Upper School Weekly Update

June 1, 2018  -  Beha'alotecha

In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Course Confirmation Update
Physics in Action
Trebuchet Contest
Summer Clean Up
Cradles to Crayons
Tribute to Nathan Katz
Final Exams
Division Newsletters
Alumni Newsletter
Social Media
Next Week 
Senior Trip

Athletics Banquet (5:15-6:30)
Commencement and Reception (10:30-1:00) 

Having a

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D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff
ויסעו מהר ה' שלשת ימים
וארון ברית ה' נסע לפניהם שלשת ימים לתור להם מנוחה
The גמרא in מסכת שבת explains that the first part of this פסוק , the travelling from הר סיני , was a failure on the part of בני ישראל . The Ramban develops this, quoting a midrash which criticizes the nation for the manner in which they travelled from הר סיני . The midrash describes the nation as כתינוק הבורח מבית הספר - like a child fleeing from school. Why the rush? The מדרש explains that בני ישראל wanted to escape before any more מצוות were given. They wanted to escape before any more responsibility would be put on them. 
As we wrap up our final day of Upper School classes, the message here resonates. Our students will step out of the building with great joy, bursting with the sense of accomplishment that only comes from hard work and perseverance. They walk towards a beautiful, fun-filled, and well-deserved summer break. The key is to remember the message of this week's parsha - that our commitment to mitzvot and our responsibility as bnei and bnot Torah never fade. When it comes to avodat Hashem, in the words of the great Bill Belichick - there are no days off. 
To this image of בני ישראל 's flight from the responsibility of Torah we must add the second part of the פסוק . While they run to avoid עול התורה , the ארון is on the move as well.  The כלי יקר has two ways of explaining it. Either the ארון was staying ahead of them in the same direction, or they were moving in opposite directions. If the former, then the motion of the ארון was a demonstration of great חסד on the part of הקדוש ברוך הוא . Despite the nation's efforts to flee, the ארון was still forging ahead of them, clearing the path of danger and finding a good place for them to camp. If the latter, then the people were demonstrating in no uncertain terms the true nature of their "escape from Sinai."  
In this sense there is another message of the pasuk, about not only our attitude as we leave, but also the direction in which we go when we do so. About not only what we are moving away from, but also what we are moving towards. The summer brings with it an opportunity, as we turn from Har Sinai - the stationary place where we learn the mitzvot and delve into their meaning and practice - towards the ארון , which is נוסע לפנינו - our spiritual guide when we are on the go. The ארון carries our Torah and is a symbol of our values, which guide us in our traveling times. Not only when we are engrossed in the routines of everyday life, but in the spaces in between. It is our spiritual beacon when we are in transition, when we are on break. 
But it is three days ahead of us. The protection the ארון provides, the reward offered by our adherence to its Torah, is not always in sight. In a way we are always following it, with a deep אמונה that it has us on the right path towards our ultimate goal. אמונה that as we journey through the wilderness of life, we will experience moments when we arrive at a clearing to find the ארון and its מנוחה waiting for us. 
May we all enjoy a summer in which we run not away from school, but towards the ארון - and may our אמונה and our relationship with תורה and to ' ה deepen as we keep travelling towards a destination beyond our sight and reach right now, but holding the promise לתור לנו מנוחה
- to find us a meaningful rest and break.  
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning? 
  2. Why do you think Chazal try to paint the travelling from Har Sinai in a negative light? (See Rashi of veyahi binsoah ha'aron)
  3. What will you do to "keep the Aron in sight" this summer?
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman  
וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן משֶׁה נֹסְעִים | אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר ה' אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי ה' דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses's father-in-law, We are traveling to the place about which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come with us and we will be good to you, for the Lord has spoken of good fortune for Israel.
The Rav writes that whenever he read this pasuk it brought a tear to his eye and he wanted to cry. This is due to the simplicity with which the great Moshe, the master of all wise men and the father of all prophets, spoke. He used the grammatical first person נֹסְעִים אֲנַחְנוּ, אִתָּנוּ, because Moshe was certain - there was not even a shadow of doubt in his mind - that he was going to enter the Promised Land. He was convinced that he would see the hills of Judea, climb the mount of Lebanon, and be one of the ba'ey ha'aretz.
By this point in the narrative, there was no doubt about Moshe's destiny, and for this reason the Rav would have to control his tears whenever he read this pasuk.
Course Confirmation Update
Course confirmation letters are in the mail for rising grades 10, 11 and 12. Please note that course confirmation letters for rising 9th graders will be mailed July 2. 
Physics in Action at Canobie Lake Park
This week 9th grade Computational Physics course went to Canobie Lake Park for an educational and fun-filled physics afternoon. Students watched and participated in physics presentations by Canobie staff and then experienced high linear and rotational velocities as potential energy was converted into kinetic energy via amusement park rides. The visit helped students physically experience all the concepts they've been learning all year in an entertaining format. For additional photos and videos, please check out the class album.

Trebuchet Trajectories
Mr. Dore's History class had fun trying out their trebuchets to see which apparatus had the longest toss. 

The winning trebuchet was constructed by Noam Karger and Tov Gelb (lower right photo).

Summer Clean Up!
Our facilities department would like to remind students that lockers need to be emptied by Wednesday, June 20. Please remove all items from lockers and dispose of trash in the many trash bins that are located in our classrooms and hallways. Please return any library books to the library. The school will not be responsible for any items left in lockers after June 20.

Students are also reminded to check the lost and found for any missing items. Lost and found bins are located in the 9th grade hallway, across from U12. There is also a lost and found box in the US office where items such as jewelry, phones, and other small items are gathered. Items remaining in the lost and found bins will be donated to charity at the end of June.

Donations to Cradles to Crayons
The Maimonides eighth grade is collecting items for Cradles To Crayons in honor of their Middle School Aliyah (graduation) ceremony!
They would appreciate if you could help them by donating new or gently-used items for babies and children. There will be collection boxes near the entrance of the Saval shul. The organization could use kids' clothes, games, books, and bedding.
Cradles to Crayons is especially looking for:
  • Boys Pants 4-5/7-8
  • Boys Shirts 2T-12
  • Girls Shirts 2T-12
  • Twin Blankets
  • Girls' and Boys' Sweaters
  • Girls' and Boys' Boots
Thank you!

Tribute to Nathan Katz

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
9:30-11:30am - US Final Exam Hand-Backs 

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:
Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for May is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include:
  • Alumnus Making an Impact through Jewish Divorce Resource Line
  • Undergraduate Part of a Team That "Can Change the Lives of Millions"
  • Graduate Running for Congress in the Country's Most Jewish District
  • Class Notes 
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or   mrosenberg@maimonides.org .

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