torah-contest on building courage

By Rochelle Menahem I was in science class and my teacher asked a question. I was so confident to answer it. My teacher called on me and I was so confident to answer it. I said it and got it wrong. I was so embarrassed. So, for a few days I didn’t raise my hand for anything. Then I realized that on my report card it’s going to say “Didn’t participate in class.” So, I started raising my hand. And even if I got something wrong, I didn’t stop. I ended up getting “Very Good Participation” on my report card.

Jewish Values on Friendship

By Clarisse Cohen “Help me,” Alison said acting all nervous. “Alexis, I didn’t do my homework,” Alison said. Alison rushed to Alexis and said, “Please help me.” Alexis knew it was Alison’s first time not doing homework so she gave her the worksheet. One week later, Alexis forgot to write down her homework. The next day, she asked Alison if she can copy the questions on the worksheet she forgot to do. Alison said, “No.” Alexis said, “It’s only one time,” while her face turned red as a watermelon. “No,” Alison said repeating it over and over.

This story was published in the Bar Mitzvah Magazine

Jewish Values – Friendship – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Sophia Rofe A good friend is someone who appreciates you. I made my friend a bracelet and she didn’t like it. But she told me ‘Thank you” and wore it anyway. A bad friend is someone who takes you for granted. One time, Lilly started a fight. She knew that Marcy would always make up anyway because Lilly was the only friend Marcy had. So, Lilly would always tell Marcy mean things and get away with it. That’s a bad friendship.

This story was published in the Bar Mitzvah Magazine

Success after failure in learning new skills – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Rochelle Menahem   One day, Rachel went to her mom and said excitedly, “Mommy, I want to be an author when I get older.” Her mom said, “That’s a great job. What made you decide on that?” Rachel explained to her mother that an author came to school that day and explained her job and what she does. Rachel’s mom asked if she wants to write a story and read it at the library on Sunday. Rachel was so happy. She ran to her room and started writing. She wrote day and night, hours and hours. When Sunday came, her story was done. She was very proud of it. She dressed up in her nicest dress and went to the library. She couldn’t wait to read her story. When it was finally her turn, she went on stage and started reading. When she was done, she realized that none of it made any sense. Rachel was so embarrassed. She ran off stage crying. But, her mom convinced her to write a new story for next week. The next Sunday, she got dressed in her nicest dress and went to the library. When it was her turn, she went on stage nervously and read her story. It was amazing. Now, Rachel knows never to give up on anything.

This story was published in the Bar Mitzvah Magazine


What you lose by playing it too safe – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Alan Dweck   George really loves basketball, but there is one thing about it. He doesn’t let anyone watch him. He is afraid that if he misses a shot they will make fun of him. So, every day he hides to play after school in a gym that’s 25 minutes away and pays $30 to rent the gym just so nobody would watch him. And, the worst part is that he is amazing at it.

This story was published in the Bar Mitzvah Magazine

Torah Values on Overcoming Failure – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Alexis Menahem   Once I was helping my mother. I was putting a glass plate away. I dropped the plate. My mom said, “It’s ok. But next time be more careful.” I said, “Ok” and left. The next week she asked me to help her again. I was scared but, I did it anyway. She was proud that I was helping her. As I was putting plates away I was careful not to drop. She was very proud of me and so was I.

Develop Character of Resilience – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Joseph Torkieh  Let’s say the teacher wants to know how good you are in class, so he makes a grade. If you never raise your hand, because you are scared that you are going to get the answer wrong, you lose point off the grade. If you get the answer wrong, nothing will happen. Don’t be afraid to use your voice. Later on in life, if you are shy at your job, you can lose money and even lose a big chance that you will never get. That is the lesson.

Inspirational Story in Self Control – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Hymie Sasson Two boys come home after school. Abie goes home and eats dinner then goes straight to his room to play Xbox. The other boy, Danny comes home and goes straight to his desk to do his homework. This is an example of two different types of kids; Abie, the lazy one and Danny the more responsible one. You may think that Danny is used to doing this and it’s just a routine. But it’s really not. Danny faces challenges of doing other things such as going on Facebook, talking with his friend on the phone, playing a video game or going to play with his friends outside. The two kids will grow older and eventually have jobs. Danny will be the man that is on time and ready to work while Abie’s habits still remain. Your habits while you are young will contribute to how you live your life when you are older, even the simplest habits.

Moral Story on Being Flexible – CLICK TO COMMENT

By David Laniado  Someone who has a business and it’s not been doing well and he still has a positive attitude even though everything has not been doing well for him. He still is being productive and working hard and showing effort that he will not give up. A saying is, “When someone pitches you a curve ball in life you have to adjust your swing.” Which means: when everything is not going your way in life, there is going to be tough times in life and that’s when you can really see when someone is fit for the job or other situations. When times are tough and he still puts in the effort and doesn’t give up.
A great quality that a person needs for a job would be flexibility. Why? For example, when someone is going on a business trip and his client cancels on him last minute. You want someone who can adapt and succeed.

Jewish Values on Learning from Mistakes – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Jonathan Parker  There was a boy named, Charlie. He loved skateboards and was very good at it. One day, Charlie went with his friends to the skate park and wanted to show his friend a trick. But, when he tried, he fell and all his friends started laughing. He went home crying and he told his mom what happened. His mom told him that if he loved skateboarding he shouldn’t let that one mistake get in the way. After that, Charlie improved his skateboarding skills.

