ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 12, 2018 - 25 Tevet 5778
Parashat Va'eira
ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
PTA Hat Show
Hebrew Storytime
Social Time!
ES, MS, and US Newsletters

Please check the Lost and Found table and coat rack outside the Elementary School office if you are looking for a missing item.
For the boys: Every day during davening, we say the bracha for tzitzit, so please make sure your son wears some or keeps in his backpack a pair of tzitzit and a kippah.

If you have any recyclable materials, please send them in for our classes to use. Examples are:
-Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
-Paint color samples
-Scraps of contact paper, wallpaper, or cloth
-Small pieces of tile
-Any other crafty loose parts!
Please send in dress-up clothes, especially authentic doctor clothes and supplies. Thank you!
Whether you are a parent, alumni or faculty member, your Maimo Moments are welcomed and appreciated.
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

Thank you so much, Early Morning Drop-Off parents, for dressing your children in their winter gear before school. Many of you have dressed the children in their snow pants and boots in their car seats, so that when they come to school they can put on their coats, hats, and mittens quickly. This has worked out well and we appreciate your help!

To all parents, please be sure to label every piece of winter gear that your child wears. It is very easy to lose hats, mittens, and even boots, and the children do not always recognize their own belongings.

This Monday, January 15, there will be no school for the students due to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The teachers will be taking part in some exciting professional development activities that day, and we look forward to learning a lot!

On Wednesday, January 17, we are having our first Wacky Wednesday of the year. The theme will be Camping! We will have a day full of fun and inventive activities!

Please send in with your children any camping gear you may have, including tents, flashlights, sleeping bags, binoculars, maps, compasses, and whatever else you might like. Please be sure that anything you send in is labeled with your child's name so that it can be returned to you after Wacky Wednesday.

This will be a great opportunity to enrich what could be a dreary winter time.

We look forward to lots of fun on Wacky Wednesday!

Shabbat Shalom,

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
In the parasha this week the first seven makkot strike the Egyptians. Oddly enough, the first three are performed by Aharon and not Moshe. As the verse states regarding the plague of blood:
וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה־יָדְךָ עַל־מֵימֵי מִצְרַיִם עַל־נַהֲרֹתָם עַל־יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְעַל־אַגְמֵיהֶם וְעַל כָּל־מִקְוֵה מֵימֵיהֶם וְיִהְיוּ־דָם וְהָיָה דָם בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּבָעֵצִים וּבָאֲבָנִים׃
And Hashem said to Moshe, "Say to Aharon: Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt-its rivers, its canals, its ponds, all its bodies of water-that they may turn to blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone."
The procedure was similar for frogs and lice, as Hashem instructs Moshe to command Aharon to bring this first set of plagues. G-d did say earlier that Aharon would be Moshe's spokesman, but He didn't mention that he would be his makkah man. Why wasn't Moshe able to bring these first three plagues?
Rashi explains that Moshe was unable to cause the makkah of blood and frogs because:
אמר אל אהרן. לְפִי שֶׁהֵגִין הַיְאוֹר עַל מֹשֶׁה כְּשֶׁנִּשְׁלַךְ לְתוֹכוֹ, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא לָקָה עַל יָדוֹ לֹא בַדָּם וְלֹא בַצְפַרְדְּעִים, וְלָקָה עַל יְדֵי אַהֲרֹן (שמות רבה):          
SAY UNTO AHARON - Because the river had protected Moses when he was cast into it, therefore it was not smitten by him neither at the plague of blood nor at that of frogs, but it was smitten by Aharon ( Exodus Rabbah 9:10)
And similarly it would have been inappropriate for Moshe to bring the plague of lice because:
אמר אל אהרן. לֹא הָיָה הֶעָפָר כְּדַאי לִלְקוֹת עַ"יְ מֹשֶׁה, לְפִי שֶׁהֵגִין עָלָיו כְּשֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּטְמְנֵהוּ בַּחוֹל, וְלָקָה עַל יְדֵי אַהֲרֹן (שמות רבה):
SAY UNTO AHARON - The dust did not deserve to be smitten by Moses because it had protected him when he slew the Egyptian, for "he hid him in the sand"; and it was therefore smitten by Aharon (Tanchuma; Exodus Rabbah 10:7).
Rashi says that since the water and sand protected Moshe, he was unable to hit those things. Moshe had to show his appreciation, gratitude, and hakarat hatov even to inanimate objects which served and protected him during his life.
Perhaps on another level, these items represent Moshe's entry into and departure from Egypt. Through the water, in a basket, Moshe was saved by Pharaoh's daughter. About 20 years later, after burying the Egyptian in the sand, Moshe fled Egypt. The water saved Moshe upon his arrival, and the sand saved him as he was leaving. The water and the sand represented Moshe's time spent in Egypt, where his life was saved. In order to demonstrate hakarat hatov to the country and the people of Egypt, Moshe was not allowed to bring the first three makkot and be the harbinger of all the plagues and destruction to follow.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman     
The Rav explains the difference between
                                                   וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה
and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened
וַיַּכְבֵּד לִבּוֹ
and he made heavy his heart.
These are not synonyms, but represent two different ideas.
Let's focus on כבד. The word כבד is associated with a stone. It weighs a lot, but it's useless. It does not have any practical purpose. Here, it means "a heart of stone." Therefore, כבד לב פרעה means that he had an insensitive heart. It was a heart which was not responsive to the call of conscience, or to a divine moral challenge.
The Rishonim speak about certain times when a person loses their ability to repent because they forfeit their moral sensitivity. If there is no moral sensitivity, there is no ability to choose between a good course of action and a bad course of action. Someone with a heart of stone, therefore, has lost their bechira - their free choice.
This is what happened to Pharaoh when he resisted the moral challenge with which he was presented, and desensitized himself to the suffering of the Jewish slaves.
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

