April 20, 2018                Parshiyot Acharei-Mot/Kedoshim              28 Nisan, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Eight Grade Trip
ERB Dates
Thank You PTA!
M-Cats Sports Camp
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,   
It's been a great week of school, full of learning and growth! The eighth graders are all set and ready for their trip to D.C., and the seventh grade is looking forward to being the leaders of the Middle School next week.
Please enjoy this d'var Torah, 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
by Rabbi Dov Huff        
For four years I toil!
In this week's parsha, among the many mitzvot mentioned, we find orlah and neta revai - a fascinating mitzvah which forbids us to eat the fruit of new trees for the first three years, and then in the fourth year commands us to take the yield to Yerushalayim and eat it there. It is not until the fifth year that one can regularly partake of the produce.
One can imagine the emotional difficulty of this mitzvah for a farmer. Someone who works to plant and grow a tree, only to then have to wait four years to reap the benefit. The Midrash in Torat Kohanim expresses this sentiment:
So that a person should not say "for four years I toil with this tree for nothing!" The Torah tells us here "in order to increase its produce for you"
(Torat Kohanim 19:68)
According to the Midrash, the Torah addresses this concern by promising that as a result of the farmer's patience, the benefit he reaps will be even greater and the yield more plentiful. The mitzvah of orla teaches us about resilience and grit - working hard for something and knowing that the payoff is not immediate but down the line. The mitzvah of neta rivai teaches us that after all our hard work, when we are finally able to reap the benefit, we must show hakarat hatov and remember that it was not only by our own strength but by the will of Hashem that we were able to reach this moment. Together these mitzvot teach us about emunah. About trusting in Hakadosh Baruch Hu that all our toil is in fact "in order to increase its produce" for us. 
These are also appropriate messages as we approach the seniors' final week of classes. 
For our seniors this is the great culmination of their four years of hard work in Upper School. The investment they have made in themselves and in their personal growth is about to pay off. The many hours of Torah study will bear fruit as they learn Torah throughout their lives and become leaders in their Jewish communities. The moral, ethical, and kadosh people they have been striving to become will show in their great acts of chessed and contributions to the world around them. The relationships they have built with their morot, rebbeim, and faculty will deepen and provide continued support as they face new challenges in life. Our beloved seniors planted a tree four years ago, and are on the cusp of seeing the fruits of their labor.
At the same time we think about our faculty and staff at Maimonides. Our farmers who saw the potential in a little seedling and nurtured it, loved it, and invested in it, trusting in the promise that the product would be well worth the wait. Educators who crafted, inspired, and challenged this amazing group of students, knowing that their patient, steady devotion would more than pay off.
Anticipation is building as we get closer to the ringing of the bell and the seniors' final lap around the school next week. The moment approaches when the faculty and their classes will stand in the hall honoring our seniors, beaming with pride as the class of 2018, our once little saplings - now blossoming into beautiful trees, rooted strongly in the foundation of Torah, nurtured both at home and in this school - burst out through the front doors, ready to embrace the world. We will miss them very much... our precious class of 2018. 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?  
  2. How does the restraint we must demonstrate in mitzvot like orla help us reach towards the commandment of kedoshim tihiyu
  3. What is an example in your life of something for which you feel the product was better as a result of your hard work and patience?
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi David Saltzman  
בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ
With this shall Aaron enter the Holy
Despite the exalted status of the Kohen Gadol, the halacha states that if he happens upon a dead body where no one has come forward to take care of the burial (a meit mitzvah), he must perform this function immediately, even though by coming into contact with the corpse he becomes impure and invalidates himself from participating in the avodah of Yom Kippur. The identity of the corpse makes no difference: whether it is the body of a king or a shepherd, all men carry within them the image of G-d.
This teaches us that mankind is redeemed only when the honor and the value of every individual are upheld simply on the basis of their humanity, not based on one's position or accomplishment.
itineraryEighth Grade Trip
by Dana Bar-Or and Benji Hain

We're so excited to join your children for four days of learning, fun, and bonding in Washington, D.C.! 
This morning we met with the entire grade to give them final instructions for the trip, provide guidance as to our expectations, and answer all of the students' questions. 
Much of our trip will be led by our Eighth Grade D.C. Committee. Not only did they go shopping for snacks, but they also will be leading tours for us in D.C.!
On our way back to Maimonides on Thursday, May 3, we'll be stopping in Sharon so our Sharon students can get home more easily. Email updates will be sent with our ETA so you can plan accordingly.
Here is ou r itinerary for the trip.

Here is the photo album to which all of us will be uploading our pictures. Be sure to check it periodically to shep some nachas
In case of emergency please feel free to call one of us: 
Dana ( 857) 231-1805  
Benji (917) 868-2922 
We can't wait until Monday!

ERB Dates Scheduled
This year, ERB tests for grade 7 will be taking place on Wednesday, May 9 and Thursday, May 10.

ERBs for grade 8 will be taking place the following week, on Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17.

ERBs will take place during the school day, before lunch. 
More information will follow! 
Thank You PTA!
Thank you to all the PTA volunteers who made Teacher Appreciation Week so enjoyable!

The bagel breakfast on Tuesday and luncheon buffet on Thursday made the week more delicious for our faculty and staff. Thank you to Alissa Muzin for her efforts coordinating the meals, and to parent volunteers Risa Gewurz, Claudine Grossman, and Leat Storm who helped with the luncheon.

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. 
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.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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!

MS logo, medium size