Good Things Happen Every Day
The Silver Academy
Rachel Zilbering, Principal
I am still beaming from our warm and wonderful Grandparent and Special Person Day last Friday. Thank you to all of our visitors who traveled from near and far to join us for this enriching afternoon.
One special moment during our Kabbalat Shabbat celebration was the presentation of mensch awards. You may already know that we are using "Making Mensches: A Periodic Table" as a framework for the study of middot (positive character traits). Learning about middot in theory is one thing, while acting upon them in real life is another.
Our mensch awards serve as a way of recognizing students who exemplify these positive character traits, and hopefully their stories will inspire other students. I encourage you to talk with the following students about their
mensch awards and hear their stories for yourself.
Wisdom - חכמה -
Courage - אומץ לב -
Ben Y., Vinnie, Molly, Or, Talia, Roi, Maya, Yarden, Hili
Wonder - מלכות -
Zest & Zeal - זריזות -
Orit, Ariella, Erin
The "Midah (personality trait) of the week" for the two half
weeks of school between Rosh HaShana and Succot is "Derech Eretz"/ Social Intelligence. It represents considerate and respectful behavior towards others. But aren't kindness and respect listed in the chart as separate and discrete traits? How is "Derech Eretz" different?
The conduct of Moshe at the beginning of this week's Torah portion, "Vayeilech", can provide an answer.
א. וַיֵּלֶךְ משֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
ב. וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם בֶּן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם לֹא אוּכַל עוֹד לָצֵאת וְלָבוֹא וַי-הֹ-וָ-ה אָמַר אֵלַי לֹא תַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה:
1. And Moses went, and he spoke the following words to all Israel.
2. He said to them, "Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and the Lord said to me, "You shall not cross this Jordan."
Nachmanides (Ramban), the great 13th century Spanish rabbi wonders about the very first word! Why does the Torah text include that Moshe "went"? It would have been sufficient to record just what Moshe said!
Nachmanides answers that the Torah is telling us that after Moshe finished his lengthy and important farewell message to the assembled Jewish people, he dismissed them to their homes...
"...כי משה הלך ממחנה לוויה אל מחנה ישראל לכבדם, כמי שירצה להיפטר מחברו ובא ליטול רשות ממנו."
"... so that Moshe would go from the Levite camp (his home) to the Israelite camp to give honor to the people, as one doesn't leave his friend without saying goodbye."
Nachmanides explains that Moshe wanted to communicate his great esteem for his people by paying them a last visit before his death and their departure to Israel.
That Moshe could demonstrate such sensitivity at a such personally stressful time is extraordinary. It indicates that Moshe's respect for the people had advanced beyond mere "Social Intelligence/Derech Eretz" to an internalized profound feeling of respect for those whom he had taught and led.
Derech Eretz/Social Intelligence is the start. The mitzvot we do and the Torah we study broaden its application and deepen its effect on our personalities. Then, we not only behave kindly and respectfully; we ARE kind and respectful.
Catching up with Classmates
Which one of these 2003 Silver Academy graduates made Aliyah and worked with Simon Peres, z'l?
Front Row: Rivkah Blutstein, Shoshana Miskin, Harris Schatz, Ettel Feinberg,Traci Siegel, Marc Silverman; Top Row: Baruch Cohen, Jack Voystock, Adam Goldsmith, Mrs. Sandy Nussbaum
Let's Catch up with our second feature classmate,
Yom Kippur is such a unique holiday, especially in the way it manifests in Israel. Every Yom Kippur, 99% of all Israeli Jews voluntarily refrain from driving. As a response to this highly regarded tradition, many secular or "chiloni" Jews celebrate by riding their bikes down the highway which is almost entirely free of cars. More importantly, this results in a precipitous drop in air pollution reported every year on the following day by the Ministry of the Environment. This phenomenon has been given the moniker "Kippurtopia" by Israeli environmentalists. Born out of our religious laws, our cultural traditions have brought on not only a personal cleansing and repentance, but also a purity of the environment in which we live.
This gleeful Yom Kippur character is not only present in the secular Israeli society, but is also found amongst religious Israelis. Having grown up in Harrisburg, I had always found Yom Kippur to be a solemn day at synagogue. All across Israel, however, the tunes to Yom Kippur prayers are upbeat and cheerful. At the end of the service, congregants often dance and continue dancing as if they forgot they hadn't eaten all day. This upbeat environment has been explained to me as a reflection on having the opportunity to repent and start the year on an a fresh and optimistic note.
This year in Israel, we have unfortunately entered the new year in mourning. A few days before Rosh Hashana, Israel's 9th President, former Prime Minister, and my former boss passed away at the age of 93. While I only had the opportunity of working with Mr. Peres in the last year of his life, the most important lesson I learned from him was that his optimism always allowed him to evaluate the present and future, rather than getting stuck in the past. This trait is something that can translate for all of us in helping us to evaluate ourselves this Yom Kippur -rather than being fixated on our mistakes of the past we can move forward and plan to better our future selves.
In the past week, I have had the pleasure of seeing swarms of people flock to my office, The Peres Center for Peace, to pay their respects and comfort the mourning family. There was a catharsis in seeing so many Israelis from all walks of life tell Mr. Peres's family how he had affected all of their lives in so many different ways. This outpouring of caring, reflection, and connection to our national identity has given us the opportunity for a national introspection and repentance. As we enter Yom Kippur this year, I believe that Israelis will not only be experiencing our annual environmental cleansing, our personal introspection and repentance, but with thanks to Shimon Peres, we can begin a national healing as well.
Gmar Chatima Tova and Shana Tova!
Do you love hearing what's going on with friends and classmates from your past years here at The Silver Academy? We want to help you connect with former students through our new feature article, "
Catching up with Classmates".
We would love to hear from you so that we can post your story and share your life events such as recent
engagements, weddings, babies, graduations, new jobs, etc
. Sharing nachas is always wonderful! If you are interested in sharing your story, please send a note to Shari Dym at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Notes and Reminders
According to the High Holiday liturgy, repentance,
and charity help us to be written into the
Book of Life for the coming year.
As you look back on the year past, and pray for the coming year with wishes for happiness, good health and prosperity.
the following opportunities to make a difference in the lives of The Silver Academy student
ORDER YOUR CHALLAH HERE...
PLEASE NOTE: CHALLAH WILL NOT BE
AVAILABLE FOR OCTOBER 21.
Offers Weekly Order and Delivery To Students and Teachers
- Order your challah at this website: challahwithatwist.com
- Place your order by Thursday.
- Challah will be delivered to our school on Fridays for students to bring home.
- Send check to school, payable to Challah with a Twist
- Questions? Please call Varda Gewirtz at 717-919-1358.
|"Challah With a Twist", (a.k.a. Varda Challah), has been providing home baked challah for the Harrisburg community for over 20 years.
ICE CREAM ON FRIDAYS...Remember your $1
The Silver Academy will be selling ice cream every Friday for $1. Bring in your dollar each Friday or bring in $5 or $10 to be added to your account. Proceeds support the 7th-8th grade Israel trip.
Silver Summary is for Grandparents too!
Click Here to...
Don't Miss These
EASY, Ongoing Fundraising Opportunities!
Clip BoxTops 4 Education symbols on General Mills, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Nestle Juicy Juice, Progresso soups and others. Each is worth 10¢ and can be redeemed by The Silver Academy for cash! Please visit the
Box Tops 4 Education
website for more details.
Giant Gift Cards
Purchase these dollar for dollar in the school's office, and then spend them the same as cash. The Silver Academy earns 5% - that's $50 earned for every $1,000 sold! You may also purchase by calling Susan at 717-608-0190.
This is how it works...Download the free Shoparoo App on your phone and use the code VuG13074. You will then complete a profile and pick The Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy. Then after you complete a shopping trip, take a picture of the receipt using the camera on your phone with the app open. It is that easy! Once a year, Shoparoo sends the school a check from the percentages!