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Parshat Vayelech
October 7, 2016 - 5 Tishrei 5777

Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 6:33  pm
Shabbat Ends - 7:40 pm

Yom Kippur
October 11, 2016 - 9 Tishrei 5777

Tuesday Candle Lighting - by 6:27 pm
Wednesday Havdallah - after 7:33 pm
DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
  In Masekhet Ta'anit (26b) the Mishna describes Yom Kippur as one of the most joyous days of the year.  The Gemara (30b) tells us that the reason for this joy is because, "It is a day of forgiveness and pardon, the day when the second tablets were given." Rav Soloveitchik (Nefesh Ha-Rav, pp. 293-4) interprets the Gemara's comment as referring to two unique factors. In addition to being a day that we are forgiven for our sins, he explains that on Yom Kippur we celebrate Kabbalat HaTorah in the same way we do on Shavuot.   

    Rav Soloveitchik explains that while Shavuot celebrates our receiving the written Torah, on Yom Kippur we celebrate the oral law. According to this approach, one might wonder if there is a connection between the Torah She-be'al Peh and the main essence of Yom Kippur, the process of Teshuva. 

      One of the themes that resonates through the Yom Kippur tefilot is Hashem's willingness to dwell among us despite our mistakes and frailties.  As long as we strive for perfection and work to correct our mistakes and continuously improve, G-d is prepared to maintain a close relationship with us despite our impurity. 

       The process of Torah She-be'al Peh similarly relates to G-d's special relationship with Am Yisrael. Hashem wishes for us to take part in the Halachic process in the form of following our sages' interpretation of the oral tradition. This process is imperfect, since even the greatest human mind is imperfect.  However, as long as the generation's scholars sincerely seek the truth in interpreting the Torah She-be'al Peh, G-d approves of their conclusions--just as He accepts us as His nation as long as we sincerely attempt to serve Him faithfully.

            On Yom Kippur, we seek to resemble angels. However, we are not angels. The simcha of Yom Kippur is that we can celebrate the bond we enjoy with G-d despite our imperfections. May this be a year of continued growth and success for all of us individually and communally.  

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Weinberg can be reached at sweinberg@hillelpgh.org

FYI - Wednesday, Oct 26 - Delayed Start ECC-12 @ 9am
Featured Video - Shana Tova!
Shana Tova!

Family Feature 
In this week's Family Feature we meet the Raphael family. Following their recent move to Pittsburgh in August, Itay and Becky, parents to Noa and Adam found Hillel in part thanks to Google and one of our former families, HAN (#HAN - Hillel Academy Nation). Although they've relocated from San Antonio, don't be fooled--they are big Patriots fans.

What brought you to Hillel?  A friend of ours who used to live in Pittsburgh recommended that we look into Hillel when we were looking for daycare. Then, during a Yom Ha'atzmaut event at our congregation in San Antonio, we met with a parent (Jody Steinberg) who had both of her kids at Hillel, and she warmly recommended we apply. Oh, and there was Google too.

Pittsburgh trivia (because our readers love this stuff). What were the new Rita's Ice flavors this year?
Since we just moved here we haven't had the chance to try Rita's Ice. However in San Antonio, there is a well known Mexican restaurant, called Rita's, which introduced the biggest size of Dos-a-Rita (beer with Margarita) which is 32 oz. It is delicious during the hot Texas summers.  

That sounds great, maybe we could ask Rita's to add that flavor. Tell us about your family. Where are we most likely to find you on a warm sunny, Sunday afternoon?  Well, since we had Noa our Sundays involve going to the zoo, parks and any outdoors activities which will help get her energy out. She really enjoys Frick Park - which she calls "the big slide park."

How was Rosh Hashana?  Becky's birthday falls on Rosh Hashana, so she had an extra sweet birthday--cake was included too.  

Did you make it to the apple orchards this year?  We went apple picking last Sunday at Norman's orchard. Highly recommended!

If a new kosher restaurant opens here, what style would you like?  Meat, please! Preferably an Israeli Style Kabob ("Shipud") restaurant. If there was one and we missed it, please let us know. A Brazilian Style meat house would be next on the list.

Are we more likely to see you at PNC Park or at Heinz Field?  More likely at the Gillette Stadium, unless the Patriots are coming into town, then Heinz Field obviously. Although, Fenway Park is also an option. I guess we will give PNC Park a chance at some point, since the Red Sox are not likely to play the Pirates any time soon.  

Wow, you're a Pats fan, welcome to Steeler's Country.  What's the best part of Hillel?
 First, it has a very welcoming community and great teachers ("Morim"). Also, Noa is happy to go to school in the mornings and comes back home every day with lots of great stories of what she has learned in school. We also really like the emphasis on Jewish values and traditions.

What are your professions?  I (Itay), have a PhD in Immunology, and I do research at Pitt's Dept. of Medicine. More specifically, I work on a unique subset of cells (called T lymphocytes) and their contribution to pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Becky has a MS in Biology and a strong background in genetics and forensic science. Currently she is searching for jobs in her field to continue with her career.

Are you excited for Yom Tov art projects? What do you plan to do with them?  Yes, maybe we can decorate the Sukkah with those.

Most interesting person in your iPhone contacts?  Personally, I prefer Android. But it would probably be Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg of congregation Rodfei Sholom (San Antonio) - a fascinating person who we loved speaking with and hearing from.

Quick Pick:

Favorite bands, go!
-Becky: Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Adele
-Itay: Dave Brubeck Quartet, George Benson, and John Digweed

Soda or Pop?  Soda
Ice Hockey or Floor?  Ice
Instagram or Facebook?  Facebook
Tel Aviv or Eliat?  Jerusalem, then Tel Aviv
Tanach or Talmud?  Tanach

Danny Shaw can be reached at dshaw@hillelpgh.org.
Weekly Photos

Mazel Tov to fourth grader Kayla Weinberg on winning Wednesday's cross country meet vs. CDS with a time of 15:34! Both teams will be competing this Sunday at the East End Championships at Schenley Park. 

As second grade read the book "Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night," they discussed the skills and adventures that go along with camping trips. Students focused on identifying characters, as well as how to choose the most important parts of a story. They wrote a non-fiction piece on camping and designed a miniature 3-D camping display out of construction paper. 

Led by Mr. Garwood, second grade students produced their very own rockets! They first drew and designed their rockets. Next, starting with recycled plastic bottles, they cut out nose cones and fins to make the rockets more aerodynamic. Now, they are in the process of decorating their rockets, and we are looking forward to launching them using compressed air from a bicycle pump to demonstrate Newton's Third Law of Motion.

The fifth grade girls worked with the Bnot Sherut, Hadar and Naomi, to draw a map of Israel based on the time period of the Shoftim.

These high school seniors work on their AP Computer Science assignment with their teacher Spencer Kingman. 

Ivrit is a major part of the Hillel Academy curriculum and these girls love it!

Morah Elaine teaches about fish as the children learn about the tradition of Tashlich. 

The Art Department
Brought to you by the  Joshua L. Sindler, z"l Creative Classrooms, Art and Music Endowment Program

Art club created mono-type prints by drawing with washable marker on plexiglass.  They sprayed paper with water, put the paper with the image on the plexiglass, and then transferred the image to the paper.  
Flashback Fridays
The Flashback Friday Photo Challenge is back for its sixth year. Email hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org if you think you can identify the people in the photo.  We will include your name in an upcoming issue if you guess correctly and sometimes we even give away Hillel swag. #FBF

Correct answers were submitted by the following people:

Elan Sokol
Barry Faigen
Jesse Mendelson
Robert Itskowitz
Elie Mendelson
Wendy Levin-Shaw
Jonathan Wayne
Aaron Siebzener
Paul Kentor
Gladys  Margolis

Pictured (L-R) are:   Eric Topolsky,  Rob Itskowitz,  Eric Wasosky,  Marty Aronson Jeff Margolis,  Rabbi Adler, Eric Greenfield and  Brian Goldwasser (front).
This Week's Photo

Alumni Updates
Mazel Tov to Danny Brent and his wife Aliza Rudavsky on the birth of a son!

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact   dkraut@hillelpgh.org.
Mazel Tov
Morah Jas Williams on the birth of Dave!
Jonah and Heather Ufberg on the birth of Noa Tehila!   Click HERE to sign up for the meal train.

Richard and Susan Finder on the marriage of their daughter Miriam to Jarrett Annenberg of Chicago!

Barb Uebing on the loss of her father. 
Amber Letters on the loss of her grandfather. 
Around Town

Girl's Oneg: Every Shabbos afternoon in the PZ Educational building from  3:30-4:30 .  For all girls in grades K-6. No Oneg the Shabbos of Chol Hamoed Sukkos,  October 22.
DON'T BE LEFT OUT! We're nearing the deadline for the 2017 edition of the Jewish Women's League Community Directory. Be sure that we have your contact information if you are new in town, that we have any changes to your information, or that we have your advertisement. Contact Judy Mendelson, 412-521-6498

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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Please send condolence notices to  HillelHappenings@Hillelpgh.org.