Ma Chadash? Bites
14 Iyar l Parshas Emor l May 8

Pirkei Avos Lesson- Chapter 4

It is customary to study a chapter from the Tractate Avos, or Pirkei Avos, in the weeks in between Pesach and Shavuos. Pirkei Avos are filled with the ethical teachings and wisdom of the great sages of the Mishnah.

The first Mishnah of this week’s chapter, or perek, discusses universally recognized attributes of greatness and the proper way to understand them: Wisdom, Strength, Wealth and Honor. Regarding Wealth, Ben Zoma says ‘who is wealthy? He who is happy with his lot.’ 

While being happy with one’s lot is certainly very nice, that does not make a man wealthy- it makes him happy! It would seem strange for Ben Zoma to merely be re-translating what the word ‘wealth’ means. Wealth means someone who has a lot of money. Period. 

What is Ben Zoma saying?

To answer this question I would like to depict two different companies:

  • Company A has big fancy offices, sells billions and billions of dollars of merchandise every year and employs tens of thousands of people.
  • Company B is a small, locally owned grocery store that employs a handful of people, has sales that amount to just about $1 million and has cramped office space that is shared by 3 people.

Which company is wealthier? 

Company A certainly seems to have a lot more going for it than Company B. But what if Company A operates at a loss every year and ends up declaring bankruptcy while every year Company B turns out a few hundred thousand dollar profit? Now which one is wealthier?

What Ben Zoma is telling us is that in order to determine if someone, or something, is wealthy you need to look at, not how much money they have, but at how much money they have in relation to how much money they need! And the ONLY way to achieve having more money than what you need- is to be happy with your lot.

So often in life we think that if we just get ‘X’ we will be satisfied. If we just earn a little more money we will have enough. Attaining these goals will never EVER satisfy us. Rather the way to satisfy one’s self is to look at what he does have and be happy and contented with that.

If you don't do this then you will automatically go from small wants or "needs" to bigger and bigger and more and more expensive wants or "needs". You will NEVER have enough money for what you need. That is the way Hashem made people.

However, if you do follow Ben Zoma's advice and you look at what you have and content yourself with that- you will be wealthy. Really wealthy. As in you will have more money than that which you need. 

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer

What's Happening...
Judaic Studies

Rabbi Eli Stewart- 6th Grade Boys

The 6 th grade boys are learning across 3 states! It is nice just to get to see and talk to each other daily.

We are starting a new Gemara, Daf כד., which incorporates much of what we have learned previously in Perek Elu Metzios. The boys have retained the understanding of many common Gemara terms which are very useful for our new topic. The structure of this Gemara is great preparation for future Gemaros they will be learning as they get older. If we master what we learn now, we can tackle future topics with confidence that they can also be mastered! 

Although it is difficult to learn a new Gemara on Zoom, everyone is putting in a lot of hard work, both during class and by staying on top of homework.

We wish everyone a healthy and productive quarantine!
General Studies

Mrs. Shoshana Stern- 5th Grade

The Fifth Grade Writers have been typing away! They are completing a personal narrative of a story that they want to share. Besides writing such nice stories with descriptions, similes, and dialogue, these creative students have made covers that are true masterpieces. The fifth grade class is full of excellent writers! Stay tuned for details of their presentations where they will present their excellent work for all to see!

Fractions, mixed numbers, simplifying, those are just a few of the important math words you will hear in the fifth grade zoom class. From converting improper fractions to mixed numbers to simplifying fractions to their most simplest terms, the fifth grade math whizzes are really accomplishing! Adding and subtracting and multiplying fractions, we know them all! Soon, we will be working on dividing!
Did you hear the news? The Fifth Graders finished their novel study of The Sign of the Beaver! We made predictions as we read along and some of us predicted the ending that the author chose! Be sure to look out for our own endings as we work on our very own sequels to the novel!
In Science, we have completed a unit on the digestive system. If you want to know how our cells get the nutrients they need, just ask a Fifth Grade student! Soon, we'll be pros on the respiratory system too!
Correction: Last week's look into Torah Tots was not written by Mrs. Esther Baila Berl, but rather by our Torah Tots lead Morah- Morah Shuly.

Pre- School

Mrs. Esther Baila Berl- Kindergarten

The children in Kindergarten have been enjoying reading through Google Meet! All of the children received a mini dry erase board that they brought home and we are certainly putting them to good use!

They place their dry erase board next to their computer to utilize while learning. As a word is dictated, the children spell the words on their boards and hold it up for all to see. Displaying their work has been a great motivational tool.

We have also been doing math on the whiteboard. Each child solves the math problem and writes the answer on their whiteboard. The children are very proud of their accomplishments!

Although we miss being together in school, we are thrilled to see everyone’s smiling faces each day on our screens. Google Meet enables us to feel like a class again!

We would like to wish our condolences to Mrs. Alla Niayzov, mother of Michelle- 5th grade and Jonathon- 3rd grade, on the passing of her father Mr. Igor Ioffe.

Mrs. Niayzov can be reached at 718-916-4618.

May Hashem comfort and console the family
among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.
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