CTA Weekly Communicator | April 20, 2018 5 Iyar 5778 |
7:57 pm Candle lighting for Parashat Shemini
CTA Weekly Communicator
Weekly Newsletter with Important News & Updates from Columbus Torah Academy
Shabbat Shalom D'var Torah
By Oded Karavani, Hebrew Teacher
When several people are crowded together in one place, the question that immediately arises is whether or not they are somehow connected. Are they just jostling each other or perhaps they have something in common? When speaking of events rather than people, there is a growing sense that we have to discover what it is exactly that interconnects the events.

The fifty days between Pesach and Shavuot are the most jam-packed days of the year. They contain within them seven significant days. 

Some of them are ancient - Pesach, Lag Ba'Omer and Shavuot, and some of them have been renewed in the last generation: Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem’s liberation).

What is the connection between these seven days that “so happen" to fall in such a short period of time? Is there a relationship between them or does each one stand by itself regardless of the others?

The two days that at first glance are clearly connected are Pesach and Shavuot. If you ask any student in our terrific school when is the holiday of Matan Torah, he will say: "The 6th of Sivan." However, if you search for this date in the Torah you will discover that it does not exist at all! The only holiday that does not have a fixed day and month is Shavuot. When is it? Just do the math - always fifty days after Pesach!

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuot? Pesach is the day when we set out for freedom, and in fact were reborn as a free nation. However, this is only the first stage, the vessel into which content must be cast. This is where holiday of Shavuot, the day of the giving of the Torah, steps in. The people who left Egypt received their spirituality capabilities and pathway by letting the Torah guide them in life. The “disappearance” of the date sends us a message that even if we had assistance from Hashem in the first stage, the second stage depends primarily on us, and to make it happen it is not enough to sit idly by and wait for a specific date, but to embark on a journey of self-correction and purification for fifty days. Every day has its spiritual work and whoever misses one of these days will then find it difficult to continue towards the destination.

The same relationship that exists between Pesach and Shavuot also exists between the two holidays that were renewed in the last generation: Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. On May 14th, 1948 the State of Israel was established. This is a historic moment and a new chapter in the life of our people after two thousand years of terrible exile. Although this is a momentous event, it is not the final chord of this story in our lives. It is only the basis for the appearance of the second stage, Jerusalem, the city that has been united and represents our spiritual destiny of the Jewish people and the Temple. Here, we must work hard and sweat to climb up to reach this spiritual second stage.

It turns out that on the two set of days we have described, the Jewish people are somewhere along the continuum between the first stage - the very physical existence, and the second stage - the essence and spiritual content. Just to illustrate - there are countless families in Israel and US who celebrate the Seder one way or another. Shavuot, on the other hand, is less celebrated. The masses in Israel express their joy at what happened on Yom HaAtzmaut. Few more worry about making Yom Yerushalayim into a holiday, and in many cities, it looks like a perfectly normal day.

It is at this point we are faced with decisive life choices. Everyone has in their spiritual lives the Pesach and Yom HaAtzmaut – divine interventions that helped us reach a certain point. Are we ready to reach the Shavuot and Yom Yerushalayim milestones? Are we willing to put effort into our spirituality?

In Israel, for all those who were born after the establishment of the state of Israel, the reality in which we are under a sovereign Jewish government and our own army is almost obvious. We don’t know it any other way. Nonetheless, alongside Yom HaAtzmaut there are also two other days of remembrance that help us understand that this was not the only inevitable end result. Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron mark for us the alternative paths.

For two thousand years of exile, every monarch or ruler could have decided one day to deport, rob or convert the Jews in his kingdom, and they were simply powerless against him. We were subject to terrible humiliation and degradation when we were weak and detached from our land. The climax was seventy years ago when millions of our brothers and sisters were led to their deaths and the indifferent world stood by. The memory of the Holocaust sharpens our consciousness to the alternative existence of a Jewish state. Do people complain that it is not perfect? Sure, but we must also remember that we are much better off with it – no matter what.

All of the mentioned 6 days are intertwined together and form a deep sense of vision to the Jewish people. Physical presence and spiritual existence. Awe-inspiring miracles and endless perseverance. From the days of our forefathers, until this very day celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday.  

What about Lag Ba'Omer, you ask? How is it connected? Well, as usual, I can’t leave you without something to think about.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Birthday Israel!
Preview of the Week: April 23-27, 2018
Lunch: Pizza Bagels

Sports:   VB Baseball AWAY vs. Liberty Christian, 5:30 pm

Activities: Twirlers, 4-5 pm
Lunch: Tacos - Volunteer: L. Hoffman

Sports: VB Baseball HOME vs. Madison Christian, 5:30 pm

Lunch: Grilled Cheese


Activities: Lower School Tennis, 4:15 pm
Robotics Club, 4-5:15 pm
Garden Club, 4-5 pm
Lunch: Cold Cut Sandwiches - Volunteers: S. Stanich/S. Epstein

Sports: VB Baseball HOME vs. Linden, 5:15 pm

Lunch: Fish Sticks

Sports: VB Baseball HOME vs. Gahanna Christian, 4:00 pm

Activities: LS Dress Down Day
Lower School Parent Cafe with Nicole Miller, 8:30 am, CTA
April 22: Better Together Culminating Program, 3 pm, Bexley Public Library
April 22: CTA Helps out at PJ Yom HaAtzmaut Celebration at the Zoo, 4-6 pm
April 22: PTO Goes Axe Throwing, 7 pm
April 29-May 1: Columbus Baseball Invitational (CBI)
May 14: Lower School Parent Cafe with Nicole Miller, 7:30 pm, Markush Home
May 21: Shavuot - NO SCHOOL
May 28: Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL
May 30: Lower School Achievement Fair, 6-7:30 pm
PTO Social Activity, Axe Throwing: Parents, Teachers and Staff are invited to join PTO for a fun evening Axe Throwing on Sunday, April 22 at 7 pm. Registration required at https://bookeo.com/columbusaxethrowing?devent=41566UPNKYE1624956E4CC_2018-04-22_pvv9QV6a8FTx
What a great day at CTA yesterday celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut! Enjoy the pictures posted on Facebook here.
Lower School Parent Cafe: Please join Mrs. Miller on Friday, April 27 at 8:30 am. The topic will be "Keeping Our Children Engaged in Learning During the Summer". We will discuss how to support them so that they do not take a dip in their reading and math skills. It will be hands on and parents will be given engaging activities to instantly implement at home.
Volunteer for Columbus Baseball Invitational: CBI will be held on April 29-May 1 and parent volunteers are always needed to help make the event a success. Earn Give & Get. A list of volunteer opportunities can be found here. Email to alisadk@hotmail.com to get signed up.
Click on link or icon below to see more.
Columbus Torah Academy is on INSTAGRAM! Follow us at:

(We are also on Facebook and Twitter! - And Mrs. Miller is on Twitter)
New link for Magazine sale. Help our 7th graders raise money for their trip to Washington DC in the Fall. Use this Link: Tiny.cc/TorahDC

Detailed flyer here.
Hebrew Language Books: Check out this special offer for Hebrew books from the Keshet and the Israel American Council. To sign up, go to www.iackeshet.org
Buy tons of items for camp (and every day, too) and support CTA. Columbus Torah Academy receives 10% of every purchase. Be sure to use this link: www.packforcamp.com/cta For more information click here.
Start saving those Box Tops. Lots of promotions! Click here for more information: Box Tops Back to School Promotions - Earn Prizes
Be sure to join PTO. Click here for more information and here are some ways you can volunteer!
Gratitude Grams: PTO is now selling Gratitude Grams for teachers and staff. A sheet of gratitude grams are $1 for 4. You can show your appreciation for your favorite teacher or staff person. They can be purchased online at http://www.torahacademy.org/pto-gratitude-grams/ by emailing to pto@torahacademy.org or using the same email to send payment to Paypal. Orders will be delivered to your child to take home. All completed Gratitude Grams will be returned to the front desk for distribution by the Lower School Student Council. If you have any questions, contact Beth Binsky at beth@2828design.com.
Click icon above for detailed information and ways to fulfill your Give & Get .
HELP CTA EARN KROGER REWARDS: https://www.kroger.com/account/enrollCommunityRewardsNow to make sure that your rewards card is linked to Columbus Torah Academy. We earn 3% of every sale in donations to support our students. Now is the time to confirm you are enrolled. More information here.
Proposed calendar for 2018-2019 is now available by clicking here. This calendar includes start and end dates for next school year as well as vacation dates. It is called a proposed calendar in case there are minor tweaks.
Buckeye Kosher BBQ Festival is on August 12, 2018 from 3-7 pm on the front lawn at Capital University. Volunteers are needed. Click here for more information.
Family celebration at the Zoo. Admission is FREE. Food available for purchase. RSVP at jewishcolumbus.org/zoo
Consider sponsoring a Day of Learning in memory or honor of a loved one or to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, b'nai mitzvah or other life cycle event. A Day of Learning is a $180 donation and dedications are listed in both the CTA Weekly Communicator and the monthly CTA Dateline.

 To choose your Day of Learning, contact Shari at sherszage@torahacademy.org. 
Give to CTA
CTA accepts donations to our Annual Fund or Scholarship Fund throughout the year. We also accept Tribute Donations in memory of or in honor of loved ones. Donations can be made through the school office at 614-864-0299 or online by clicking  here.

Donations are listed in our monthly CTA Dateline. Check here to see our most recent issue.
Columbus Torah Academy | (V) 614-864-0299 | (F)614-864-2119 | info@torahacademy.org | www.torahacademy.org