April 5, 2019 | 29 Adar I 5779
Parashat Tazria introduces us to the laws of tzara’at, a type of skin-disease which renders the patient tamei (ritually impure). One of the forms of “tzara’at” described in the Parsha is tzara’at ha-bayit, a discoloration of the walls of one’s house. The Torah tells us that when one notices a discoloration of his walls, “the owner of the house shall come and tell the kohen, saying, ‘Something like a plague has appeared upon my house’” (14:35). The mishna in Masekhet Negaim (12:5) comments that the homeowner must speak to the kohen with uncertainty, as implied by the verse “something like a plague.” The Torah teaches that regardless of the homeowner’s level of scholarship and his certainty that the discoloration in his home qualifies as a tzara’at plague, he may not make a definitive comment to this effect. He must rather summon the kohen and wait for his diagnosis.

The Tosefot Yom Tov, in his commentary to this mishna, explains why the homeowner does not express himself definitively. He explains that Torah intends to accustom the individual to express uncertainty, rather than always assuming with confidence that he has definitive answers. The Torah is telling us that even when we think that we are correct, we should be mindful of the fact that we might be wrong.

While we no longer have tzara’at, this lesson is still applicable today. In life, we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves. Whether through books by experts, or advice from family and friends, it is important that we seek out resources and guidance when appropriate. We should not assume that we have all the answers, and instead we must approach the world with a willingness to learn and improve. It is only when we realize this and truly understand that we might be wrong, will we be receptive to listening to the direction of others.

Rabbi Sam Weinberg,  Principal

This year 8 middle school students participated in the PRSEF science fair at Heinz Field! Over 1,000 students were in attendance, with many great projects. Nechama Russel and Tahara Reinherz placed 4th in the Intermediate Consumer Science category! Congratulations to all of our students who worked incredibly hard before and during this competition!
Everyone’s been enjoying the new playground turf, especially as the weather gets nicer for outdoor play. The Kindergarteners even made use of an off-cut to bring the lawn inside! 

PRE-K students dress up for their mock Seder!
Rabbi Admon teaches Nursery students how to make Matza! 
The PREK-B students went to Giant Eagle in search of maror — and found some! 

The Fourth Grade boys show off the magnificent headdresses and masks they made to resemble that of King Tut as part of their unit on Egypt. 

In culmination of finishing the first two perakim of Maseches Sukkah with Rabbi Grossberg, the Fourth Grade boys made model sukkahs to present to the class. This week we saw sukkahs from Ezra Pollak, Ben Davis, Yehoshua Levy, Caleb Knoll, Omer Blumenfeld, Shlomo Blalock, Rafi Belman, and Mikey Karoll. Stay tuned next week for the rest of the Fourth Grade sukkahs!
High School students in Mrs. Myers’s Language Arts classes are learning about the art and design of typography, and the role it plays in helping a text convey meaning. One of the aspect of this unit is learning how type designers create lettering, and the particular jargon for the parts of letters. Investigating the aesthetics of public signage takes critical thinking beyond the page and out into the real world. Do you have a favorite typeface?  
The Kindergarten students continued their fabric unit by learning about thread versus fiber in relationship to the fabric of burlap.
A Case For 
An Earlier Dismissal
by Shira Sutofsky

Students need to go home earlier and have less work.

I believe that the girls high school should end at 4 o'clock every, instead of 4:45 every day except for twice a week. It is extremely crucial for high school girls to go home at 4:00 because they have so much work and tests to study for, and not so much time to do that. Also, many girls complain that they don’t have enough time to see their family, because they have so much work, and get home too late. It’s also important for high school girls to have some free time, but with the amount of work we have, and the time we get home, it’s really hard to have time for ourselves. 

