H ar Sinai. More humans and hearts than ever seen before, all accepting one Torah, as one Nation. “Like one man with one heart.” And yet, when we look around Am Yisrael, there are hundreds and thousands of different types; in intelligence, personality, looks, etc. All different. All unique, all special, all treasured.

Join Libby and her friends as they take a journey to explore what it means to be unique. They’ll talk to you, no matter who you are, as they learn to understand the beauty of belonging to one whole, yet knowing when to stand apart. And who knows? Maybe this year, as Matan Torah draws near again, you’ll reexplore your place in the crowd, too….

Part 2: Wednesday’s Woes

On Wednesday, surprisingly, I woke up feeling ill. I pondered the meaning of life as I dragged my sweater over my head, and realized belatedly that it was the one with the hole in the elbow, which I kept forgetting to do anything about. Oh, well.

I got to school in time to talk to “the team” before davening. I had to admit — however much I hated the bee, it certainly was drawing attention to the new program we were trying to get off the ground.

“So, I was thinking—” Dassi said.

“Must hurt a bit!” I interrupted, with a wink.

“Libby!” chided Sorele.

“As I was saying…” Dassi threw me a dirty look. “I came up with a plan. This is what we are going to do. Mrs. Levison was complaining about the way we dress, but how about we start with something less controversial. Like how we speak?”

“You mean, like, how we all say like every half a minute?” Bruchi asked, with a grin.

“Exactly. And basically.”

“Not to mention LOL,” said Sorele.

“Or ‘not the type,’ ” added Bruchi. I got the idea. Actually, it was pretty on-target. And although Mrs. Levison hadn’t mentioned it, speaking about other people has also become a kind of normal thing to do in my school, so if we could get some shmiras halashon into this project, it might be a good move.

“So how about a competition?” Dassi said.

And so it was decided. It was going to be a competition. Of what or who or when, I would have loved to know, but just then Rabbi Posen walked in to start Shacharis, and our conversation was delayed until recess.

I sat through most of my lessons, letting my mind wander to the details of the program. Truthfully, fitting in was a funny kind of concept for me to think about. You probably get why, right? As in, I dunno, I guess peer pressure isn’t the kind of pressure I often feel. I mean, I feel Mrs. Levison’s pressure, and the “I-have-an-exam-tomorrow-and-no-notes-to-speak-of” pressure, and even, occasionally “I-need-to-go-on-a-diet-fast” pressure. But peer pressure? And in an odd sort of way, it kind of made me ponder. 

But, fortunately for my overloaded, overworked brain, it was a bit heavy for that time of morning, and I needed desperately to focus on geography, so I took my mind off such deep troubling matters and tried to concentrate. Until lunch break. Which didn’t end up being a break at all, and only barely included lunch… (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 656)