ECC Weekly Newsletter 
May 12, 2017 - Iyar 16 5777
Parashat Emor
ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Orchim
Pizza Lunch
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Help Write a Torah
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, please make sure your son wears 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,

Next Friday, May 19, is Yom Orchim (Visitors' Day). The children get so excited to see their special guests. We are greatly looking forward to hosting them. If your child has visitors coming to the school, please let us know!  See below for information on how to register a visitor.

Please understand that if grandparents or special guests are coming to visit your child, we ask that the parents stay home. This is the grandparents' special time with the children, the classrooms get very crowded if there are too many people, and it can be hard for other children. If no one else is coming to visit your child on Yom Orchim, please feel free to come to the school.

We hope you enjoy your Lag B'Omer and Mother's Day celebrations.

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
In the second half of the parasha we are introduced to all the Biblical holidays. All the chagim are listed in succession, from Pesach to Shemini Atzeret. However, smack in the middle of discussing Shavuot and Rosh HaShana the pasuk interjects the following mitzvah, interrupting the list of holidays:
וּבְקֻצְרְכֶם אֶת קְצִיר אַרְצְכֶם לֹא תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָׂדְךָ בְּקֻצְרֶךָ וְלֶקֶט קְצִירְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם:
When you reap the harvest of your Land, you shall not completely remove the corner of your field during your harvesting, and you shall not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. [Rather,] you shall leave these for the poor person and for the stranger. I am the Lord, your G-d.
Why is this mitzvah inserted in the middle of the holiday discussion? Even Rashi, who does not usually include the question on the verse in his commentary, is compelled to ask here:
אמר רבי אבדימס ברבי יוסף מה ראה הכתוב ליתנה באמצע הרגלים, פסח ועצרת מכאן וראש השנה ויום הכפורים והחג מכאן
Rabbi Avdimi the son of Rabbi Joseph says: Why does Scripture place this [passage] in the very middle of [the laws regarding] the Festivals - with Passover and Atzereth (Shavuoth) on one side and Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Festival [of Succoth] on the other?
An answer to this "interruption," rooted in p'shat by directly connecting the topic of Shavuot to the mitzvot pertaining to the field, is offered by the Ibn Ezra, who comments:
וטעם להזכיר ובקצרכם את קציר ארצכם - פעם שנית, בעבור כי חג שבועות בכורי קציר חטים, הזהיר שלא תשכח מה שצויתיך לעשות בימים ההם.
The commandment of when you reap the harvest of your land is mentioned a second time [cf . 19:9] apropos the festival of Shavuot, which involves the first-fruits of the wheat harvest. We must not forget the commandments which pertain to that time of year.
Rashi instead quotes a Midrash and states:
ללמדך שכל הנותן לקט שכחה ופאה לעני כראוי, מעלין עליו כאילו בנה בית המקדש והקריב קרבנותיו בתוכו:
To teach you that whoever gives לֶקֶט , gleanings, שִׁכְחָה , forgotten sheaves, and פֵּאָה , the corners , to the poor in the appropriate manner, is deemed as if he had built the Holy Temple and offered up his sacrifices within it.
Perhaps Rashi is making the connection that doing this mitzvah is like building the Beit HaMikdash, since the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed for sinat chinam, hatred for no reason, and these mitzvot demonstrate arvut through ahavat chinam, pure love for another. This ahava for another, rooted in arvut, will rebuild the Beit HaMikdash (speedily in our day!!). The reason is that these mitzvot, because of their anonymous nature, are perforce performed at a higher level of arvut. When the farmer leaves food for the poor, and thereby performs these mitzvot, nobody else knows that the farmer is doing the mitzvah. And the farmer does not know who is taking his produce.
Doing these mitzvot in an anonymous manner is a way to demonstrate pure arvut and ahavat chinam to others, and thereby atone for and undo the transgression that caused the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. Let's hope that our acts of arvut, by giving to those who are in need, will lead to the prompt rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff

This week's parsha was the source of great controversy in the times of the Mikdash. While the Pharisees (keepers of the oral tradition) understood the mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer as starting on the second day of Pesach, the Boethusians (Baitusim), who rejected the oral tradition, insisted that it starts on the Sunday which happens to coincide with Pesach.
Even though the Baitusim were mistaken, the Rav explains their thinking with three pieces of evidence:
1. The paragraph in this week's parsha which describes the mitzvah tells us to perform this mitzvah "when you harvest [the land's] grain." It does not link the mitzvah explicitly to Pesach. In fact, Pesach is not mentioned at all in that paragraph.
2. The phrase used is "mimachorat haShabbat" - literally, the day after Shabbos, which one could understandably interpret as referring to Sunday. 
3. The command is to count seven "complete weeks" - perhaps a complete week means from Sunday to Shabbos. 
While our mesorah has textual answers to all these proofs, the Rav felt that the Baitusim fundamentally misunderstood the Omer, Shavuot, and their connection to Pesach. Shavuot is not only an agricultural chag, as the Baitusim presented it. It is the final part of the redemptive process which began in Mitzrayim. We were not entirely redeemed until we received the Torah. While the first three leshonot geulah (vehotsaiti, vehitsalti, vegaalti) had been realized, the final one, velakachti - Hashem taking this nation as his own - did not happen until Matan Torah.
Yom Orchim registration extended until Monday!
There is still time to register a guest for Yom Orchim, which will take place next Friday, May 19!  Please go to our online registration page or contact Ellen Pulda,, 617-232-4452 x423 by Monday, May 15 to register a visitor for Yom Orchim. Remember, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors are welcome to be your child's guest. Please note that online registration will close at the end of the day Monday.

Pizza for lunch next Friday
In honor of Yom Orchim, all students will receive one slice of pizza and two Oreos during lunch next Friday.  Please feel free to send additional food and snacks with your child(ren) to supplement the pizza.

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We hope you had a lovely week! We've been happily learning about Lag B'Omer and adding footsteps with numbers on them to count the days of the Omer.

We were mesmerized by another one of Morah Tzipi's stories. Morah Tzipi used props like stuffed sheep, and even baby Yakira, to tell us about Rabbi Shimon and his students, who hid in caves to safely learn Torah.

We went for a walk on Tuesday to find many sticks to use for our "bonfire" on Thursday. Because it is spring and there are so many beautiful flowers and trees blooming, we wanted to bring some of that beauty inside the classroom. We made a collage using pink, red, yellow, purple, and green petals, sticking them on to a large piece of contact paper.

We've been spending lots of time outside, and our imaginary play has been so creative and fun. The children make lots of cakes, pies, and cupcakes out of wood chips, sand, and soil. They also pretend to chase monsters. Last week, the weather was so nice that we were even able to eat snack outside.

We love the warmer weather, and look forward to the coming days when we won't have to use our skills to hang up our coats on the hangers.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Tzipi and Laura

Old meets new. We've been enjoying some old-fashioned technology. 
Noa was our Shabbat Ima last Friday. Her sister Yakira is practicing for next year.

More new-school meets old-school. 
"Look, I found a purple one!"
On Monday, we made a collage with real flower petals and leaves on sticky contact paper. 
The children created a very complex and beautiful block structure. They also added animals for more fun.
On Tuesday, Tzipi told us a very animated story of Lag B'Omer. 
So many doctors and patients in our room!  
Don't forget to look up every day.  We do!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

We continued our friendship unit this week by having the students work together in pairs and small groups to do different activities throughout the classroom. They paired up and used magnifying glasses to examine shells, rocks, and sticks while discussing with each other what they saw. The students also did an activity where they worked in small groups, using magnetic wands and magnets to explore the concept of magnetization.

Another paired activity started out with the students deciding how many Unifix cubes they would use, then attaching the cubes together, measuring how long their tower was, and using a ruler to draw a line as long as their tower was. All of these activities were designed to work on specific independent skills, but also to decide on what to do, listen to each other, and negotiate if there was a disagreement. These are also very important skills to learn at this age.

For Parashat Emor , we talked about the holidays mentioned in the parsha. We discussed what we do for each holiday - Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur - and why each holiday is so special. We also talked about Lag B'Omer, which is coming up on Sunday. We mentioned how we are counting the Omer, which started at the second seder of Pesach, and we finish counting when we celebrate Shavuot, which is coming at the end of May. We read Sadie's Lag BaOmer Mystery by Jamie Korngold, which highlighted the reason we celebrate Lag B'Omer, as well as some of the activities we do on this special day.
We talked about how Rabbi Shimon was a wise man who taught Torah to young people. The Roman Emperor told Rabbi Shimon that they could not study the Torah. Rabbi Shimon found a secret cave to learn in, and he and his students pretended to be hunters with bows and arrows to fool the Romans. We told the students that we celebrate Lag B'Omer by having picnics, bonfires, singing, and dancing.

Parsha and Lag B'Omer Questions :
  1. What is the name of this week's parsha? (Emor)
  2. Name two holidays we discuss in the parsha. (Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur)
  3. When do we celebrate Lag B'Omer? (The 33rd day of the Omer, which falls on this Sunday)
  4. What are some things we do on Lag B'Omer? (Picnics, bonfires, singing, and dancing)

The students have worked very hard this week on a very special Mother's Day gift. We hope you enjoy using it. We want to wish you a happy and restful Mother's Day.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Yosef, Dov, Simcha, and Leo worked hard to make something incredible in the block area.
The students were so excited when Morah Bessler read them the book Tiras Cham with their special third-grade buddies, and they then got to eat hot corn on the cob!
Ella, Gavriella, Leah, Liat, and Charlie loved painting during Art class.

