The Lions' Pride The student news site of Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School. Mon, 08 Apr 2019 21:28:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Present Day Containment Mon, 08 Apr 2019 21:28:04 +0000

During the Cold War in the 20th century the Soviet Union gained a large amount of influence in many parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, that “influence” being the form of communism. The United States and most of the western world were opposed to the communist ideology and thus they wanted to limit the influence of the communist regime, the Soviets. In 1947, George Kennan proposed the idea of “containment” which would ultimately be the United States “trump card” in the fight against the Soviets. The idea of containment entailed stopping the spread of communism where it is through American alignment with nations that were either bordering Soviet influence or in a current conflict against the Soviets. Through this plan the Americans (and other western societies) believed the spread of communism would be halted enough to prevent Soviet power from surpassing America’s. Now, Kennan’s Containment was met with varying degrees of success, mainly since it is hard to define success in these proxy conflicts. One might look at Korea and call it a success since a democracy was established in South Korea in 1948. However, a cynic might say Korea was a failure since the North became, arguably, contemporary America’s number one enemy. One might look at Vietnam and not sweat calling it a complete disaster yet there is an argument to be made that without American involvement in Vietnam, China would have become an unstoppable communist superpower that could have made the China we witness today look like an underdeveloped country.


In his article, rightfully titled “The New Containment,” Michael Mandelbaum makes an argument that a modern containment should be established to prevent the growth of modern-day Russia’s “sphere of influence.” Now Mandelbaum’s claims are not unwarranted. Within the past 9 years, we have seen Russia make plays to expand their influence in Georgia (2008), Ukraine (2014), and Syria (2015). Mandelbaum claims the reason there was stability in the years following the Cold War was because the United States was atop the world power rankings, deterring other (lower) countries from starting conflict; “As U.S. global military hegemony persisted, the possibility of developed nations fighting one another seemed ever more remote.” (Mandelbaum 2019). This leads to Mandelbaum’s reasoning for establishing modern day containment; As other world powers continue to develop and get stronger, peace is jeopardized. Thus we need to employ containment to hinder the growth of other countries (namely Russia and China) and ensure American supremacy for years to come.

Although Mandelbaum’s reasoning is logically based it fails to recognize the individual factors that provided for containment’s success in the first place. The Cold War took place immediately after the Second World War which left most of Eastern Society’s countries economies in ruins. Due to this fact it was hard for the communist countries to fight full force against containment. The Vietnamese and Koreans technologically were overwhelmingly subordinate to the Americans which is why the success they found was, well, all they could achieve. Nowadays the global arms race is much more relatively level than it was back in the cold war making it much easier for Russia or China to provide competent aid to the countries under their relative spheres of influence. During the Iran-Iraq war, the United States supported Iraq and Saddam Hussein in their attempted invasion of Iran which ultimately failed and resulted in even greater Iranian hatred for America and the “Western Devil.” This hatred has evolved into a thirst for vengeance that should not be underestimated in light or recent Iranian technological development.  


The current world has grown too technologically advanced and a modern day conflict that mimics the cold war could lead to the annihilation of society (both Eastern and Western) as we know it. However, containment is not the answer. Containment would inevitably fail and what happened with Iran would happen in other places globally eventually leading to an Eastern influence that would possess enough might to reduce the United States to rubble. Instead of Containment, we should pursue tolerance and alliance. It is time for America to stop playing policeman of the world and time for us to start focusing on our own problems. This is not to say we shouldn’t come to the aid when an ally needs our help but frankly, it is time for America to stop looking for influence overseas. The world will become a safer place as soon as Washington learns its role in the world and recognizes the legitimacy of foreign governments.

Mandelbaum, Michael. “The New Containment.” Foreign Affairs. March 01, 2019. Accessed March 21, 2019.


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Life Regrets From Dying Hospital Patients Thu, 04 Apr 2019 15:48:16 +0000

Based on the encounters of an Australian nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware, she has come up with the top regrets that dying hospital patients have. She has had experience for over a decade advising terminally ill patients. One of the main regrets that she concluded after 12 years was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She then shared her feedback on how she concluded to make sure you do not end up feeling the same way at the end of our lives. It mainly involved being able to have a clear purpose driving you forward instead of defaulting to what other people approve of. Author of Atomic Habits, James clear once said, “The grey areas in life usually arise when we haven’t decided what we believe in.”