Inspirational Story on Being Reliable – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Melissa Dweck Some may say that a friend is the one who tells you if you look nice or the one who cheers you up when you are sad. But, that’s wrong. There is so much more to a friendship than that. There is a special honesty that there is. Honesty is not only the truth but it’s the complete truth, even if it’s painful. That is because if there is not honesty between friends, the friendship is not true. Reliability is another very important quality in a friend because without it you really won’t be able to get that same spark you get in a friendship. I would like to highlight the quality of reliability for my story.
It was a cold winter day and I got up and went off to school. I walked into homeroom and sat down next to a group of people that were clustered in a huddle and talking. I overheard that they are going to have a party with their dance studio that my friend goes to that I don’t. I knew I wasn’t invited but, either way, I was a little upset. I didn’t know whether it was that my friend was going without me or the fact that I was the only one that wasn’t going. I knew that my friend would want me there and that’s why she is a true friend to me! I was in m y room that night and while the party was supposed to be going on, I heard my cell phone ring. It was my friend saying that she is 3 minutes away from my house with a DVD to watch and pizza to eat. That’s the true meaning of friendship.

Inspiration Story on Keeping Positive Attitude – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Sara Dweck One day, a girl walked into school with a happy face. When she got to her math class, she got one of her quizzes back. She was not happy with her grade. She got a 62. She did feel bad inside but she didn’t show it. When she went to her next class, she tripped and fell on her hand. She ended up in the nurse’s office with a bad hand and a 62 on a math quiz. Apparently, this was not her day. When she got back, it was lunch time. She sat down and realized that she had forgotten her launch at home. Her friend sat down next to her, “Today is not your day,” she said. “What are you talking about?” “You got a bad grade in math, tripped and forgot your lunch.” “Oh well, that was in the morning. Hopefully, afternoon will be better.” She had a positive attitude. A positive person always sees the upside in every situation and never spreads a bad vibe.

How to Have Courage – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Celia Cohen There are many different situations in which people are too fearful. One example is a person who wants to grow up to become a scientist or have an academic career but they won’t follow their dreams because they are afraid that someone will make fun of them and call them a nerd or a genius. They are afraid that they will lose their friends. They will choose to not go to college just so that they can fit in. It’s not good to be fearful of the person you really want to be. You end up becoming a person your friends want you to be.

Teen Stories to Build Motivation – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Joe Ades  There was once a person who loved to run in races. His dream was always to be in the Olympics and to come in 1st place. He never ran a race but he told all of his friends that he is going to win, and that he is the best runner. The next day there was a race. He was ready and confident that he was going to win. He raced with all of the kids and he came in last place. He was heart broken and very embarrassed because he told everyone that he would win, but he didn’t. The next race he didn’t show off and he got new running shoes. He practiced for 3 weeks until the next race. Before the race he saw the best racer in the world lose. He got motivated from that because he thought to himself, “If that person can lose, than obviously I can too.” He raced in the next race and he won!

Character Trait of Resilience – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Linda Sasson
One day I wanted to try to play baseball with my friend. I started to throw the ball up in the air and I tried to hit it but I missed. I kept trying to hit the ball but it was no use, because I kept missing. My friend said, “Give it up. You’ll never be as good as me.” After she said that, I felt really bad. And I believed that I wasn’t going to be as good as her. Then, every day after school, I went outside and my dad pitched to me. I did a little better because I got one hit, but it didn’t go so far. The next day, I went outside again to practice. I hit the ball up into the trees. I was jumping up and down because I got such a good hit. I ran and gave my dad the biggest hug and thanked him for making me so good at basketball. I learned from that to never give up because everything is possible.

Character Trait of Resilience – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Sophia Rofe   Rachel’s goal was to become a great actress. One day Rachel was invited to do the play, “Romeo and Juliet”. Rachel practiced for months for this play and now it was finally here. She went on stage and started to say her lines. Right before intermission everyone applauded. During intermission Rachel decided that since she did so well, she didn’t really need to practice her lines anymore. When the play was back on it was Rachel’s lines. She said a few lines, but then she messed up. After Rachel messed up her lines, she tried again, but failed. Then, Rachel ran off the stage. A few months later she was asked to perform in the play “Shakespeare.” When she received this message, at first, she didn’t want to enter. But, then Rachel realized, in life you only fail so that you can try again. The lesson here is that you should never give up, even if you fail terribly, you should always try again.

Jewish Family Values Persistence – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Jennifer Dweck  There was a little girl named Mazal. She was 5 years old. She was trying to learn how to ride a bike. Her parents were so proud, because she always refused to learn to ride a bike, but she said she would learn. They bought her a new bike with pink flowers and yellow sparkles. She got on the bike and her dad held on to the bike. Mazal was so happy, because she was starting to learn to ride a bike. Mazal screamed, “Don’t let go,” but her dad did. She started to do it by herself and then she tipped over. She got a big scratch and it started to bleed. She ran into her house crying. Her parents wanted her to get back on but she refused. Then she thought to herself, “You know, maybe I should get back on. Before I wasn’t trying my hardest, but this time if I try the hardest, Hashem will do the rest.” As soon as she got back on she was able to ride all by herself.

Building Character of Persistence – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Joe Torkieh   In basketball game my friend missed the game’s winning shot and got embarrassed by his team and the whole crowd. He went home that day and he felt miserable. He never wanted to play the game again. I went over to him and told him, “Don’t worry. Even the best basketball players miss shots. Don’t give up, if you try and try you can become the best basketball player. That’s how basketball players become basketball players.” He took my words and became the best basketball player. The lesson is to never give up. If you give up, you will never become successful.

Stories That Build Courage – CLICK TO COMMENT

By Danielle Edery  Michael was in a basketball and every time he went to shoot the ball he missed and everyone laughed. But Michael went back in the game confidently and when he shot he missed again. He still didn’t quit. He shot the ball one more time and he got it in. He didn’t do what he did before. He learned from his mistake and shot from a different angle. This time, he got it. He learned not to quit and take chances.