April 20, 2018                        Parashat Tazria-Metzora               5 Iyar, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Yom HaZikaron
Yom HaAtzmaut
Thank You
Seventh-Grade Navi
Day of Learning
Teacher Appreciation Week
Ayeka Workshop
Baseball Tournament
Boy Scout Trip
M-Cat Sports Camp
Celebrate Israel
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,   
This week we experienced both the solemnity of Yom HaZikaron and the excitement of Yom HaAtzmaut. We are as always impressed with the students' ability to adjust to both occasions, really internalizing the idea that Yom HaAtzmaut is only possible because of those we remember during Yom HaZikaron.
Please enjoy this d'var Torah with a thought from the works of Rav Soloveitchik, news about upcoming events, and some pictures and stories from the week.
Shabbat shalom!  
D'var Torah and Rav Thought
by Rabbi Dov Huff        
On Yom HaZikaron I heard Ruth Schwartz read two letters from friends of her son Ezra '15 זק''ל . Both of them expressed the feeling that rather than thinking about Ezra's death, they want to celebrate his life. 
I was thinking about this idea as the day came to an end and we transitioned from the heavy nature of Yom HaZikaron to the celebratory nature of Yom HaAtzmaut. How is it that we make these transformations from avel leyom tov, shifting the focus from death to life? On Yom HaAtzmaut, as our entire school came together to sing, dance, and show hakarat hatov for the beautiful gift that is Eretz Yisrael, I realized that a key component of this transformation is community
The Rav in this week's parsha discusses the ritual prescribed for curing a metzora, someone afflicted with tzara'at (leprosy). Part of the ritual involves tearing the clothing of the metzora and allowing their hair to grow. The Rav points out that this is similar to what an avel, a mourner, does upon losing a loved one. Not only that, but both are confined as well - the metzora to outside the city walls, and the avel to their home. 
The Rav says that although they seem the same, the two are fundamentally different. The metzora is taken from the camp and "badad yeisheiv" - must dwell alone. The metzora is isolated, removed from society. Not so the mourner. The avel, while confined, is not secluded. The avel receives visitors and is comforted by his friends. 
We see this difference also when it comes to a chag falling during these periods. A key component of the simcha of a yom tov is the communal aspect. On the regalim the whole of Am Yisrael joins together to make aliya l'regel - to celebrate the festival as a community. For an avel, the chag interrupts the aveilut. For a metzora it does not. He remains in his seclusion, isolated both from man and from G-d.
We can speculate as to what this says about the nature of the sin of the metzora. If the tzara'at is brought on by lashon hara, we can certainly understand how this person has created their own isolation, given how their actions and speech have undermined the community. 
The metzora does not have access to the healing power of the community, but the avel is different. They are suffering on a personal level, but are still part of the community. The community, in their moment of celebration, can reach down and lift the avel from their despair. This is the power of communal simcha and celebration. 
With this weekend's tournament and Shabbaton we try to tap into this power of community. A power that helps us move from Yom HaZikaron to Yom HaAtzmaut. This tournament for us is bigger than baseball. It is our communal effort to focus not on how Ezra died, but on how he lived. It celebrates his love and passion for baseball and for people. May we all contribute to and benefit from the type of simcha that can only be experienced together. 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?  
  2. What other reasons might there be that a chag does not impact the metzora period
  3. Why are Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut celebrated one after the other?
Yom HaZikaron
On Yom HaZikaron this Wednesday, Memorial Day for Israeli fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, the Middle School joined the Upper School in a tekes that included music, poetry, prayer and remembrances. Mr. Barak Cerf - Hebrew teacher, 7th grade advisor, and IDF veteran - shared his personal story of trying to stop a terrorist attack when he was in the Israeli Secret Service.

Yom HaAtzmaut
Our entire school gathered on Yom HaAtzmaut this Thursday to celebrate Israel at 70! During the program, Elementary School students articulated hakarat hatov to Israel for its many contributions that have enriched and strengthened the Jewish people, and the seventh grade performed the amazing daglanut routine they've been practicing for weeks.

While the weather did not cooperate with the plan for outdoor dancing and a parade around the building, we were able to enjoy an enthusiastic dancing session in the gym and an indoor parade throughout the Saval building! Lunch was also extra-special: a delicious Israeli lunch sponsored and served by the PTA.
Thank You
Thank you to all the PTA volunteers who helped out with this week's special lunch on Yom HaAtzmaut!
Special thanks to Claudine Grossman for organizing the lunch!
Many thanks to Geula Gellman, Risa Gewurz, Israela Kahan, Deb Milgram, Stef Mishkin, Ellen Pulda, Debbie Rothman, Shira Ruderman, and Karen Zar for enhancing Yom HaAtzmaut for our students and serving the Israeli-style lunch.
Seventh-Grade Navi
This week, Navi 7B prepared for and staged a trial of Uriah HaChiti!