As the temperature has risen to above 25 degrees, we've been spending more time outside. It's great fun in the snow... it's the preparation to go outside that's the challenging part!

We've been collecting and building with boxes, playing with dinosaurs, and dancing.

We love music, singing, painting, and listening to stories.

We hope you enjoy this week in pictures!
Look who came into our room on Monday to dance with us. It's Morah Limor, who works in the Elementary School! 
We are loving Yoga class, and learning so much with Morah Nechama. 
There are many ways of learning. Watching is participating.
We love reading and listening to stories. Especially ones that have animals in them.
We've been hammering using large golf tees. Sometimes using your hands to push the tees in is just as fun.
"I want to save this for Daddy." 
"I want to save this for my Daddy, too." 
Here are some of the boxes we collected and painted. We are stacking them as high as possible. 
On Wednesday, these boxes made some great mountains.

Mixing it up on Wednesday morning with dinosaurs and shape puzzles.
Building together, making it taller and taller. Then knocking it down, which is the best part!
Music class on Tuesday had lots of movement involved!
Never too young to play music.
Learning how to clean up after ourselves is an important part of our day. 
Our firefighter and doctor puppets are very popular. 
Sharing in the sand box. 
We'll miss Eyal when he's in Australia next week. 

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Tzipi and Laura
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

The students have been enjoying all the new snow on our playground! They love using the shovels outside and building with the snow. Throughout the year, we have been working with the children on their self-help skills. Getting ready to play outside has been a great opportunity to strengthen these skills. As the winter goes on, we are sure the children will become more adept at putting on their own snow pants, boots, coats, hats, and mittens.

We are continuing our firefighter unit. The students especially like dressing up in firefighter gear and going around the room "putting out fires." Earlier this week we opened the water table, and the "firefighters" used different tools to squirt water on the "fires."

On Tuesday we looked at pictures of many different types of fire trucks, learning the names of each of them, and what each one does. The students then created their own fire trucks using shape cut-outs, like strips, circles, and rectangles. We started by naming each shape, and then the students glued them onto their piece of paper. They were especially excited to add the ladders and sirens! The firetrucks are hanging up on the bulletin board outside our classroom. Come by and take a look!

For Parshat Va'eira , we talked about how Moshe and Aharon went back to Egypt to speak to Pharoah. They tried to convince him to let the Jewish people go free. After Pharaoh said no, Moshe warned Pharaoh that Hashem would send plagues ( makkot ) if he did not obey. The students had fun acting out the first seven plagues. They especially liked pretending to be wild animals!

