May 4, 2018                        Parashat Emor                     19 Iyar, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Eighth-Grade Trip
Seventh-Grade ERBs
Sixth-Grade English
Reservoir Run
Alumni Newsletter
Upper School Play
M-Cats Sports Camp
Celebrate Israel
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,   
Our eighth-grade students had a fabulous time in Washington, DC, this week! We look forward to hearing everyone's stories when they come back on Monday.
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        
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein asks a question about this week's parsha regarding the prohibition for a kohen to become impure from a dead body. Rav Lichtenstein asks: What is this mitzvah doing in Parshat Emor? After all, it is really the first half of Sefer Vayikra which is devoted to the laws pertaining to the kohanim and the Beit Hamikdash. The latter half of Sefer Vayikra, in which we find ourselves now, deals with mitzvot beyond the scope of the Beit Hamikdash - including the high standards for a Jew in Parshat Kedoshim, the laws of kashrut in Shemini, and the chagim of Parshat Emor, to list a few. These mitzvot are relevant for all of Am Yisrael. So why is this prohibition, specific to a kohen, placed in this half of Sefer Vayikra?
Rav Lichtenstein answers that until now, we have only considered the identity of the kohen as it expresses itself within the four walls of the Beit Hamikdash. We have thought about his qualifications, what he wears, and his daily schedule. The introduction of this mitzvah of tumat meit forces us to broaden our thinking about the kohen outside the confines of the Beit Hamikdash. What happens when he steps outside? When he hangs up his vestments, ties his laces, and heads home?
Similarly, the Ramban notes the unusual phrase "emor el hakohanim" at the beginning of the parsha. Usually when a mitzvah is commanded to the kohanim it is addressed to "Aharon and his sons." Why the different formulation? The Ramban answers that the latter, more common phrase is used to refer to the priests in their capacity of working in the Beit Hamikdash. But here we must shift our focus to the individuals as they exist outside the confines of the Beit Hamikdash
We found out this week that our own kohen is completing the term of his avodat hakodesh in our mikdash me'at - his holy work in the service of our community's most precious keilim, our children. Naty Katz is stepping down after 10 years in his role. He fulfilled the kohen's noble charge to drive the education of the Jewish community. He lived in the spirit of the kohen hagadol mea'echav given the monumental task of min hamikdash lo yeitzei - of total, constant, and uninterrupted focus on his holy work for his community. 
The Ramban ends his commentary by saying that the kedushah, the unique and special status of the kohen, is not totally dependent on their being within the boundaries of the temple. They have their own inherant kedushah, a status they carry with them as teachers and leaders of a community even after they leave. In the words of the Ramban, "since they are kohanei Hashem, servants of our G-d... they always carry themselves with kavod ugedulah."
We have tremendous hakarat hatov to Naty and the indelible impact he made on our community and our children. We know that he, too, will continue to carry the kavod and kedushah - the marks of someone who devoted so much time to educating Jewish children. And we wish him well as he hangs up his bigdei kehuna at Maimonides and continues mei'gedulah l'gedulah and me'chayil el chayil.
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi Dov Huff 

We generally think that a key difference between Shabbos and yom tov is that while yom tov is designated by man, through our ability to declare the new moon, Shabbos was designated by Hashem as the recurring day of rest. This difference is highlighted in the phraseology of the brachot we make in kiddush on both days.
Yom tov - "we bless G-d who is mekadesh Yisrael vehazmanim" - He blessed the Jewish people, who in turn sanctify the yom tov.
Shabbos - "we bless G-d who is mekadesh haShabbat" - He Himself sanctifies Shabbos.
The Rav references a Yerushalmi in Pesachim, which has a text of kiddush on Shabbos that includes "Yisrael" in the process of sanctifying Shabbos as well. The Rav concludes that there are two aspects of kedusha in Shabbos: One from Hashem and one from us.
The Rav says that we sanctify Shabbos through the recitation of kiddush, and suggests that it is for this reason that the Shulchan Aruch insists that one make kiddush immediately after returning to the house Friday night, so as not to delay doing our part in the sanctification of Shabbos. The Rav says that it is also this contribution of ours which allows us to do tosefet Shabbos - to extend Shabbos beyond the prescribed time.
Eighth Grade Trip
Thank you for lending us your children for the class trip to Washington, D.C. this week! The eighth grade students have tons of stories to share, and we look forward to hearing all about their adventures when they return to school next week. You can see some of the pictures they took here.

Seventh -Grade ERBs
by Scott Mattoon
Seventh-grade ERBs will be taking place next week on Wednesday, May 9 and Thursday, May 10! They will be given between 8:55 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. on both days. Please be in touch with your child's advisor with any questions you may have.
Please know that there is nothing the students need to do to prepare specifically for these tests, except for bringing two #2 pencils and a calculator with them.  What they have been studying in class this year is all the preparation they need. 

Also, we do not use these tests as primary evaluation tools for individual students and placements in courses, nor do their test scores factor into their grades or transcripts.

These tests do offer one measure of their learning that can be helpful to them, to you, and to the school.  So in order to move on to the next grade, we ask that they perform their best on these tests.  

If they miss any portion of these tests, they will need to make them up at a later date and time that is pre-designated.  Naturally, standard expectations for behavior, conduct, and dress in school are in force during these testing sessions. 

They will take tests on English topics. They will take tests on math topics. They will have opportunities for brief breaks during the testing administrations as determined by their proctors.  They will also have an opportunity to take bathroom breaks one at a time, as determined by their proctors.

For each test day, the students should be extra careful to get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast after davening - and they should bring a snack and water bottle for break time during testing.   

ERBs for grade 8 will be taking place the following week, on Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17.  
Sixth-Grade English
The sixth grade has finished reading Lois Lowry's famous novel The Giver. The students demonstrated their understanding of this complex novel's themes through collage, with each group choosing a concept from the book to represent with associated images. Their work was both beautiful and meaningful!
Reservoir Run Results!
by Mike Rosenberg

One second separated the first- and second-place boys' finishers in this week's spring Run Around the (Route 9) Reservoir, a semi-annual event sponsored by the Physical Education Department. Sophomore J.J. Berlove finished the course in the winning time of five minutes, 19 seconds. His classmate Itay Nevo ran a time of 5:20. Ninth graders Sam Herzlinger and Shimon Thumim tied for third, followed by Natanel Bell and Yoni Saltzman, both in grade 8. 
On the girls' side, the leader was victorious by a wider margin - 15 seconds. The girls' winner was Natalie Neusner, Grade 7, with a time of six minutes, 49 seconds. The next four finishers were Tova Gelb, Grade 9; Noi Eitan, Grade 7; Shira Sokolinski, Grade 10; and Nehara Biala-Mirsky, Grade 7.  
Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for April is now online, and can be found here.
In honor of Israel's 70th anniversary, this issue features seven profiles of Maimonides School graduates in Israel - one for each decade.
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or .
Upper School Play on Monday
Our Upper School students have been working hard to bring you this year's amazing Upper School play! The play being presented is "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.
The performance will be Monday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. The play will be in the Fox gym on Saval campus, and admission is $5 (free for faculty). 
Bring your friends, family, and Maimo spirit!
Looking forward to seeing you there!

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 for more information and registration! Contact Michal Alge at with any questions. 
Celebrate Israel on Sunday

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:

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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