Another sad regret that most of the male patients that bronnie ware had met with said: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” The expressed their feelings of sorrow over not spending enough time or giving enough attention to the ones they loved. Most of the women who also had this claim were from an older generation. They ultimately announced that spending their lives working is not paramount to the memories shared with family. One of the other regrets that patients had were, that they wished they had the courage to express their feelings. This was mainly because there was pressure to suppress one’s feeling in order to keep the peace. Peer pressure can lead to someone never embracing who they want to be and how they are seen. There are many regrets one can have at the end of their days but all we can do as humans is use other peoples mistakes and challenges to learn how to live life to the fullest.


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Ozone Thu, 04 Apr 2019 15:46:03 +0000

The Stratospheric ozone shields the earth’s surface from any potentially dangerous ultraviolet light radiating from the sun. In addition, this Stratospheric ozone allows for our earth’s temperature to be stabled as it absorbs most ultraviolet rays from the sun limiting the amount of heat entering our earth. This prevents the earth from exposure harsh radiations that would damage if not destroy our planet. But, as certain pollutants accumulate in our atmosphere the Stratospheric ozone is beginning to weaken. Chemicals called Cholera Flora Carbons (CFC) are the primary culprits in the ozone layer breakdown. The elements in CFC are Carbon, Chlorine, and Fluorine and are primarily found in plastic products and refrigerants. When CFCs are exposed to ultraviolet rays in the atmosphere they break apart splitting into substances that include chlorine, which then bonds to the oxygen atoms in the ozone completely tearing apart the initial ozone layer. Without the ozone layer, UV waves of approximately 300-200 nm wavelengths could enter our atmosphere along with harmful radiations. Ozone depletion can also cause marine life destruction and would disturb plant life cycles. As for humans, more exposure to UV increases the risk of skin cancer, blindness, and cataracts. Furthermore, seasons play a role in Ozone depletion. Ozone depletion occurs fastest in cooler temperatures resulting in the ozone hole reaching a maximum at the end of southern hemisphere winter. What this means is that the South Pole region gets most affected with the thinnest layer of the ozone creating what is known as an “ozone hole.” Relievingly, many reparations have come into place resulting in great results over the past few years. In the year of 1989, the Montreal protocol was passed banning production of ozone-depleting substances from being produced. Since then the amount of chlorine in the atmosphere at the earth surface has been falling significantly. Scientists estimate that chlorine levels will return to the natural state in about 50 years. The reason chlorine is being measured is that chlorine is the overall substance bonding with the oxygens destroying the ozone layer. Estimated by Nasa, in 50 years the Arctic ozone hole will shrink smaller than 8 million square miles. Therefore, change has been made and serious improvement has occurred and will continue to occur as the Montreal protocol continues. Yet despite the benefits the Montreal protocol might have, there is another Ozone located at ground level of the Troposphere countering any improvements the Montreal protocol might be making. This Troposphere Ozone is completely man-made Ozone accumulating about 30 meters above the earth’s ground. This is caused by the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline into our atmosphere as they bond with oxygen resulting in another Ozone layer. These pollutants get into the stratosphere furthering ozone depletion. Therefore although the  Montreal protocol is a great first step, it’s only a first step. And if we want to see the major change we must work together to further mitigate pollutants in our atmosphere and fix ozone depletion once and for all.


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Hate is Contagious and So is the Hitler Salute Thu, 04 Apr 2019 15:45:31 +0000

Hitler’s greeting to the Nazi party was the Hitler Salute. This salute was the sign of compliance with Hitler’s belief in Aryan supremacy, and in 1930’s Germany the Hitler Salute stood for solidarity among the Nazi party. To this day in modern America, the Hitler salute has come to represent something equally as dangerous. In America, it represents white power, white supremacy, and the overall nasty message of hate to all minorities- exactly what Hitler and the Nazi Party stood for. A toxic environment of hate crimes have been on the rise for the past three years, and in 2019 there is no indication of a decrease.

