Upper School Weekly Update

January 12, 2018  -  Va'era
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Blood Drive
10th Grade Family Davening
PTA Hat Show
Division Newsletters
Social Media
Next Week
In Two Weeks
Sun., Jan. 21
Girls' Basketball @ Pope John (JV 12:00, V 1:30)
Wrestling @ Bedford (11:00)
Mon., Jan. 22
T ues., Jan. 23
Wed., Jan. 24 
Wrestling @ Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall (5:00)
Thu., Jan. 25
Boys' Basketball @ Calvary Chapel Academy (V 5:30) 
Fri., Jan. 26
Regular Schedule

Having a

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D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff
"And I will bring you to the land for which I raised My hand to give it to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. And I will give it to you as a morasha, I am Hashem." (5:8)
In this week's parsha, Hashem promises Bnei Yisrael that He will give them Eretz Yisrael as a morasha - an inheritance. The Netziv wonders what the difference is between morasha and the more common term yerusha, which also means inheritance. He answers that morasha denotes a deeper, permanent, and more profound connection between the owner and object. A morasha is a connection that transcends space and time, which stays strong despite absence and distance. The only other thing described in this way is the Torah, as we know from the pasuk "Torah tziva lanu Moshe, morasha kehillat Yaakov." As Jews, we have an inherent connection to the Torah and Eretz Yisrael.
In a week, I will have the pleasure of visiting our alumni in yeshivot and seminaries in Israel. It is always wonderful to see our students immersed in both aspects of our morasha - their deepening commitment to and love for Eretz Yisrael and their embracing the unique, spiritual connection that every Jew has with the Torah.  This is the  blossoming of the "fruit" which we as parents and a school have planted and nurtured all these years. 
I always get much nachas as well from the refrain which I hear regularly from the institutions which our students attend - that they want more Maimonides students, and that our talmidim
and talmidot are a credit to our community and our school. 
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi David Saltzman     
The Rav explains the difference between
                                                   וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה
and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened
וַיַּכְבֵּד לִבּוֹ
and he made heavy his heart.
These are not synonyms, but represent two different ideas.
Let's focus on כבד. The word כבד is associated with a stone. It weighs a lot, but it's useless. It does not have any practical purpose. Here, it means "a heart of stone." Therefore, כבד לב פרעה means that he had an insensitive heart. It was a heart which was not responsive to the call of conscience, or to a divine moral challenge.
The Rishonim speak about certain times when a person loses their ability to repent because they forfeit their moral sensitivity. If there is no moral sensitivity, there is no ability to choose between a good course of action and a bad course of action. Someone with a heart of stone, therefore, has lost their bechira - their free choice.
This is what happened to Pharaoh when he resisted the moral challenge with which he was presented, and desensitized himself to the suffering of the Jewish slaves.
Students and faculty give a lifesaving gift!
The student lounge was transformed into an American Red Cross donor center on Tuesday as the Upper School held its first blood drive. 

The drive was organized by seniors Hannah Zar and Josh Weiss, who were inspired by a blood drive at their summer camp. " We realized it was a really nice way to bring the community together, while also saving lives," Hannah noted. "We started organizing this in November and worked hard with the Red Cross to make sure it would run smoothly." Hannah also explained that it was a coincidence that the drive was scheduled during a time when the Red Cross was experiencing a critical blood shortage.

The drive produced 38 potential donors, which resulted in 27 pints of blood that could help save 81 lives. "We are so thankful to all the donors and are happy we had the opportunity to save lives," Hannah noted.
10th Grade Parents - Join us on Rosh Chodesh Shevat!

PTA Hat Show on Sunday
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.

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