Parsha Questions :
1. What is the name of the parsha? (Va'eira)
2. Did Pharaoh listen to Moshe when he asked him to let the Jewish people go free? (No)
3. How many makkot are in this week's parsha? (Seven)
4. Can you name some of the makkot ? (1. Dam - blood 2. Tz'fardea - frogs 3. Kinim - lice 4. Arov - wild beasts 5. Dever - sick animals 6. Shchin - boils 7. Barad - Hail)
5. Why were the makkot sent? (Because Pharaoh would not let the Jewish people go free)
Next Wednesday, January 17th, we will be having our first ECC Wacky Wednesday of the year. The theme is camping. If you have any camping supplies, we would love for you to send them in next Wednesday. Some examples are flashlights, easy-to-assemble or pop-up tents, and sleeping bags. Please make sure everything is labeled. We want to make sure all of your items get back to you. Thank you!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
The students worked on their fine motor skills with pipe cleaners and colanders  
After learning about the different parts of a fire truck, the children worked on a big puzzle to make a huge fire truck.
During provocation time, the children worked together using ramps, pipes, and pieces of wood to make them balance on each other.

Using the ramps and pipes, the kids zoomed around with the fire trucks to "help people."
Using loose parts, the children created their own masterpieces.  

Each came out unique!

While learning all about fire trucks, the kids used different shapes to create their own fire trucks.
We were proud of our creations!
The children learned that the firefighters use water to put fires out.

 We love experimenting in the water table!
We love shoveling in the snow!
It was a great time!
Have we ever seen this much snow before??
Snow is so much fun with friends!
We even brought some snow inside!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

After all the snow and cold of last week, it was so nice to have a full week where we could go out and play! We have been able to go out and play in the snow every day. Morah Laura also found our snow shovels so that we could make paths in the snow!

Inside, we have continued our learning about animals and safari. We looked at different animal footprints, or tracks, and used that knowledge to help us find animals that were hiding around the room. We also made different animals. We made frogs, some other wild animal masks, and snakes out of paper plates. Some we brought home, and some are hanging up on our new bulletin board in the ECC/Kindergarten hallway.
Next week on Wacky Wednesday: Camping Day, we will go camping in our classroom jungle, so please send in sleeping bags, flashlights, small lanterns, binoculars, or other camping gear you might have.

This week, we became familiar with the letters H and ח . We traced the letters, and used some animal print paper to cut out and make the letters. We looked around the school for the letters, and tried to find them in our names. We also looked at pictures of words that begin with H and ח .

This week's parsha is Va'eira. We learned and acted out the story about how Moshe and Aharon asked Pharaoh, in the name of Hashem, to let Bnei Yisrael go, but Pharaoh said, "No, no, no, I will not let them go!"

Here are some parsha questions (and answers) to review with your children:
1. What was the first sign from Hashem that Moshe and Aharon showed Pharaoh? (That Aharon's staff/stick turned into a snake.)
2. What did Pharaoh say when he saw the stick turn into a snake? (He had his magicians do the same trick.)
3. What happened to the snakes of the magicians? (Aharon's snake ate theirs.)
4. What was the order of the first seven makkot (punishments)? (Blood ( דם ), frogs ( צפרדע ), lice ( כינים ), wild animals ( ערוב ), the sickness of the animals ( דבר ), boils ( שחין ), and hail ( ברד ).)
5. After Hashem took away each punishment, what did Pharaoh say to Moshe? ("I was just kidding, Bnei Yisrael have to stay and be my slaves.")
6. What warning did Moshe give to the Egyptians before the punishment of hail? (That if they and their animals stayed inside, they would not get hurt.)
This week we had two parties! On Monday, we celebrated Aviv's birthday, and on Friday we had a Shabbat party with Aviv as the Shabbat Abba. Thank you, Aviv, for the yummy treats at both parties, and for the challah for Shabbat!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, Nechi, Marggie, Julie, and Chava

We had a lot of animals this week in our safari. We made different animal masks. 
We made frogs out of paper plates, tape, markers, and party blowers.
Can you guess who is behind the frog here? (Charlie)
We made snakes in different ways. The children each decorated a paper plate using bingo markers, and then cut it out as a spiral. 

We also made snakes out of pipe cleaners and beads. 

We made lions using paper plates, orange tissue paper, and orange markers.

Amelie's beautiful lion!

Avital is a scary lion!
The children got ready to go on a scavenger hunt in the safari. They made canteens so that we could drink water on the way. 

We decorated safari vests made from paper bags.
Liat is ready to go!
The children explored different animals' tracks and tried to match the tracks to the animals.
Then we went on an animal hunt, finding the animals and their tracks around the room.
We had so much fun playing in the snow!
Trying to sled on the snow
And even tasting the snow!
PTA Hat Show on Sunday
Hebrew Storytime on Sunday, January 21 

Social Time!
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