Ma Chadash? Bites
20 Teves l Parshas Shemos l January 17
Parsha Lesson


  • Pharoah told the people of Egypt that they need to figure out a 'wise' way to deal with their Jewish problem. Rashi explains that the 'wise' way that Pharoah was looking for was a way that Hashem would not be able to get back at them.
  • The solution that they came up with was to drown all of the newborn boys. If they did this then Hashem wouldn't be able to punish them because Hashem had already made a promise to not bring a flood upon the world. Pharoah and his advisers understood this promise to include not killing out an entire nation by means of water.
  • Rashi explains that the Egyptians mistake was that Hashem only promised not to destroy the entire world by way of water, not just one nation.


Clearly, Pharoah and his advisers were afraid of Hashem, and they understood that Hashem would be able to punish them for starting up with the Jewish people. If the Egyptians would set out on a mission to kill the Jewish people, even if Hashem couldn't mete out justice by way of water- Hashem would presumably get back at them in a different way. It therefore begs the question:
  • Why weren't Pharoah and the Egyptians afraid of getting punished in a different manner?


The Egyptians understood that Hashem is the G-d of truth. Therefore, they understood that Hashem would only mete out justice 'measure for measure,' otherwise known as 'middah k'neged middah.' If Hashem could not punish them in exact accordance with their crime, they were fully confident that Hashem would not punish them.


The desire for justice is an outcome of the character trait of honesty. There is another very similar looking drive that people have and that is the desire for revenge. A good litmus test with ourselves is to see if we are being fair and measured or are we feeling like we must get back at the other guy because he did something wrong.
It is important to keep in mind that if one's actions are not in line with the truth, then he has no basis to be carrying out justice at all. A lack of justice is untruthful. Sometimes the lack of justice is due to not executing justice at all and at other times it is due to going too far and being vengeful. The common denominator is that they are both dishonest and therefore unjust.

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer

What's Happening...
Judaic Studies

Rabbi Shalom Jacoby- 7th & 8th grade boys

It's been a great two weeks since the return from mid-winter break! The students are refreshed, energized and learning with enthusiasm! Baruch Hashem, the students have been developing beautifully and we've been able to tackle deeper and more sophisticated aspects of the Gemara. We've been analyzing the exact logic of the various laws, by comparing and contrasting the case at hand with various other theoretical cases. This trains the boy's to grasp the salient point of the logic under discussion and enables the boys to really understand and extrapolate to other cases.

This exercise is the beauty and wisdom of the Torah and this training is what enables these boys to become thoughtful and incisive young men. In addition, the pleasure of gaining greater clarity and having a conclusive handle of the Gemara is palpable in the classroom. 
In Halacha, we just started learning the laws of Shabbos. We will be going through all the 39 types of "work" that are prohibited on Shabbos as well as how they manifest themselves in today's day in age.
Morah Malkie Zachai- Kindergarten

The Kindergarten has started learning a new unit on brachos. We began with the bracha of 'hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz' that is recited before we eat all types of breads. We listened to a story of a wheat kernel that was planted and then grew into wheat. The wheat was made into flour and was then used to make challah for Shabbos, to the great delight of the flour! The highlight of our week was braiding and baking our own challahs!

The next bracha we discussed was the bracha of 'borei pri hagafen,' that is recited on wine and grape juice. We had a great time decorating special kiddush cups and squeezing our own grape juice. We can't wait for more brachos fun next week!
General Studies

Ms. Shulamis Shereshevsky- Art

It is so exciting to be with our creative artists from grades 2 through 5, as they experiment with a wide variety of media and skills! A few highlights:

  • With chalk pastels, our 3rd and 4th graders were able to make soft strokes on our skies, create a beautiful sunset based on what we learned about the color wheel, and best of all- use our fingers to create a smooth blend!

  • The 5th graders were able to use vanishing points to make their kotel walls look three dimensional. Many of the students applied what they learned about vanishing points to draw people that were standing at different distances.

  • With all of the classes we are learning about our color wheel and colors that "get along" (analogous colors) which give us some great tips on how to create harmonious designs.

The children are excitedly looking forward to our next unit which will be exploring the styles of some famous artists and creating our own pictures based on those inspirations! 

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