For the full version of Ma Chadash click here .
Ma Chadash? Bites
26 Shevat l Parshas Mishpatim l February 21st
We will be having a Charidy fundraising campaign on February 25th-26th to raise $300,000 for our school!! Check out our website here , and stay posted for updates and how you can get involved!

Parsha Lesson

In last week’s Parsha, Yisro, Hashem gave us the Torah. In this week’s parsha, Mishpatim, Moshe begins teaching the entire Torah to the Jewish people.

Rashi shares with us a directive that Hashem gave Moshe. Hashem said- ‘Moshe, make sure that you fully explain all of the reasoning and understanding in the Torah to the Jewish people.’ 

Rashi explains that Hashem was concerned that Moshe might think to himself- ‘why should I bother with explaining the understanding behind all of the Halachos, Torah laws, rather I will teach them the laws of the Torah until they are fluent and remember them all very well.’

It seems clear that Hashem’s concern was not that Moshe didn’t think that the understanding of the laws was necessary, but rather that Moshe would be ‘lazy’ in carrying out that part of his mission to teach the Torah to the Jewish people. 

This begs two questions:

  1. Why would Hashem suspect that Moshe, the greatest teacher and Torah scholar in history, would not “bother” to teach the understanding of the Torah to the Jewish people?
  2. Why was Hashem concerned about Moshe specifically not teaching the understanding of the Torah? If Moshe is not going to ‘bother’, then why wouldn’t Hashem be concerned about Moshe not even conveying the Torah to the Jewish people properly and them not even knowing the laws of the Torah?

Obviously, Hashem knew that Moshe would carry out his mission tirelessly and faithfully and do everything and anything to make sure he taught the Jewish people the Torah to the best of his abilities. 

What Hashem was concerned about, according to Rashi, is that Moshe may satisfy himself with the Jewish people knowing the Torah fluently and not push for real understanding. 

Hashem was concerned that Moshe may, on some small, minute level not fully convey the understanding of some Halacha and satisfy himself with the Jewish people knowing all of the Torah fluently and being able to repeat the Halachos verbatim. 

There are a number of lessons we can learn from here. I would like to focus on two of them:
  1. Rote learning is not true knowledge- in order to really know something, you must understand it. To the degree that one understands something is the degree that he knows it. If the Jewish people did not understand the Torah then Moshe would have not done his job.
  2. It takes extra effort and motivation to understand- a major reason why people study and learn is to know things and satisfy one’s interest in knowledge. At the point that a person knows something by rote, they no longer have the same natural curiosity and motivation to learn. It takes an extra push to get one’s self to really understand something. 

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer

What's Happening...
Judaic Studies

Morah Shulamis Shereshevsky- 2nd grade

The second grade has developed fabulous Chumash skills in so many ways!

We enjoy exploring the new pesukim by using our highlighters, where we can guess the shoresh and other word parts, and then fix it with the magic erasable highlighters! When it comes to big phrases, we learned how to use marker boards to draw breaking lines between the word parts. To build our fluency, we have fun making up motions to act out the words; it’s fun trying to guess which words our friends are acting out and the guesses are really on target! Of course, we are only able to apply these skills because we have, with the help of Hashem, mastered the translation of 46 shemot etzem, over 25 sharashim, and counting!
We have come to the end of perek chaf in Parshas Lech Lecha. We learned about Avram following Hashem's command to walk, and even when there was a hunger, and again when Sarai was taken, he still trusted in Hashem and knew Hashem had a good plan in mind. We had fun acting out the pesukim where Avram got all those presents of animals from Pharoah. We used some toy animals, servants and guards, and we got to see part of how Hashem kept his promise to Avram that he will get rich. Best of all yet, was when we had fun hanging a string across our classroom, with all of Avram's stops so far, and pretended we were traveling along the path, until we  thankfully  got out Mitzraim, like Avram, with guards! We're curiously awaiting the start of our next perek in our history to find out where Avram's journey took him to next!
General Studies

Mrs. Nurit Reines- 7th/ 8th grade

In Computers students in grades 1-4 have been working on typing using, reading skills using Raz Kids, and math using Pearson Realize.
For grades 5-8, students have improved their understanding of Microsoft Word functions and discovered how many of those apply to other Microsoft Office programs, including PowerPoint. Students have spent several weeks now doing research on new technologies and prepared a PowerPoint presentation on some of their favorite products. 

We are learning the nuances involved in giving a presentation, overcoming fears such as "stage fright", as well as proper behavior and expectations of being in the audience. After each presentation, students are providing constructive feedback on improving each others' presentations. They will have a second PowerPoint presentation before we begin working in Microsoft Excel, with the goal of introducing them to VBA coding which enhances what can be done within the Microsoft Office environment.

Morah Rhona Miller- Pre-Kindergarten

Last week in Torah Tots we finished the whole Brachos unit the bracha of Shehakol. It was the Torah Tots turn to host the weekly bracha get together and boy, was it a party!

As each class entered our room they sat at their assigned table. At each child's place was a plastic cup, shehakol stickers, a lid and a straw. The children used the stickers to decorate their cups and make them their own. After everyone finished, the Morahs filled the cups with milk and chocolate. The children mixed and mixed until they had a yummy cup of chocolate milk! We all made a Shehakol bracha together and the children drank their delicious chocolate milk.

Everyone had a great time!

Please consider partnering with our school in order that Shalom can continue to be the amazing place that it is!

To donate, click here