Maimonides Beit Din Trial: Uriah v. Malchut David
Question for the Court: Should Uriah HaChiti be found guilty or innocent of high treason?
Roles :
Reporters - Shaked, Asher
Lawyers for Malchut David -   Noam S., Ilan Z. 
Lawyers for Uriah - Noam M., Natalie  
Judges - Roni, Mia, Nathan, Naomi, Aderet
The Defendant: Uriah HaChiti (Mrs. Samuels)
Star Witness for Malchut David: David HaMelech - Jonno
Star Witness for Uriah: Yoav ben Tzruyah - Renana

By unanimous vote, the judges and jury found Uriah to be "not guilty."  The students did a great job bringing various psukim, midrashim, and meforshim to support their reasoning.  The lawyers for Uriah's side especially gave cogent opening and closing remarks, with some nice interviews from the reporters as well.  Yasher koach to all!
Day of Learning

To learn more about sponsoring a Day of Learning, please click here.

Teacher Appreciation Week is Next Week!
Teacher Appreciation Week is next week (April 23-27)! The PTA is hosting breakfast on Tuesday and lunch on Thursday for all Maimonides teachers. 
How many times have you felt gratitude for your children's teachers?  Probably often, but we're all so busy that we can rarely take the time to let them know.  Now is the time!    
Please take a moment to send your child's teacher an email or note thanking them for all they do.  It's a wonderful opportunity to show hakarat hatov!  

Ayeka:  A Special Interactive Workshop on Spirituality and Connection
Join us on Monday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Saval Auditorium for a special program featuring Rabbi Aryeh Ben David, Founder and Director of Ayeka: The Center for Soulful Education. Rabbi Ben David will be sharing his vision of Jewish education that promotes a personal and vibrant relationship with Jewish text, Judaism, G-d, and spirituality.  He will also discuss how we can focus on soulful parenting in today's busy and complicated world.  RSVP to msnyder@maimonides.org

Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament
T he second Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament in Sharon is now underway! Visiting teams have arrived from Frisch School, Yeshivah of Flatbush, and Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA).

Ezra, זק"ל, a 2015 Maimonides graduate and varsity baseball player, was killed by a terrorist in Israel in November 2015. The tournament was established by family and friends to honor Ezra's passion for baseball and create a fun environment in which to remember him. Other details can be found at

Another Exciting Adventure with
Maimonides' Boy Scout Troop 54

Recently returned from a 12-day trip to Israel to study the plants and animals of the Tanach and  Talmud in the wild, our Maimonides School Boy Scout Troop 54 is off to another adventure! This time it's closer to home.
Boys in grades 5 through 9 are invited to share in the fun on a weekend camping trip to Camp Squanto in Plymouth, MA, from Friday afternoon, April 27 through Sunday afternoon, April 29.
We will leave Maimonides shortly after noon to arrive in time to pitch tents, build fires, and cook Shabbat dinner. All boys sleep in tents, while we share a heated cabin for meals and davening. Students will participate in great activities from Shabbat afternoon through Sunday morning, before returning home Sunday afternoon.  Cost is $65 for the weekend.
You do not have to be a member of the Scouts to join this trip.  To sign up, go to tinyurl.com/T54Reg

For more information call Dr. Howard Spielman, Scoutmaster at (781) 439-5250.
M-Cat Sports Camp
M-Cat Sports Camp is back for its 11th summer, with four weeks of jam-packed fun! Camp is open to students finishing Pre-K through 7th grade. Sessions begin on June 18.

Go to  http://www.maimonides.org/mcatsportscamp for more information and registration! Contact Michal Alge at mcatsportscamp@gmail.com with any questions. 
Celebrate Israel

Absences and Tardy Notifications

We wish that none of our students ever felt ill -- we'd love to have 100% attendance every day -- but we know that germs don't always listen to our desires!

However, we do need to know where our students are.
If your child needs to miss a day of school,
or will be tardy or leave early, please be certain to inform Sharona Vedol in the Middle School office
by email: svedol@maimonides.org

Please remember:
All absence notifications must come in via email. 
We ask that you e-mail the office for safety reasons -- it allows for far more efficient accounting of student absences .

Social Time!
There's so much going on here at Maimo! Be sure to check out our social media to get the inside scoop (with lots of great photos) on happenings at school.
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Division Newsletters
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at what's happening in the other divisions, click to visit the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, or Upper School newsletter pages.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:
On behalf of the entire Middle School:
Shabbat Shalom!

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