January 26, 2018                     Parashat Beshalach                      10 Shevat, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Lunch Change!
Seventh-Grade Trip
Eighth-Grade Girls Trip
Boy Scout Trip
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,    
It's been another great week here at the Maimonides Middle School! 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 David Saltzman 

וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת־ה' וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּה' וּבְמֹשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ׃ אָז יָשִׁיר־מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת...
And Israel saw the great hand which the Lord had used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in Moses, His servant. Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord...

Immediately after the events in this week's parsha, the Jewish people sang the renowned and illustrious song called אז ישיר . What is it about these events which led to this sudden outburst of song and celebration? What happened now, rather than previously, which caused Bnei Yisrael to sing so spontaneously?

There is a progression of events listed in the pasuk which holds the secret to the answer.
וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם
First Bnei Yisrael saw the great hand of G-d. They witnessed the greatest and most wondrous of miracles to date - the splitting of the Reed Sea.
וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת ה'
When they perceived the magnitude of G-d's power, they feared Him. The Ohr HaChayim explains that this was not a fear of punishment or retribution. Rather, it was a fear born of being in awe of the overwhelming power that Hashem possesses, and the realization of one's own weakness. Because of these miracles, the Jewish people became aware of G-d's ultimate control of the world, His involvement in humanity, and His deep love for the Jewish people. They then feared G-d's tremendous strength and their own dependence on His mercy.
וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בּה' וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ
The definition of belief is when one comes to the realization that G-d directs all aspects of the world and is involved in each person's individual destiny. It is the logical outcome of being in awe of G-d's power. Therefore, it follows that after they were in awe, they then had an unadulterated belief in G-d.
אָז יָשִׁיר
A natural consequence of such deep belief is singing G-d's praises for all events which transpire in our lives. Once we recognize that everything that occurs is part of G-d's plan, we can't do anything but sing and thank Hashem for the experience. This is what happened to Bnei Yisrael at the Yam Suf. They spontaneously sang the praises of G-d as a natural reaction to the profound belief which took root in their hearts.
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi Dov Huff   
We often think about the Midrash which details Nachshon's leap of faith into the Yam Suf, when everyone else was hesitant, as a symptom of the general lack of initiative on the part of Bnei Yisrael throughout the process of Yetziyat Mitzrayim. We think of their passivity as a sign of their inability to escape the slavery mindset which they had acquired over the course of their centuries of servitude.
The Rav has a different view on this. He says that the passive nature of the Jews during Yetziyat Mitzrayim was intentional. The message here was that the Jews had no hand in their own salvation. It was entirely executed by G-d and G-d alone. The Jews and the Egyptians were both spectators in events which would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hashem was the one true G-d.
From this perspective, we understand both the command at makat bechorot - "none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning" - and the one at kriyat Yam Suf - "Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent." The message was not that they could not, but that they should not, act. All of this was in the spirit of "Ani Hu velo acher."

Reminder: Jerusalem Grill Lunch THURSDAY Feb. 1
Due to a Tu B'Shevat activity planned for Wednesday, January 31, Jerusalem Grill lunches will be served on Thursday.

We know all the students will have a great time at the activity!

An order form for the February-March round of hot lunches will be available next week.

Seventh-Grade Trip

The seventh grade had a fabulous time at one of our town's "hidden gems," the Larz Anderson Park Auto Museum. They alternated tours of the museum with skating at nearby Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink, and loved having the opportunity to learn more about how cars developed into the vehicles we know and use every day.

Eighth-Grade Girls Trip
On Thursday, the eighth-grade girls took a walk down to Harvard Street to Gateway Arts, a studio and gallery for artists with disabilities. They visited the impressive current gallery exhibition, "Linear Time," and viewed the beautiful offerings at the shop, where customers can buy many different kinds of artwork, including paintings, pottery, and jewelry. They had an opportunity to see many of the artists at work and get a sense for the process by which they develop their projects. 

Boy Scout Trip to Israel
Maimonides Boy Scout Troop 54 is organizing a unique trip to Israel in February 2018. This will be a 12-day program during President's week, February 13-25.
The group will explore all over Israel with experts from botany, zoology, ornithology, ecology, and archaeology. 500 million birds begin migrating through Israel! The students will relate this information to the Tanach and Talmud.
Students do not need to be scouts, but they will need to register with the Boy Scouts of America before the trip. Participants may be families, children 12 years and up accompanied by an adult, teens aged 14 and up, and retirees.

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!

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