Upper School Weekly Update

December 8th, 2017  -  Vayeshev
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Basketball Tournament
Special Movie Screening
Town Hall Meetings
ROFEH Toy Drive
Mazel Tov!
Boy Scout Trip
Division Newsletters
Social Media
Next Week
In Two Weeks
Mon., Dec. 18
7th Chanukah candle
 
Rav Seminar: 5th or 6th period (all seniors attend)
 
Tikva Foundation presentation: lunch (interested 11th and 12th graders attend)
 
Special Chanukah end of day schedule - regular dismissal time 
 
T ues., Dec. 19
8th Chanukah candle
 
11th grade breakfast with parents after davening
  
Special Chanukah end of day schedule - regular dismissal time
 
Boys' Basketball vs. Calvary (V: 5:30 pm)
 
Wed., Dec. 20
 Maimo 80th birthday celebration, 5th period
 
Wrestling vs. Nashoba Tech (6:30)
 
Thu., Dec. 21
Regular Schedule
 
 
Fri., Dec. 22
Winter break 
 
Have a great vacation! 
 

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D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff
The story of Yosef, as we read it in this week's parsha, is interrupted with an odd digression into the story of Yehuda and Tamar. What is it doing here? The medrash tells us that the connection between the story of Yehudah and Tamar on the one hand, and Yosef on the other, is two words - haker na.
 
After they devise a lie to explain to their father why Yosef has disappeared, the achei Yosef approach him with their brother's bloodied coat, saying haker na haketonet bincha hi - "recognize, is this your son's coat?" They use haker na to deceive their father, to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, and to protect themselves at their father's expense.
 
Only psukim later, upon hearing that Tamar is pregnant, and not knowing that he is in fact the father, Yehuda reproaches Tamar and asks her who the father is. She responds haker na lemi hachotemet vehapetilim, vehamateh ha'eileh - "recognize to whom these items belong! That is the father." The Gemara in Bava Metzia learns from here that it is better to thrust oneself into a fire than to embarrass another publicly. Tamar could have said "they are yours," but instead she hints to him subtly. Tamar employs haker na not in her own self-interest, but in the preservation of another's dignity. 
 
In fact, the idea of navigating a difficult situation is a recurring theme of Parshat Vayeshev. Reuven wants to protect Yosef from his brothers, but his solution is underhanded. He pretends to be with the brothers, with the intention of coming back later to undermine them. It is noble but divisive, and fails. Yehuda tries to bring them together - "what gain is there if we kill our brother... he is our flesh?!" But Yehuda fails as well, because he does not do enough. He suggests they sell, rather than save, Yosef. Yehuda then struggles with how to distance his family from Tamar to protect his youngest son, and Tamar knows that she can't be prevented from fulfilling her mitzvah of yibum
 
The children of Yaakov, the Bnei Yisrael, are faced with ethical dilemmas, and each one handles their own with varying degrees of success. The message of the midrash is that when we are faced with our haker na moment, needing to act in response to a complicated situation, the guiding principle to use is protecting the dignity of others. We need to follow the example of Tamar, and to make sure that as we navigate the complex situations in our lives, we are finding our path using the compass of compassion and sensitivity for those around us.
 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. What other ethical dilemas come up in the Yosef story? Are they resolved well?
  3. What was a haker na moment of yours? Did you navigate it well?
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi David Saltzman
 
In his book Vision and Leadership, the Rav writes that the downfall of Yosef and his brothers was not necessarily caused by jealousy. Rather, its cause was their lack of appreciation for one of the most precious gifts that G-d has granted to humans: The sense of unity that members of a family feel for each other, which should express itself in love and devotion.
 
The brothers and Yosef should have appreciated each other, their relationships, and their differences.  They should have created a unified family, with all their personalities and differences contributing to the greater whole. 
 
Because they were unable to show gratitude to Hashem by appreciating their individuality and creating a strong family unit, they were punished with separation.
Pep Rally and Basketball Tournament
 
Maimo pride shifted into high gear this week as we kicked off the Maimonides School Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memory of Leland Gelman. We were thrilled to welcome players and coaches from Atlanta Jewish Academy, Melvin J. Berman Academy (Rockville, MD), Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School (Livingston, NJ) and Yeshivah of Flatbush (Brooklyn, NY). 
 
A high-energy pep rally pumped up support for our M-Cat boys' and girls' teams and culminated in Maimo dancing before the first series of games. Games took place Thursday and Friday, and will continue Motzei Shabbat and Sunday.  Please visit the tournament website for the scores, schedule, and live feed info. 
 
The teams will be hosted on Shabbat by the Maimonides Kehillah; Rabbi Steven Weil, senior managing director of the Orthodox Union, will speak here on Friday night.  
 
Another tournament feature will be a silent auction, raising money to offset weekend expenses. Highlights include a pair of New England Patriots opening-game playoff tickets and a baseball signed by both Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. Bidding will begin during the Saturday night game and conclude early Sunday afternoon at the boys' championship game.
 
Thanks to tournament organizers Sheera and Ahron Solomont '76 and their amazing team of volunteers and hosts for their hard work and efforts in making this event so successful.
    
Special Movie Screening this Sunday
There will be a special screening of the movie My Hero Brother on Sunday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. at West Newton Cinema, co-sponsored by Maimonides School, Young Israel of Sharon, New England Yachad, and Striar Hebrew Academy.
My Hero Brother tells the remarkable story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark on a demanding trek through the Indian Himalayas with their siblings. As they deal with physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts come to the surface and heartwarming friendships develop.
 
Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, contact  juliesgaller@gmail.com   


Town Hall Meeting in Sharon on Monday
The Maimonides School Board of Directors
invites parents to a
Town Hall Meeting
 
Steven Schwartz, Board Chair, and Naty Katz, Head of School, look forward to meeting with you, listening to your suggestions and concerns, and benefiting from this opportunity for open dialogue.

These meetings are intended to focus on the non-academic issues within the purview of the Board such as day school affordability, financial matters, and other topics of interest to the community.     
 
Town Hall Meetings will take place:
  • Monday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Sharon -  click here to respond
  • Wednesday, January 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Brookline - click here to respond

Please check your e-mail for full details of the meeting locations, or write to communication@maimonides.org for more information.
 
There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion during the meetings. To help us prepare, we encourage you to submit questions in advance to chairman@maimonides.org 
 
We look forward to an evening of engaging conversation with you.

 
ROFEH Toy Drive Ends Monday
Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for our ROFEH Toy Drive! Boxes will be placed in front of the Elementary, Middle, and Upper School offices.


Mazel Tov!
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to info@maimonides.org.
 
Boy Scout Trip to Israel
Maimonides Boy Scout Troop 54 is organizing a unique trip to Israel in February 2018. This will be a 12-day program during President's week, February 13-25.
The group will explore all over Israel with experts from botany, zoology, ornithology, ecology, and archaeology. 500 million birds begin migrating through Israel! The students will relate this information to the Tanach and Talmud.
Students do not need to be scouts, but they will need to register with the Boy Scouts of America before the trip. Participants may be families, children 12 years and up accompanied by an adult, teens aged 14 and up, and retirees.

 
See What's Happening in other Divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School! 

If you'd like to take a peek at what's happening in the other divisions, click to visit the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, or Middle School newsletter pages.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:
Let's Get Social!
There's so much going on here at Maimo! Be sure to check out our social media to get the inside scoop (with lots of great photos) on happenings at school.
 
  
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