I attend a Jewish day school, and today at school we had a soccer game. We played a soccer team and as the team entered my school gates, some students from the opposing team gave the Hitler Salute. Avalon high school lost the game and as the team boarded the bus some of the team members in unison, again.  This performance might have been an attempt to hurt, shame, and/ or demoralize our players, but whatever the intention was, it sets a dangerous precedent. This symbol of deep hatred gestured at our Jewish team contradicts sportsmanship on so many levels and engulfs the same mindset the Nazi party had during WWII, which was the of hatred to all minorities. The major irony is that this team of predominantly minorities was performing a gesture that symbolizes white supremacy. If the team which was predominately Hispanic wanted to formulate a gesture of solidarity they should have performed a Mexican Salute or used their young creative minds and developed their own unique team salute used to symbolize team unity not to symbolize hatred. They should know that the Hitler Salute is a hateful gesture, which is actually a crime in many countries. It is outlawed in three countries and considered an act of hate speech in many more.  The fact that the team performed this gesture can only indicate how uneducated students are to monumental events in our world’s history. If we expect history to not repeat itself we must enforce better education in our schools and among students everywhere. The bottom line is that the precedent that you can hate a group of people simply because of their religion is a dangerous precedent to establish and for that reason action needs to be made now. Our environment is being filled with a miasma of dangerous hateful energy, and although my young mind is still changing, I do know one thing, hate is contagious.

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The Government Shutdown Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:22:01 +0000

From December 22nd, 2018 till January 25th, 2019, the United States suffered the longest Shutdown in our country’s history. The shutdown was largely the result of a disagreement between the president, Donald Trump, and Congress, which recently became more Democrat meaning Congress’ majority party and the President now differ in political identity. The President was hoping that Congress would pass legislation to fund his agenda, namely funding for a border wall along the Southern Border of the United States. On January 25th the President agreed to support a bill that would temporarily reopen the government, yet he said if funding for the wall was not decided by February 15th he would shut down the government, name a state of emergency, and divert funding from the military to fund the wall.


The government shutdown affected over 800,000 government employees, and many of them were out of a job for the time being, while others worked with the promise of getting paid later on. It is estimated that over $3.6 billion was lost permanently as a direct result of the government shutdown. In the grand scheme of government spending, this may not seem like a huge number, however when you consider what that money could’ve been used for you truly understand the effects of the shutdown. The money could’ve been used to fund military, local authorities, or even welfare.


Another government shutdown would likely have the seem implications and could even be more devastating. Government workers would likely get dissatisfied with the government and they could act up against it through protest or strike, which in a shutdown, the United States would be ill-equipped to handle. It is important to see what will happen in the coming weeks in the higher levels of the United States government. Another shutdown does not seem unlikely thus Americans should behave under the thought that another shutdown is inevitable so they can be prepared. Although many of us do not directly feel the effects of the shutdown it is important to keep in mind that there are thousands or even millions who do.


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Harvard Lawsuit Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:19:45 +0000


Currently, there is a case filed against Harvard University’s acceptance policies in regards to discrimination against Asian-American applicants. This case in particular is so widely debated because it will not only expose Harvard of its application processes, something deemed as extremely private, but also has the potential to put affirmative action on trial. Affirmative action- defined by is “an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.” Affirmative action comes to play throughout this case because of the clear discrimination towards Asian Americans and from that stems the question either your race should.” By implementing affirmative action, colleges are required to accept a certain amount of applicants from each race to ensure a diverse campus and to essentially give lower-income students a boost. But in my opinion, shouldn’t be a factor that determines your income. If anything, it’s blatantly racist to claim each college must accept a certain amount of black people because with that comes the assumption that all black people come from lower income families than others. In addition, affirmative action results in students diverting from their own roots and beliefs and instead exaggerating or even lying about their heritage to present themselves as something diverse in order to appeal to colleges more.

