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"[Kids] are eager to create and share and communicate in an authentic way with each other and when they’re given the opportunity, they really do soar…In many way I feel what they’ve done with KidSpirit is an example to all of us of what can be done when you give youth an opportunity to communicate in an open and creative way with each other.”

Check out this interview about the spirit behind KidSpirit with Founding Editor Elizabeth Dabney Hochman and Rabbi Rami on his radio show, How to Be a Holy Rascal!

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The mountains, their jagged peaks

shrouded in mist, loom high above

the checkerboard of emerald meadows

and forests like slumbering beasts.

Far below, people climb the rocky

backs of these colossal titans,

small and insignificant as insects

in this boundless world of nature.

The sun’s rays cut down, slicing

the crisp crystal air,

illuminating the great hulk

of the grey giants,

the kings of their realm.

Will Hodgkinson

Read more poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.

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"Musical prayer is intensely spiritual, regardless of the size of the group; in Judaism, singing can occur alone, in small groups, or in a large congregation and retain its spirituality. Such singing is like a wave – it carries thoughts, hopes, prayers out into the universe. The whole community sings, reaching out with one voice, wielding the innate power of song as a tool in its practice. I imagine a wide beam of sound shooting through the ceiling of the synagogue and hitting some celestial body right in the gut — making it pause, contemplate for a moment, to think, to be truly present.”

Read the rest of Naomi Chasek-Macfoy’s beautiful article here: http://kidspiritonline.com/2013/10/beauty-in-judaism/

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It scares me to think

That someday I will leave home.

That someday

I won’t dump my backpack on the bench as I come back from school

I won’t hear the bang my bag makes as it slumps onto the ground

Exhausted and glad to be back

Just like me

That someday

I won’t sit beside my sister as we do our homework

Relaxed

In quiet companionship

That someday

I won’t eat at the family dining table

The scratch still imprinted on it from when I was three

A reminder that

Some things

Never change

I am still a kid

I still like the same things I did

But life is different now.

And it scares me to think

That the world has changed

That I have changed

That someday soon

I’ll pack up my bags

Say farewell

Goodbye, dear home

I’m sorry

for all the marks and bruises I have caused you

I’m sorry

to be leaving you

I shudder

The idea scares me.

Goodbye home?

I’m not ready

I’m not prepared

Yet.

Caie Kelley

Read more poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.

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"One beautiful Friday afternoon while my brother was practicing violin with my mom, and the radio was blasting NPR, I sat myself down with a box of cookies and a Do-Not-Disturb sign on the door and prepared to watch Cave of Forgotten Dreams, directed and narrated by Werner Herzog, and produced by Eric Nelson and Adrienne Cuiffo…

The narrative starts with Herzog explaining some of the history of the cave. He tells you how the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc, discovered in 1994 and named after its discoverer, had been trapped by a rock slide that perfectly preserved it for tens of thousands of years before its discovery. And how the Chauvet cave contains the oldest cave paintings known to man, approximately 32,000 years older than any other cave painting.”

Read the rest of William Lohier’s fantastic review here: kidspiritonline.com/2013/10/caveman-paint-good-a-review-of-cave-of-forgotten-dreams/

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Fires burn the forest

And from these fertile ashes

The new trees are born

Darius Wright 

Read more poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.

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"With the standards of beauty constantly changing, it is practically essential to keep up with the most innovative styles or risk being left in the dust.

Or is it?

One thing is certain: in the past few decades, the general definition of beauty has undergone severe and drastic modifications. Gone are the days when women with curvier bodies were accepted by society. Gone are the days when natural beauty was admired by fashionistas. Gone are the days when health and perfection could coexist…

Simply because they are subject to images of thin women on a daily basis, today’s young girls develop the mindset that beauty means mirroring their favorite celebrities.”

Read the rest of Sharon Lin’s poignant article here: http://kidspiritonline.com/2013/10/the-flaws-of-frail-how-media-has-altered-body-image/

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Find something you love,

Find the place where worries leave,

Find where there are cheerful chirps and a shining light.

Use words that rhyme,

Be sure to keep in time

With your poem, and yourself.

Describe love, emotions, thoughtful experiences,

Or the rusty old gate outside the house.

Lose yourself in the words you write,

Become the message you teach –

Then you will be

What you seek.

Kacey Sorenson

Read more poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.

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"Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror." -Kahlil Gibran

Read poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.

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Love of beauty is taste,

Judging by its temptations.

Creation of beauty is art,

Everlasting through eternity.

Take a glance around you.

And value the beauty that isn’t momentary.

Refuse to linger on the brief fragrance of a rose

For its thorn will eventually be revealed.

Examine the fallen leaves on the withered ground.

Compare them to the depth of an ancient root.

Do not pity those untouched by charm,

Instead, take sorrow upon those delusional disguises.

Love of beauty might be appealing,

But beauty of love is eternal.

Ashley Liu

Read more poetry, articles, and take part in the discussion at http://kidspiritonline.com.