Valedictorian Chooses Faith Over Speech

VACAVILLE, Calif. (CBS13) – A local valedictorian will not be giving a graduation speech in person in order to observe a religious holiday, but her message will still be heard.

Vacaville High School valedictorian Carolyn Fine said has struggled over the past few weeks to find a balance between her Jewish faith and her duties as valedictorian, which include the honor of speaking at her graduation ceremony Thursday.

Carolyn said she will begin observing the holiday of Shavu’ot, and that means she can’t use anything that requires electricity until after dark on Thursday.

“It’s not going to work out so well if I’m standing in front of thousands of people and I can’t use the microphone,” she said. “I don’t think my voice is that loud.”

After considering her dilemma — giving the speech with a microphone or following her faith — she chose the latter. Fortunately, school officials came up with a plan to let her do both.

“They prerecorded my speech and they are going to play that while I’m standing up there,” Carolyn said.

“It was a tremendous relief,” she added. “It seemed like I had reached a compromise where I could keep to my faith and accept this, because it’s a huge honor.”

Observing the holiday also means Carolyn can’t use a car to get to graduation, so she’ll walk; she’ll also forego graduation pictures, since a camera requires power.

In the end, Carolyn said she’ll always remember graduation day as the day she put her faith first.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Ed says:

    I don’t really care what people believe or don’t believe, but do you really think God cares whether you flicked a light switch-on on Wednesday or Thursday?

    1. Rishona says:

      Ed, I can only speak for myself (so don’t take what all Jews believe), but I cannot even begin to assume what G-d focuses on. I believe he sees everything at all times…but how he prioritizes things, I don’t know. However, this is not a one-way relationship. The Jews made a covenant at Mt. Sinai to keep the Torah (G-d’s commandments). Not just for that generation…but for all generations. So by keeping the Sabbath…I am simply holding up my end of the bargain.
      In the same vain you ask if the American Medical Association really cares if doctors help to sell their patients’ organs on the black market. Or if a wife really cares if her husband has a baby with another woman. These things are wrong because we DO have standards and feelings. And that is what almost all religions are about…keeping some sort of standards.

      1. Rishona says:

        (so don’t take what all Jews believe)

        Sorry…meant to type “(so don’t take this as what all Jews believe)”

      2. Kyle Broflovski says:

        Rishona writes: “However, this is not a one-way relationship.”

        Considering the G-d you worship is almost certainly fictional, yet it is.

        ——-

        “In the same vain you ask if the American Medical Association really cares if doctors help to sell their patients’ organs on the black market. Or if a wife really cares if her husband has a baby with another woman. These things are wrong because we DO have standards and feelings. And that is what almost all religions are about…keeping some sort of standards.”

        Religion is about keeping standards? It is more about imposing their own standards on society as if they have a magical monopoly on what constitutes morality.

        With your points:

        1) People SHOULD be allowed to sell their organs if they want to. It is because of religious zealots like many of the people here as to why it is still illegal. If someone wants to sell their kidney to someone else who wants to buy it because they are dying, then TWO of G-d’s children stay alive instead of only one. Moreover, making it legal gets rid of most of the black market and makes it harder for people to kill others and take their organs to sell because now there is a legal private market with checks and balances already in place. Moreover, the legal system allows the organs to be taken out in the best manner possible in order to have a successful transplant and the person giving up their organ also gets professional medical care and technology.

        2) So you are against surrogates for couples who can’t conceive on their own? After all you don’t think that a husband should be able to have a baby with another woman. Thus, you are against one of G-d’s children being born.

        What else do you oppose?

        What is your stance on gay relationships and marriage?

        What is your stance on Plan B? Should it be legal or illegal?

        What is your stance on abortion? Should it be legal or illegal?

        Etc?

        Peace!

    2. Kyle Broflovski says:

      Ed writes: “do you really think God cares whether you flicked a light switch-on on Wednesday or Thursday?”

      No… God is not that immensely ignorant.

      Cheers Ed!🙂

    3. Harold says:

      Hi Ed,

      This is the usual objection that comes up – Do you really think God cares if you eat ham, turn on a light switch, etc.? The basic answer is that Judaism does see God in the details, but that the details are part of a much bigger theological and philosophical framework. That’s a subject that deserves far more explanation than can be given in a short post. But to draw an analogy, if someone was observing a Christian service but didn’t know the overall framework into which the ritual acts fit, they might be very surprised to see everyone lining up and putting wafers in their mouths. They might say, “What’s that about? Does God really care if they put a little wafer in their mouth? That’s religion?”, etc. But we all know that for a Christian, that act carries significant meaning because of the larger framework in which it fits. So too in Judaism

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