Upper School Weekly Update

April 27, 2018  -  Acharei Mot-Kedushim

In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
12th Grade Elective
Thank You
Baseball Tournament
Final Exams
Celebrate Israel
Division Newsletters
Social Media
Next Week 
Sunday, April 29
Monday, April 30
Tuesday, May 1
Wednesday, May 2
Thursday, May 3 
(Lag B'Omer)
Last day for seniors
Girls' Tennis vs. Brimmer (4:15) 
Friday, May 4
Regular Schedule

In Two Weeks
Sunday, May 6
Monday, May 7

Tuesday, May 8
Wednesday, May 9
Thursday, May 10 
US Retreat -- no classes
Friday, May 11
US Retreat -- no classes

Having a

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D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff 
For four years I toil!
In this week's parsha, among the many mitzvot mentioned, we find orlah and neta revai - a fascinating mitzvah which forbids us to eat the fruit of new trees for the first three years, and then in the fourth year commands us to take the yield to Yerushalayim and eat it there. It is not until the fifth year that one can regularly partake of the produce.
One can imagine the emotional difficulty of this mitzvah for a farmer. Someone who works to plant and grow a tree, only to then have to wait four years to reap the benefit. The Midrash in Torat Kohanim expresses this sentiment:
So that a person should not say "for four years I toil with this tree for nothing!" The Torah tells us here "in order to increase its produce for you"
(Torat Kohanim 19:68)
According to the Midrash, the Torah addresses this concern by promising that as a result of the farmer's patience, the benefit he reaps will be even greater and the yield more plentiful. The mitzvah of orla teaches us about resilience and grit - working hard for something and knowing that the payoff is not immediate but down the line. The mitzvah of neta rivai teaches us that after all our hard work, when we are finally able to reap the benefit, we must show hakarat hatov and remember that it was not only by our own strength but by the will of Hashem that we were able to reach this moment. Together these mitzvot teach us about emunah. About trusting in Hakadosh Baruch Hu that all our toil is in fact "in order to increase its produce" for us. 
These are also appropriate messages as we approach the seniors' final week of classes. 
For our seniors this is the great culmination of their four years of hard work in Upper School. The investment they have made in themselves and in their personal growth is about to pay off. The many hours of Torah study will bear fruit as they learn Torah throughout their lives and become leaders in their Jewish communities. The moral, ethical, and kadosh people they have been striving to become will show in their great acts of chessed and contributions to the world around them. The relationships they have built with their morot, rebbeim, and faculty will deepen and provide continued support as they face new challenges in life. Our beloved seniors planted a tree four years ago, and are on the cusp of seeing the fruits of their labor.
At the same time we think about our faculty and staff at Maimonides. Our farmers who saw the potential in a little seedling and nurtured it, loved it, and invested in it, trusting in the promise that the product would be well worth the wait. Educators who crafted, inspired, and challenged this amazing group of students, knowing that their patient, steady devotion would more than pay off.
Anticipation is building as we get closer to the ringing of the bell and the seniors' final lap around the school next week. The moment approaches when the faculty and their classes will stand in the hall honoring our seniors, beaming with pride as the class of 2018, our once little saplings - now blossoming into beautiful trees, rooted strongly in the foundation of Torah, nurtured both at home and in this school - burst out through the front doors, ready to embrace the world. We will miss them very much... our precious class of 2018. 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning? 
  2. How does the restraint we must demonstrate in mitzvot like orla help us reach towards the commandment of kedoshim tihiyu
  3. What is an example in your life of something for which you feel the product was better as a result of your hard work and patience?


Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ
With this shall Aaron enter the Holy
Despite the exalted status of the Kohen Gadol, the halacha states that if he happens upon a dead body where no one has come forward to take care of the burial (a meit mitzvah), he must perform this function immediately, even though by coming into contact with the corpse he becomes impure and invalidates himself from participating in the avodah of Yom Kippur. The identity of the corpse makes no difference: whether it is the body of a king or a shepherd, all men carry within them the image of G-d.
This teaches us that mankind is redeemed only when the honor and the value of every individual are upheld simply on the basis of their humanity, not based on one's position or accomplishment.
12th Grade Writers Share with 2nd Graders

Dr. Megan Hamilton's 12th grade elective on reading and writing children's literature recently read their illustrated children's stories to second graders in the Brener library. The second graders were an engaged, critical audience who asked attentive questions about how the seniors chose to illustrate their stories and why they chose to tell the stories they did.

Thank You to PTA and Parent Volunteers

Thank you to all the PTA volunteers who made Teacher Appreciation Week so enjoyable!
The bagel breakfast on Tuesday and luncheon buffet on Thursday made the week more delicious for our faculty and staff. Thank you to Alissa Muzin for her efforts coordinating the meals, and to parent volunteers Risa Gewurz, Claudine Grossman, and Leat Storm who helped with the luncheon.

M-Cats Take 1st Place in Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament!
The M-Cats triumphed in the second annual Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament in Sharon last weekend. The tournament began in cool and rainy weather but ended in sunshine. Visiting teams included the Frisch School, Yeshivah of Flatbush, and Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA). 
Ezra, זק"ל, a 2015 Maimonides graduate and varsity baseball player, was killed by a terrorist in Israel in November 2015. The tournament was established by family and friends to honor Ezra's passion for baseball and create a fun environment in which to remember him. More information and photos can be found at http://ezraschwartzbaseballmemorial.com/.

Final Exam/Assessment Period Schedule for Grades 9, 10 and 11
Please note the following schedule for the 2018 Final Exam/Assessment Period for grades 9-11:

Friday, June 1
Last day of US classes; 2:30 dismissal

Monday, June 4
9:00-10:30am (11:15am for extended time) - History
12:00-1:30pm (2:15pm for extended time) - Navi

Wednesday, June 6
9:00-10:30am (11:15am for extended time) - English
12:00-1:30pm (2:15pm for extended time) - Talmud 

Friday, June 8
9:00-10:30am (11:15am for extended time) - Math 
12:00-1:30pm (2:15pm for extended time) - Chumash

Monday, June 11
9:00-10:30am (11:15am for extended time) - Science
12:00-1:30pm (2:15pm for extended time) - Jewish History 

Wednesday, June 13
Projects due by 10:30am - World Languages

Friday, June 15
9:30-10:30am - US Final Exam Hand-Backs 

Celebrate Israel 

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