by Mrs. Wimer

There are many things that make Hillel Academy such a special place. One of these things is the dual curriculum — our school provides both a rigorous Torah AND college preparatory curriculum. That is no small feat. Traditional schools in this country are lucky if they can achieve just one of those components, and we do it all in ONE DAY! Furthermore, we do it in a little more time than a traditional school day. Students in public schools who pursue a Jewish education often go from their regular high school day to another locale for Judaics, and don't return home until 6:30 or 7:00 in the evening. Mrs. Levari works schedule-making-magic to cram a plethora of incredible Judaic and secular classes into one extended school day, and still manages to find time for students to meet with teachers, celebrate holidays, participate in community events, and occasionally go home early whenever possible, because student time is valued. Finally, the ability to balance the demands of a dual curriculum is a skill learned through time management. This skill is one that translates to adulthood, when free time only gets shorter, as you learn that "adulting" is really just cramming 30 hours worth of stuff into 24. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

By: Bluma Rodkin

2 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 scoop vanilla sugar
⅔ vanilla/chocolate pudding
1 cup potato starch
1 cup Matzo Meal (or potato starch)
½ tspn. baking powder
½ tspn. baking soda
¾ to 1 cup oil
Chocolate chips

Directions: bake at 350.
If Pittsburgh was Egypt

What would the ten plagues look like if they happened in Pittsburgh today? Here are some things I think would befall Pittsburgh — by Isaac Brown

1. Sir Heinz’s Blood  - The Heinz ketchup factory leaks, causing all the ketchup to leak into the Allegheny River.

2. Hot and Cold Weather Flashes  - We all know that Pittsburgh’s weather can change on a dime, often going from the seventies to snowing, so I can’t think of a more appropriate second plague. A blizzard one minute, and a heat wave the other.

3. Smog Reincarnated  - All the steel factories mysteriously begin production, resulting in the air quality reaching such dangerous levels that Andrew Carnegie would toss in his grave.

4. Cicada Alert  - It seems that the all the cicadas forgot what seventeen years means. All of a sudden, millions of buzzing cicadas awaken from their slumber, wreaking havoc on our eardrums.

5. PythagoreanHills  - Uh oh — it seems that all the hills in Pittsburgh have gotten steeper, resulting in some hills reaching 45 degrees!!! How will anyone get around and do anything?

6. Red Light Madness  - It seems that the nightly stop lights haven’t ceased flashing red. Now the whole city is stuck in a gridlock that may have no end.

7. Grass Revenge  - What! There are trees everywhere ... Pittsburgh is no more, only Frick Park remains. It seems that oaks have sprouted everywhere, growing to gigantic sizes. From a bird’s eye view one can only see the color green. Steve Irwin would be proud.

8. Black and Yellow  - Ouch! It seems that the sports teams are going on an all-out brawl. Sidney Crosby is checking Ben Roethlisberger, and Francisco Liriano is pitching a fast ball at James Conner. Now Cameron Heyward is tackling Josh Well. The fans are getting into it too, terrible towels flying everywhere. There must be something in the water.

9. Elevator Staying Down  - It appears that every elevator in Pittsburgh is out of order as a result of a water leak on the bottom level. Until the buildings pass inspection, no one can go out of their house.

10. No More Chairs  - You walk outside and trip on what else: a chair. In fact, you look up and all you can see in the street are chairs. If you were to go in any direction for five miles, you would notice that all the streets in Pittsburgh are covered with chairs, saving spots for some unknown amount of people.

Mrs. Leah - Drink 8 oz. of water after you shower to rehydrate yourself. 

Rabbi Sutofsky - If you have racoons in your garbage you can drill four holes in the sides and put chains around it.

Shir - If your mirror is fogged up, put soap on your hands and wipe off the mirror. No streaks! Also if you can’t clean the oil off your dishes, put soap and water in the dish with a white paper towel and shake it up and it will absorb all the oil.

Shoshana Kisilinsky - If you have dry hands, put a lot of lotion on them before bed and cover them with socks.

Dalya Kraut - If you don’t know how to paint, just have someone else paint for you.

