatan for her pre-AP art class.

 

 

Editors-in-Chief: Neda Shokrian, Avraham Spraragen
Copy Editor: Arielle Rothman
Assistant Editors: Yaakov Spraragen
Social Media: Shawn Wydra
Writing Staff: Rachel Ahdoot, Yair Atlas, Lia Berger, Aryeh Hajibay, Shani Kahan, Leeal Kahen, Arie Monas, Stacy Okin, Alana Pearl, Joshua Peyser, Arielle Sarraf, Aaron Silverman, Jamie Zuckerman
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky