CTA Weekly Communicator | Jan. 19, 2018 3 Shevat 5778 |
5:18 pm Candle lighting for Shabbat
CTA Weekly Communicator
Weekly Newsletter with Important News & Updates from Columbus Torah Academy
Shabbat Shalom D'var Torah
By Oded Karavani, Hebrew teacher
The meaning of freedom

In this week's Parasha the tribulations that Bnei Israel undergo in Egypt finally end. Hashem, with infinite determination, exhausts Pharaoh and his servants. The Egyptians no longer want to be in a state of patronage and rule over a foreign people. The king of Egypt receives a demand from Hashem to free His people and to remove any sign of slavery.

"Let my people go" is only the first part of Moshe's request. The essential part is found later in Moshe's words: "Let My people go, that they will serve Me."

There are two requests:

1. Let My people go.

2. That they will serve Me.

Why must these two requests be intertwined together? Is it necessary to impose both demands at once? Is it not enough to only abolish slavery?

It is obvious that the people's liberation does not amount to making them free. Freedom is for liberation on the one hand, but many times it can become limp at best, or a destructive profligacy at worst. Therefore, each time Moshe wishes to release the people of Israel, he immediately declares the purpose of this request - worship Hashem. Thus, when Bnei Israel are released, Hashem immediately imposes upon them an authority and brings them into a new religious-spiritual framework. Moshe wants Pharaoh to send the people out so that they can turn to the service of Hashem and fulfill His commandments. Hashem does not want a crowd of freed drunkards that escaped just as a herd of sheep flees from the wolf's teeth, but in the provision of a moderate sense of freedom that involves obedience to His commandments. The important mission was not to coordinate Bnei Israel’s escape from the land of Egypt, but to establish a basis of spiritual depth in a group of slaves that has just emerged from suffering and hard labor. They did not even have the time to organize or set a path for the journey ahead. Moshe has the heavy task of fortifying the faith of the people, using cautious measures, and when he defines to Pharaoh the goal of the exodus from Egypt - "serve Me," he actually makes the liberation a more lofty and meaningful event.

Moshe wants to declare to Pharaoh that he is not a human rights activist but rather a messenger of Hashem and the herald of spiritual redemption. Moshe planted in the heart of the nation the recognition that the fulfillment of Mitzvot is a necessary condition for a proper exodus from a land of impurity. This is why, in the first commandment, immediately after the plague of the firstborn, it was stated: “This is the law of Pesach!”. Without any delay or pause. The people are still panting from all the signs and wonders. Now we establish a constitution and a covenant. Moshe understands that these minutes of exodus and freedom are moments that will never come back. The Jewish history begins. Moshe is planting roots, precisely at the right time.

Chazal also recognize the virtue of a spiritual framework. A person, let alone a slave, needs Mitzvot that will give him borders and boundaries. The people of Israel had to immediately put on the yoke of the commandments, so as not to reach a state of national moral collapse. That person must temper the sense of freedom by giving expression to his spiritual desires. Indeed, as we learn, the true expression of freedom is the ability to connect with Hashem and the Mitzvot.

I leave you, as usual, with a few questions.

How convinced are you that true freedom is one of continues Torah and Mitzvot observance? How do you view pure freedom? Finally, do you have freedom?

Shabbat Shalom
Preview of the Week: January 22-26, 2018
Lunch: French Toast - Volunteer: S. Epstein

Sports:  MSG HOME vs New Hope Christian, 5:30 pm
MSB HOME vs New Hope Christian, 6:45 pm

Activities: 1st Grade Night at the Games, 5:30 pm
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets - Volunteer: L. Hoffman

Sports: VG AWAY vs Genoa Christian, 6 pm
VB AWAY vs Genoa Christian, 7:30 pm

Activities: Kindergarten Preview Day, 9:30 am
Lunch: Pizza

Sports:

Activities: Lower School Tennis, 4:15 pm
Lunch: Sloppy Joes

Sports: MSG HOME vs St. John's Lutheran, 5:30 pm
VG AWAY vs Patriot Prep JV, 5:30 pm
MSB HOME vs St. John's Lutheran, 6:45 pm

Activities: 3rd Grade Night at the Games, 5:30 pm
Lunch: Fish Sticks

Sports:

Activities: LS Dress Down Day
Jan. 30: Parent Cafe with Nicole Miller, 7:30 pm, Home of Jeff and Meagan Buren
Feb. 2: LS Dress Down Day
Feb. 7: 5th and 6th Grade Parent Informational Meeting about Jr. High, 7:30 pm, CTA
Feb. 16: Faculty Professional Development Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb. 19: President's Day - NO SCHOOL
Re-ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS and FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FORMS for the 2018-2019 school year must be turned in by February 23 including a deposit of $250 per child. The Financial Assistance forms must be begun while it is understandable that all supportive data including 2017 tax returns will not be turned in until a later date.

Electronic version of the forms will be emailed to parents within the week. Paper versions will be sent home with the youngest child in the family early next week.

To apply for Tuition Assistance, go to the Smart Aid website at https://www.smartaidforparents.com and use school code: 13328. If you already have an account for last year, use your login.
Reminder that students should be wearing uniform compliant sweaters and sweatshirts in the building. You may also want to encourage your child to keep an extra one at school for days when it is extra cold like today in case they forget one at home.

And, LABEL, LABEL, LABEL everything!
Dear Families and Staff,

Flu activity in Columbus & Franklin County is high. While causing mild disease in a lot of people, the flu can also cause severe disease and death in others. The CDC provided an update about flu activity on January 12, 2018. According to the CDC 20 children have died from the flu nationally.

PREVENTION = everyday good health habits

·     Cover your cough – cough in your sleeve

·     Wash your hands

·     Limit contact with others who are sick

·     Stay home if you are sick

·     Get the flu vaccine


If you have any questions, please contact Chris Morford, BSN, RN, School Nurse.
She is at CTA: Monday & Tuesday Phone: (614) 864-0299 ext.211 or cmorford@torahacademy.org
Mrs. Miller is TWEETING!! Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NikkiMillerCTA. @nikkimillerCTA
#mrsmilleristweeting #coolprincipal #areyoufollowing #canyouhashtag
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.
We are Going Out For Recess. Wear Boots.

Mrs. Miller wants Lower School parents to know the outdoor recess policy. Students will go outside for recess when the temperature is 20 degrees or above and it is not raining. The quality of the fields will also be a determining factor to make sure they are safe for students.

Students love being outside as much as possible. We want to give them this opportunity for free play.

As we continue this year, if it has snowed, the fields may be wet. Please make sure your child has boots or shoes that they might get wet in at school. You may also want to have your child pack an extra pair of socks or shoes. 

We may also offer indoor and outdoor activities if there are enough staff to supervise the students.
Tennis lessons at CTA startedJanuary 17 and will run through May for students in grades K-6. Lessons will be after school led by tennis pro Marc Wurtzman. For more information click here or to register directly, click here. Any questions to arahav@torahacademy.org
DON"T LOSE IT. LABEL IT. PLEASE label your child's clothing!!! With everyone wearing uniforms, we have a large number of navy, blue and white shirts and gray, black and navy sweatshirts that have no known owners. If you need labels, go to Name Bubbles using this link: https://fundraising.namebubbles.com/f/96566 . CTA earn 20% of every order.
Click on link or icon below to see more.
Kindergarten Preview Day at CTA is on Tuesday, January 23, from 9:30 am - 12 noon. The day is a special opportunity for preschoolers who will be ready for Kindergarten for Fall 2018 to spend the morning at CTA. The morning will give the children a chance to experience kindergarten and for educators to meet them. RSVP for preview day is required. So please RSVP to sherszage@torahacademy.org or call at 614-864-0299, ext 218.
Come Tu B'Shevat - the Birthday of the Trees with PJ Library on Sunday, January 28 at 10 am.

Where: Franklin Park Conservatory,
1777 E Broad St, Columbus, 43203
When: Sunday, January 28th @ 10:00 am
Details: Celebrate the Birthday of the Trees -
Tu B'shvat - with PJ Library, Columbus Torah Academy and CJDS! We will have storytime, a scavenger hunt, and arts & crafts. 
Order magazines for your office or home. 40% profit goes to benefit the 8th grade trip to Washington DC. Click on this flyer or this link and use the school code: 2522449. Any questions, ask an 8th grader or Norma.
Start saving those Box Tops. Lots of promotions! Click here for more information: Box Tops Back to School Promotions - Earn Prizes
The next Parent Cafe with Nicole Miller will be on Tuesday, January 30, at 7:30 pm at the home of Jeff and Meagan Buren.

Have you ever wondered what the Common Core State Standards mean to your child? How can you best understand them and support your child? 

At this Parent Cafe, Mrs. Miller will discuss the fundamental instructional shifts that took place in English Language Arts and Math's Ohio Learning Standards also called Common Core State Standards. She will also share a few strategies that you can use at home to support these shifts. 

Address furnished by emailing RSVP to info@torahacademy.org
Mister G Concert and Purim Palooza. CTA is a partner with this fun pre-Purim event on Sunday, February 25 from 10:30-12:30 at the JCC on College Avenue. Flyer here.
Click icon above for detailed information and ways to fulfill your Give & Get .
Be sure to join PTO. Click here for more information and here are some ways you can volunteer!
PTO Directory: The CTA PTO Directory has been sent home with the youngest child of ALL PAID PTO members. Don’t miss out on this important booklet. Become a member of PTO for just $25 ! Please send your check, made out to CTA PTO, to the school office or pay directly through Paypal at pto@torahacademy.org.  We’ll send the Directory right away!  
Technology Awareness Event featuring a screening of the movie SCREENAGERS on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at the JCC. For children in grades 6 and older and their parents. Click here for detailed information or to register for this FREE event.
70 Faces of Israel events featuring Mehereta Baruch Ron who will speak on: “The challenge of equal opportunity in Israel”.

Sunday, January 28th @ the JCC, 7:00pm including dessert reception.  

For more information contact Merav Livneh- Dill, Senior Shlicha: meravld@tcjf.org or Justin Shaw, Director, Jewish Community Relations: jshaw@tcjf.org

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/157671834866692/?active_tab=about
Columbus Conference for Jewish Women on Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm at the Columbus Museum of Art. More information and register here.
Save the Date for a Family Dinner Night on Sunday, February 18.
Save the Date for the JCC Gala on Saturday night, February 24, 2018. Full flyer here.
Gan Ephraim Speaker Series: E verything You Always Wanted to Know about GI But Were Afraid to Ask - a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Gisser on Tuesday, January 23, at 7:30 pm at Gan Ephraim at Ahavas Sholom, 2568 E. Braod Street.
I MATTER on February 4th for teen girls, moms and mentors. It will be an afternoon of empowerment, motivation and inspiration with some food, fun and gifts thrown in there, too. The topic is teen dating violence awareness and education surrounding healthy relationships which will include promoting self confidence, self respect and inner beauty. A complete flyer can be found here.
Ahavas Sholom Cholent Cook Off on February 17. RSVP to ahavas-sholom.org
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