Chaya Langer - If someone is staring at you, just stare at their shoes and it will make them self conscious and they will stop staring at you.

Eliyanah VanSickle - If your skirt or pants don’t zip easily, take a keychain ring and stick it through the hole of the zipper and latch it onto the button.

Aviva Itskowitz - If you can’t think of lifehacks just go on Snapchat.

Tali Kisilinsky - Put your phone in a cup for a DIY speaker. Also put coconut oil in your hair to get gum out of it. Use chopsticks when eating chips to keep your hand from getting oily.

Chava Rivka Russell - If you want permanent eyeliner use Sharpie.

Amital Liebovich - To contour your nose put it on the nose pieces of your glasses.

Mrs. Wimer - Get a dog so you don’t have to clean up food that you drop on the floor.

Rivka Kaminsky - Don’t get a dog, so you don’t have to clean up after your dog.

Aaron Kraut  - Pour the milk in the bowl before the cereal.

Tali Itskowitz - Peel a clementine with a spoon.

Rivky Grossberg - Remove an avocado pit with a knife.

Mrs. Myers - Use a rubber band around a stubborn lid to help twist it off.

Mr. Roth - Always be yourself, unless you could be someone else — in which case, be Batman.

We are excited to open registration for Hillel Academy Summer Camps. This is our fourth year of offering summer camp, and every year is more fun and exciting than the last. This year we have four separate divisions ranging from ages three years old through Eighth Grade. Our most significant improvement will be the addition of Ms. Rebecca Huff to our team. As you know, Ms. Huff is the STEAM coordinator at Hillel and we will be incorporating various week long explorations into Robotics, Coding, Ecology, Fine Art, for out campers. 

Please contact Ms. Rebecca Huff ( RHuff@hillelpgh.org ) or Morah Tova Admon ( tadmon@hillelpgh.org ) with questions regarding Machaneh Hillel or Mini-Machaneh (Grades N-3).

Please contact Rabbi Akiva Sutofsky ( asutofsky@hillelpgh.org ) or Ms. Faigy Nadoff ( fnadoff@hillelpgh.org ) with questions regarding the Teen Torah and Travel Camp (Grades 4- 8).

The Hillel Happenings is published on Thursdays. Please submit stories, photos and ads by Wednesday afternoon to:

Thank you!
Once again this year, Hillel Academy will be participating in the Box Tops for Education Program.  My name is Barbara Uebing and I’m thrilled to be the Box Tops Coordinator. Clipping Box Tops is an easy way for you to help our school buy what it needs. Box Tops are each worth 10 cents and they quickly add up to real cash for our school. This school year, our school’s earnings goal is $2000.00.

To help our school, just look for pink Box Tops on products, clip them, and send them to school.  Pre-K — Fourth Grade will be having a friendly collection contest to help motivate school supporters to clip Box Tops. When sending in Box Tops, please be sure to write your child’s name and grade on the outside of the envelope or baggie. For more information on the Box Tops for Education program, including a list of participating products and school’s progress, visit www.BTFE.com .  Be sure to become a member to receive exclusive coupons and recipes and learn about extra ways for our school to earn. 

I hope you’re excited for everything we can do this year with Box Tops! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at  buebing@hillelpgh.org . I’m here to make our school’s Box Tops for Education program a huge success this year.
Interested volunteers please contact  Dan Kraut
When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.   https://smile.amazon.com/ch/25-1067130

At Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, we educate young men and women with unlimited capacity who compete in a superior manner in all challenges undertaken. Our students are Torah observant models of exemplary character, who love G-d, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel. To say that our students possess a love of learning, confidence and the ability to think critically, merely highlights the value of a Hillel education. What we ultimately achieve each day, and have been achieving for 70 years, is the gift of instilling each student with the foundation for a life spent actively serving and leading the Jewish community and society.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh | 412 521-8131 | hillelhappennings@hillelpgh.org | www.hillelpgh.org