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Megan's Muse

Quick Links: 2023 Winners and Submissions · Past Winners · About Megan 

An Annual Creative Arts Competition for Chai School Students to Honor the Life of Megan Miriam Berman 

Megan's Muse is an annual creative arts competition for current Congregation Beth Emeth (CBE) Chai School students, sponsored by CBE's Sisterhood. Its purpose is to stimulate creative thought and expression as inspired by Judaic writings.

Each year a "theme" is chosen by a panel of judges, and a quote or verse is chosen from traditional or non-traditional Jewish writings. Entries are judged by the Confirmation student's ability to convey their understanding and interpretation of the theme via a creative medium.

The winners will be announced at Confirmation, May 12, 2023. The winners of Megan’s Muse will receive a cash award.  The judges have the option to award additional prizes as warranted. The hope of Sisterhood is that the winner(s) will use this award to further enrich themselves spiritually, creatively, or academically. You can view the competition rules and application.

Theme 2023

For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.

-- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, upon returning from the march on Selma in 1965

 2023 Winner!!!

Sole of a Prayer - Lilah Cohen, Grade 10

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The “Sole” of a Prayer

My work is about how when you pray, what matters is that it’s coming from your soul. You don’t need to be speaking and kneeling. You just need to feel you personally have a connection with G-d in the moment. You can pray anywhere. It’s about intention; where you are directing your thoughts and prayers – what matters is that it’s a heartfelt prayer. By marching, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was supporting what he believed in and using the “soles” of his feet to do something heartfelt he was called to do from his soul. That is what prayer is to me.

Some Symbols From My Sculpture

The flowers:
The flowers symbolize prayers. In the quote, Rabbi Heschel said “I felt my legs were praying,” so the flowers are not only the symbolic representation of prayers, but also of the legs.  A flower symbolizes growth and as you are growing, your prayers grow with you. The prayers can vary like the flowers vary. Sometimes you keep the same prayers and sometimes prayers change. Flowers, like prayers, help the world. The flowers also represent a freedom to grow which can symbolize that Rabbi Heschel was marching for freedom.

The shoes:
The shoes represent not only literally your feet walking and growing, but the spiritual part of your soul because shoes have “soles.” The flowers coming up from the soles of shoes, represent the prayers coming from your soul. The soles on the outside of the shoes represent how your soulful prayer sometimes leave a lasting impact. The different size shoes represent both growing as well as that it doesn’t matter how big you are or who [you] are, you can always pray.

The rocks:
The flowers pushing through the rocks show that prayers can help you break through anything. 

How Do You Pray - Bela Alliker, Grade 9

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The Ground Beneath the Prayers

Emma Diamond, Grade 9

Beneath everything is a common factor: the ground.  The ground walked on by children going to school, driven on by teenagers learning to drive, danced on as the same teenagers and children get married, and cried on in hard times throughout these lives.  The ground has always been the roots beneath us, and always will be.  The ground sees all and knows all.  The ground has seen our cries for help since it was parting the Red Sea for Moses and continues to see our cries as I am writing this.

The ground has fueled our prayer, our song, our protest.  The same ground so many marched on from Selma to Montgomery.  The ground that let people pray with nothing but their movements and steps.  It understood what the people were not only saying but the importance of their demands without the blatant writing some needed.  It gave people a place to express their anger about how they were treated because they were a different race.  They were also able to show their pride in who they were and that minorities will never back down.  People marched to show peace instead of violence.  The march from Selma to Montgomery showed how much peoples’ steps mean and what they can do.

Almost 60 years later, we are still fighting for equality with our steps.  The civil rights leaders of the 60’s are the inspiration and role models of today.  They show people how their message can be heard by an act as simple as walking, instead of hurting their cause by fighting with violence.  Because of these leaders, we still show the ground our hopes for a future of justice for all.  The ground continues to hear and see our screams, cries, and prayers every time we march.

I hope that one day, the Earth will see happiness from all who have prayed and marched for what they believe in.  A world where the songs and prayers our legs produce are filled with joy and are worry-less.  One day maybe the ground will feel it no longer needs to observe the people above it.  Although this may be my hope, we need to rely on the ground to provide us a place for prayer for now.  We need to keep praying with our steps and with our legs until having a pray for equality is a mere thought of the past.

Diversity of Prayer

Shana Moskowitz, Grade 10

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Sat, April 13 2024 5 Nisan 5784