The group that sued Harvard approximately 4 years ago is called the Anti Affirmative Action Advocacy group (students for fair admission). The lawsuit was filed after Harvard was forced to publicize their acceptance process along with many other student applications. SFFA claimed that by considering race into acceptance Harvard consequently limiting native applicants along with unfairly boosting Latino and African applicants stating the affirmative action itself is unfair. In a paper the Justice Department stated that, “The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups — including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups, The evidence, moreover, shows that Harvard provides no meaningful criteria to cabin its use of race; uses a vague ‘personal rating’ that harms Asian-American applicants’ chances for admission and may be infected with racial bias; engages in unlawful racial balancing; and has never seriously considered race-neutral alternatives in its more than 45 years of using race to make admissions decisions.” As a response, Harvard said, “Harvard does not discriminate against applicants from any group, and will continue to vigorously defend the legal right of every college and university to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld for more than 40 years.” Either way, whatever the court will decide this case is most likely going to end up in the Supreme Court and the question will be decided: if there is discrimination towards Asians throughout the application process as a country are we just not going to consider race at all anymore, even if it is with the intent of supporting minority groups?

The case at bar was filed by a white man named Ed Blum. Ed Blum is a huge advocate for SFFA and previously sued the University of Texas in the case Fisher Vs Texas in regards to race-based admission resulting in a white student not getting in. Fisher VS Texas was brought to the Supreme Court in the year of 2016 where the court sided with Texas in defending its rights to utilize race to ensure a diverse campus. In addition, the case the University of California v. Bakke was brought to the supreme court with a very similar background and yet again the Court upheld that the use of race during the admission process is justifiable in order to ensure a campus diversity. For that reason, if this case is brought to the Supreme Court I believe that like many other previous, the Supreme Court will allow Harvard to fulfill its “whole student” application process- defined as Harvard denying Asian applicants due to lack of personality- because if the Supreme Court did not then the Supreme court would have to take down Affirmative action altogether, something they’ve stood by since President John F. Kennedy in 1961. And although I don’t agree, due to past cases and power of precedent, that is what I think will be the case.


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Movie Review on Bohemian Rhapsody Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:18:39 +0000

Queen is one of the world’s most innovative and profound bands to ever reach top charts. This previous month an elaborate movie celebrating the band’s journey and successes came out. The

movie Bohemian Rhapsody won the Golden Globe award for “Best Motion Picture-Drama.” Rami Malek was outstanding to reenact the life and achievements of Farrokh Bulsara, also known as Freddie Mercury. He won the award from the Golden Globes for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama.” This film was able to show the beginning of the band’s existence to one of the biggest and exhilarating concerts they ever performed, known as the Live Aid Concert. The movie also portrayed Queens revolutionary sound and music, the home life of Freddie Mercury, Mercury’s lifestyle that nearly tore the band apart, Freddie’s illness, and the evolution of Rock music.

Even though the movie portrayed some of the biggest milestones of the band, it left out a lot of important key details to try and shorten the movie. If all details that chain things together in the band’s experience were shown in the movie, it would have been one of the longest movies ever created. Ideally, a production would try to attempt to contextualize a star like Freddie but instead, this movie tried to sanctify Freddie by summarizing information so it does not cause any Friction. Rami Malek does an outstanding job of portraying Mercury’s dance moves and rhythm on stage alongside his thoughtful channeling of Mercury’s pain and isolation during the peak of his career.


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How to: Staying Focused for Finals Week Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:18:16 +0000

Nearly 49% of American high school students feel a great amount of stress at school daily. It is very normal nowadays to feel overexerted, anxious, stressed, and depressed as a high school student. New techniques have been developed to help calm down these reckless feelings when studying for big upcoming tests, presentations, or quizzes. Being deprived of sleep is one of the most common causes of having a lack of focus and awareness in classes. This is usually from cramming in last minute studying or work at the end of the day, or insomnia from too much anxiety.

Time Management is extremely helpful to prevent “all-nighters” from happening. An easy way to do this is by making a planner and laying out all your events and when you have free time to do your work. Even though using a desk is most efficient, some people take advantage of every space such as the car when driving somewhere, while eating food sitting down, passing period, etc. Another way of adding in some relief in your life is adding meditation into your schedule. Being able to meditate during the first 15 minutes after waking up, or before you go to bed can help clear your mind and soul to help you think clearer.

Being able to change your thinking can be hard, but that is why someone would take baby steps. Going cold turkey on a habit never is efficient, instead slowly work towards your goal at a time. Make sure to create your own study guide as to when and what times you need to study for certain classes prior to finals week. This can help with organization and confidence in your work. Do not overwork yourself because that can lead to panic attacks and mental breakdowns. Make sure to give yourself breaks to have a resting period to bring yourself together. One of the best timings for breaks is 5 minutes after every 30 minutes of studying.