Gavriella and Liat worked together to make a pattern.

Enjoying painting during Art class with Ms. DiOrio!

Enjoying playing with the dollhouse we borrowed from the 2-year-old class

Working on our Mother's Day projects!

Climbing in the sand area outside!

Sam and Charlie created their own speed bump in case cars were going too quickly!

The students loved singing a song about Lag B'Omer with Morah Linda!

Yosef investigates different natural objects with magnifying glasses

Liat and Simcha measuring things together

Jonah and Yuval created something together out of playdough and stones.

4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We have had a very full week. The students enjoyed experiencing and singing about Israel so much that we decided to continue the Israel theme with the song Eretz Yisael Sheli ארץ ישראל שלי . Last week we started learning the words. This week we deepened our understanding of the song by making a model of the different parts of the song. One day we used clay to make the land of Israel. Another day we used blocks and Legos to make houses and loose parts to make trees. We created a road out of tape and drove cars along it. We figured out how to build a bridge together, and how to illustrate a song for Israel.

We also started preparing for Yom Orchim. Each student made one or two invitations to send to their special guests. Please mail the invitations to family and/or friends. We hope they can join us next week!

We learned about two special things that are happening on Sunday. One is Mother's Day. The students were given a choice of what project to make for their mothers. Each student made a beautiful and unique project. We hope you enjoy them!

The second special thing that is happening on Sunday is Lag B'Omer. We learned about how on this day we remember Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who had to live in a cave in order to teach Torah. We played with pretend bows and arrows, and even tried to make our own sets so that we could pretend, like the rabbi's students, that we were hunters so the Romans wouldn't suspect that we were going to learn Torah. We also learned about another important rabbi, Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva taught us that one of the most important mitzvot of the Torah is v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha ואהבת לרעך כמוך (love others as you love yourself). Rabbi Akiva had many students who loved learning Torah very much, but they forgot to respect each other. Many of them got sick, and did not get better until Lag B'Omer.

This week we also got to celebrate Jonathan's birthday! Thank you, Jonathan, for the yummy challah and treats that you brought for your birthday/Shabbat party!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, and Sara

We looked at outlines of Eretz Yisrael and recreated them out of clay.
Lior decided to use clay to trace the outline of the State of Israel.
Naava created the shape of Eretz Yisrael out of string and Q-Tips. 

Naomi covered her map of Eretz Yisrael with clay, then made a frame.

Yehuda and Shira worked together to make a bayit (house) out of blocks.

Harel made a bayit out of popsicle sticks.

The students even used their bodies to make a house. Here, Dalia, Avigayil, and Lior make a bayit together.

To represent a kvish (road), we taped black tape around the classroom. The students enjoyed using the roads with vehicles and traffic signs.
Jacob enjoying driving on the roads in the classroom
In honor of Lag B'Omer, we played with bows and arrows, like the Torah students who pretended to be hunters, fooling the Romans who did not want them to study Torah.

The students had a choice of projects to do for Mothers' Day. Some students decided to decorate a vase with tissue paper. 

Other students chose to decorate a candle.
Help Write a Torah
As you may have heard, there is a beautiful and inspiring initiative underway, a joint initiative of The Afikim Foundation and Israel's Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, to write a Global Unity Sefer Torah celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a Reunited Jerusalem.  
Jews everywhere can inscribe letters in the Torah, NOT with money, but with simple acts of  chesed, everyday kindnesses that 
positively impact the lives of others. To see more information about
this global initiative, please watch this 1-minute video !
Since groups may reserve blocks of letters, we've taken the opportunity to reserve 1000 letters  for our Maimonides family.  Let's complete the Maimonides block in the Global Unity  Torah and inspire goodness in the world in honor of Jerusalem!  The custom link for our school's block can be accessed by  clicking here.  You may reserve letters for yourself and/or your entire family as a group.  (All blue letters are available.) It only takes a minute. 
A digital file containing the names of everyone who participated and their acts of chesed will remain permanently with the Torah, which will be dedicated in Jerusalem on May 24, Yom Yerushalayim. (There will also be a drawing for 3 round-trip tickets to attend the dedication!) 
Please challenge yourself to commit and record at least 3 acts of kindness by May 24 - actions that are manageable and within your reach. There is no chesed too small!  
Visit  for more information, or go directly to our block  here .
See what's happening in other divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here.

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