May 24, 2018
10 Sivan 5778
Parashah Nasso

 Shabbat Candle Lighting 8:08 p.m.
Miriam Tannenbaum
Middle School Judaic Studies

Editor's Note: Miriam and her family will soon make aliyah after 15 years at Akiba. We will miss them greatly.

This week the Torah opens (yet again) with a census. It is the continuation of the sons of Levi which began at the end of last week's parashah, particularly with the sons of Kehat. The verse reads, "Count the heads of the family of Kehat among the tribe of Levi, according to their families and genealogies." The term used for counting is naso, also the term that this Parashah bears as its name. Many commentators are intrigued as to why this term is used. In fact if you were to survey any student proficient in his/her learning of shorashim (Biblical Hebrew roots), the likely answer would be 'lift' or 'carry'. Counting has already a litany of terms.  Why is it that naso is then used? Furthermore, why is this term attributed to the second son of Levi? Why don't we begin with the eldest and proceed in an orderly fashion?

R' Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz in his commentary, the Kli Yakar, reminds us that it was the job of Kehat, the second son to carry the Aron (Ark). As a result, this is a group that should be accorded special honor hence the precedence and the injunction, elevate and not merely count. This lesson, though is specifically not taught through the eldest son. In fact, had the eldest one been assigned that task, we would have attributed his precedence with age. We would have overlooked that it was the connection to Torah that made this group 'first-worthy.' It was specifically given to the second one, states the Kli Yakar, to remind us that when it comes to the crown of Torah, it is available and accessible to all equally. Not age, last name, position in family or any other factor limits this. It is rather those who attach themselves to Torah, study it, carry its weight and plumb its depths that will ultimately be elevated.

In the last fifteen years, I have been blessed to learn Torah alongside many of you and your children and many who are now raising families of their own. Several times throughout the years, we would pause to discuss the "why" of our learning. Torah, as we may have sang in preschool (and is stated in Deuteronomy) is Morasha Kehilat Yaakov- an inheritance for all of the Jewish people. As long we put in the time and effort, we develop a further connection and we are adorned with the crown of Torah.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn alongside each of you. May we continue to grow and be elevated in our Torah learning.

L'hitraot! Come visit us in Israel!


Mazal tov to the Davidsohn family on Joey's bat mitzvah.

Mazal tov to the Kam family on Zander's bar mitzvah.

Mazal tov to the Wider family on Elisheva's bat mitzvah.


Middle School art students learned different techniques to create unique designs using a natural method. They mixed one of the oldest dyes used for coloring fabrics and blue jeans - indigo. This is a natural process that oxidizes with exposure creating the indigo dye!


To culminate a social studies unit on community, parents who are community helpers visited first grade to share their expertise. 

Thank you to our parent visitors: Lindy Houston, a personal trainer, Stephen Houston, firefighter, Tracey Stein, an occupational therapist and Dr. Ilana Zeltser, a pediatric cardiologist.


Kindergarten's end-of-year program today wowed parents, grandparents, friends, faculty and staff. Thank you to our wonderful teachers for a beautiful year! Kudos to  Jennifer Squires Yael Lewin Jenny Weise , Yasmin Miller and Lynn Meltzer.

View more photos HERE.
View a video of the program HERE. Due to technical difficulties, the program was not filmed in entirety. We are so sorry for the inconvenience.


Our after-school Discovery Program's ballerinas were absolutey en pointe at today's recital.


This week in the Early Childhood Program, we did a whole lot of celebrating birthdays with classmates, parents, siblings and friends!