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Brazil’s President Elect Mon, 14 Jan 2019 22:01:12 +0000

This October, Brazil held general elections for the presidency of the country. Jair Bolsonaro, who previously represented Rio De Janeiro in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, won the election and is now the official president-elect of Brazil.


Jair Bolsonaro was born on the 21st of March, 1955, in São Paulo, Brazil. Bolsonaro attended a military prep academy so naturally, after his early education Bolsonaro joined the Brazilian army and served as a paratrooper and even rose to the rank of captain. Bolsonaro began his political career immediately after the conclusion of his service. Initially, he served on the city level but shortly after he earned a position in the Chamber of Deputies.


This October, Bolsonaro was confirmed as president-elect of Brazil. Almost unsurprisingly he has already been full of controversy. Bolsonaro appeared almost ungrateful in handling policy with Cuban doctors operating in Cuba, threatening the Cuban government to pull thousands of doctors out of the remote parts of the country. While talking with a female congresswomen Bolsonaro said: I’m not going to rape you, because you’re very ugly.”


The truth of the matter remains. Brazil’s president-elect is a far right-wing politician. Whether this will benefit or harm the people of Brazil will be found out in the coming years.


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Competition Mon, 14 Jan 2019 22:00:59 +0000

Growing up as an identical twin competition has always been an important aspect of my life. My brother and I would always compete about everything. Whether it be attention, friends, or in athletics, we were always fighting. I am certain that this constant competition has shaped me into the person I am today. Competition is something that brings us closer together as people, pushes us to do more, and has the ability to dismantle everything it put together.


Starting from a young age my brother and I would compete for attention. Whether it was attention from our parents, our friends, or people we’d met in our everyday lives. Each of us acted on our desire to be the more accomplished sibling. This form of competition is what brought us together. Since we were always wrestling for attention we were always forced together. Obviously, I knew my brother, We’ve been together since we were born. However, it was through this competition for attention that really introduced me to my brother. It’s how I figured out how my brother operated. thought, and argued, and he figured this out about me. This brought us super close together. My brother knows everything about my life, and I know everything about his. And of course I know my brother and I judge each other about everything. However, when it comes to super serious information my brother is always the first person I go to for advice since I know that his responses will be honest. The competition for attention showed me that my brother is a -sometimes brutally- honest person when it comes to advice.


My relationship with my brother, as previously mentioned, is the most competitive thing I’ve ever been a part of. No matter what it comes down to each of us has an inner drive just do better than the other one. We don’t have to be the best at something, we don’t even have to be good, we just have to be better than our biological counterpart. The part in my childhood that embodies this the best is the first time Alex and I were placed on different AA Little League teams. The first game of the entire season was Alex’s and mine’s teams facing off, and we completely thrashed them. I’m talking complete embarrassment. As it was a Little League game, the score wasn’t allowed to run up too high. However, things got so bad we put the worst kid on the team in as pitcher and even I got playing time (I am NOT a baseball player). This completely devastated Alex. He didn’t talk to me for hours and personally, that was one of my favorite sports games ever. In the school setting competition with my brother is the driving force that pushes to try my best in school. However, this competition has caused trauma and acrimony between my brother and me.


Competition is like a magnet. One side is positive and brings people together with a bond so strong you couldn’t even imagine breaking it. Yet, the other side pushes things apart so much to the point where it’s impossible to imagine those things ever coming together again. If you ask anyone about my brother and mine’s relationship they would undoubtedly tell you that it is not a good relationship and many of them would even tell you that sometimes my brother and mine’s personal differences ruin a setting for them. There were certainly times where I need to shut my brother out of my life and just act like he’s never there. Though of course all of these arguments are petty fights that are resolved with time.


I hope I have been able to effectively use my life as an example to show the power competition has in defining the people we become. This essay was a rather personal piece to write but it was necessary in order to show the origin of my belief. It’s hard to imagine my life without this belief, I assume I would just believe that my brother was a natural narcissistic person but in reality, I know that he is just trying to make sure he can develop his own individuality just as I am.



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