Dear SHA Community,
This has been an incredible week at Seattle Hebrew Academy!
We returned to school on Monday still excited about last week’s inspiring Family Shabbat Dinner. What an event! Thank you to Sharon Mezistrano and her committee, and to Chef Dalia Amon and her team for all of their work in arranging this great program.
This week, Morah Lea Hanan, together with the Kindergarten students and Fifth Grade helpers, completed this year’s JFS Food Bank Drive by bagging all of the food and loading the bags into an empty JFS van which were then delivered to the Jewish Family Service. What a mitzvah! Thank you to these incredible students and their incredible leader!!
Thank you to EC Teacher, Ms. Aimee Christoffersen, for boxing the coats that were collected and delivering them to Mary’s Place where they will be distributed to needy individuals.
Thank you to Professor Mordechai Kedar who spoke to our Middle School students this morning about Israel and what makes it so special.
This coming Monday is Tu B’Shevat. We have many activities planned for the day, including an EC Parent Program and a Seder including fruits from Israel. We have planned a very unique program for our students - an arborist-led talk to learn about two trees on our property - one big maple tree that has decayed and that must be removed and one huge poplar tree right next to it that looks decayed but can be rehabilitated.
Perashat HaShavua - BeShalach
Our perasha describes the Jewish People’s first encounter with Amalek. The Jewish people had no quarrel with Amalek. In this fateful encounter, the Amalekites ambushed the Jewish People and attacked from behind, hitting the most vulnerable of the nation. The Torah records the mitzvah to destroy the nation of Amalek, and to remember, and not forget, what they did to us when we left Egypt.
One reason why the Torah commands us to recall the specifics of their violence against us:
A person or nation consumed by hate is capable of executing the most intelligent plan. Evil and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. Amalek determined their plan of attack, waited for the right time and executed their plan to perfection. The plan may have been evil and self-destructive – but it was intelligent.
Remembering Amalek teaches that the hater is capable of creating a strategy to best to hurt the object of his hatred. Amalek is a perpetual object-lesson in dealing with those who hate. A Jew-hater may be evil but not necessarily stupid. Discussing the machinations of those who hate us and their depravity helps us to truly understand hatred and helps us to properly respond.
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Naftali and Tali Rothstein on the occasion of Yair's Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat.