Ma Chadash? Bites
20 Sivan l Parshas Beha'aloscha l June 12

Parsha Lesson

At the beginning of this week’s Parsha, Aharon the Kohen Gadol, received the commandment to light the menorah in the Mishkan.

The Midrash explains that one of the reasons behind the lighting of the menorah was in order to provide light to Hashem who provides light to the world. By doing so, the Midrash explains, the Jewish people ‘return the favor’ to Hashem for this wondrous good that He does for them.

First of all, how can this be considered to be ‘paying back’ Hashem? Hashem has no need for the light from the menorah!

Secondly, what would be the purpose of this? This is such an insignificant gesture- lighting a little menorah- compared to the good that Hashem provides by giving light to the world!

The purpose of ‘paying someone back’ for the good he has done is primarily for the one paying back the good he received. It is NOT, necessarily, for the receiver. When someone receives benefit through someone else, or on account of someone else, it is incumbent on him to repay that good. Why? Not because the other person necessarily needs it, but rather because by repaying the other person, the one who is being 'makir tov', or repaying the good, will come to recognize and appreciate the good that he had received.

On the flip side, if the one who received good will not do what he can to recognize and reciprocate, this will lead to him denying that "debt". Ingratitude will, our Rabbis teach, lead a person to all sorts of rotten character traits.

Therefore, the Midrash says, it was incumbent on the Jewish people to do whatever action they could to repay Hashem- even though Hashem has no need for it and this is obviously not a ‘repayment’ that Hashem benefitted from. Rather it was an effort on behalf of the Jewish people to do what they can to do something to pay back Hashem.

So often in life we are hesitant to recognize the benefit that we have received from someone else because of the burden to repay the other person in a proper fashion. We need to realize that whatever level of repayment that we can do in order to concretize and recognize, with our behavior, the good we have received is important and meaningful. 

Saying ‘Thank you’ is not merely a social nicety to be meted out in order to be part of the proper crowd, but rather it is the bare minimum that we can do to actively recognize what we have received. This is so important, active recognition of the good we have received, that Hashem wanted a manifestation of this in the inner sanctum of his house, the Mishkan.

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer

What's Happening...
Judaic Studies

Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer- Middle School boys Erev Shabbos program

What an amazing year it has been!
I have had the privilege of learning with the Middle School boys every Friday. We would study the Parsha or Pirkei Avos and focus on extracting real-life lessons from which we can all learn. We learned some really great things together including the proper way to go about doing many different things like: standing up for yourself, being a goodie goodie, improve in any area, necessary pre-requisites to be able to learn Torah properly and many many more.

We enjoyed kugel- all different types (ask your sons for which one they liked best ;), sodas- both 2 liters (remember those!) and cans, a "special chulent" for Rabbi Jacoby :), 7-11 gift cards, Shavuos cheesecake raffle (see picture) and much much more!

I got to know the boys and learned so much from each one of their insights that they would share (another lesson we learned!). I can truly say- Thank you! to: Johnny and Joshy , Yonah , Eli , Dani , Shalom , Maoz , Ilan , Ari , Elliett , Jacob , Raffi , Binyamin , Nati , Matanel and Raz. And of course a tremendous yasher koach to Rabbi Friedman and Rabbi Jacoby and of course to Rabbi Scharf for making it all happen. Tremendous yasher koach to all of you!

I am looking forward to continuing the Erev Shabbos program in the summer for all those who are interested!

I am especially looking forward to getting back to school in September and seeing you all and learning with all of you again!

Have a wonderful summer!

General Studies

Ms. Elisheva Liani- 2nd Grade

Wow! What a whirlwind of a few months! Right when the virus started, my students already got used to learning on Zoom! We started sharing books on the screen, and taking turns to fill out math examples with our Zoom whiteboards. We even started non-fiction writing about butterflies. We found out so many cool things! Did you know that there are over 17,000 different species of butterflies?

Every time we Zoom, we add in that fun GoNoodle video for our recess, and we share our STEM activities and the art we did at home on our own time! The second graders learned how to add and subtract 3 digit numbers, and they have done tons of new spelling words! I know the second graders will have the best summer ever, and the best third grade year!! I will miss them! 

Pre- School

Morah Rhona Miller- PreK

Pre-K had a great time during Show & Tell last week! Yael and Zahava (and their Mom!) "brought in" a Butterfly Garden to show us. They told the class about the different stages of a butterfly’s life, and how exciting it was to watch the transformation from caterpillars to beautiful Painted Lady butterflies. Great job, Yael and Zahava! Your butterflies are beautiful!

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