In Parshat Vayera, God does a math trick with names: He takes the letter yud (h)out of sarai’s name. Then he divides it equally. Look at the chart below to discover how much the letter yud is worth in gematria. Now, what two letters does God come up with and where does he put them? (clue: Avram and Sarai’s names are transformed.) Avram…..hra Sarah…..ovrct Avraham…vra Sarai…..orct Here comes Halloween. Do we, as Jews, celebrate this holiday or not ? Well, it’s based on a pagan holiday. But even some Jewish holidays are based on pagan agricultural festivals. Some Jews don’t celebrate it, but others believe Halloween has become an American Holiday and we can just have fun! Mail your cartoons, drawings, puzzles, etc. to The Jewish Journal, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90010. E-mail your written answers to our contests, or your jokes, riddles, poems, etc., to kids@jewishjournal.com. Make sure you write your name and address in your e-mail. See you next time!

# For the Kids

This year, the 17th of Tammuz coincidentally falls on the 17th of July. The 17th of Tammuz (the 10th Jewish month) is a fast day — no eating, no drinking. Why? Because on this day, a few thousand years ago, the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem. Three weeks later, the Temple was destroyed.

The rabbis tell us something a bit curious about this day: it is associated with the word tov (good).

Here is a hint: It has to do with the gematria (numerical value) of the word (Remember: alef = 1, bet/vet = 2, gimel = 3, etc.). The rabbis say that what looks bad now can always be turned to good.

Shakespeare Festival/LA

Pershing Square (downtown Los Angeles) and South Coast Botanical Gardens (Palos Verdes).

July 15-20 and 22-26, downtown Los Angeles; July 31, Aug. 1-3 and 6-10, Palos Verdes . Featuring Shakespeare’s "The Merry Wives of Windsor." And if you bring canned food for the Food for Thought Project, you get free admission.

(213) 481-2273, www.shakespearefestivalla.org

Ho’olaule’a 2003

Alondra Park (adjacent to El Camino Community College). July 19-20. All-day entertainment by performing groups representing Hawaii’s multicultural heritage. Enjoy highly diverse food that represents Hawaii and its people. A two-day event filled with Polynesian arts, crafts, music, dance and fun. (949) 458-0933, www.hiccsc.org.

+