Upper School Weekly Update

November 10th, 2017  -  Chayeh Sara
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Visit from Rabbi Leibtag
Subject Spotlight
Alumni Newsletter
Lady M-Cat
Basketball Tournament
Mazel Tov!
Division Newsletters
Social Media
Next Week
In Two Weeks
Sun., Nov. 19
Noon-7:00 pm
Parent Teacher Conferences

Mon., Nov. 20
Yeshiva Visit: 1st period, Yeshivat Orayta, 4th period, Shaalvim (all senior attend)

Israel Program Visit: Bar Ilan (all interested seniors attend)
Yeshiva Visit: 1st period, Mechinat Keshet (all senior boys attend)
T ues., Nov. 21
Seminary Visit: 1st period, Midreshet Emunah V'Omanut (all senior girls attend)
Wed., Nov. 22
Noon dismissal
Special Schedule
Thu., Nov. 23 
School Closed
Fri., Nov. 24

Having a

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D'var Torah

by Rabbi David Saltzman

In this week's parsha, Eliezer is charged to find a wife for Yitzchak. He is told to find someone who embodies the character traits and philosophies of the first monotheistic family. Along the way, Eliezer davens to G-d for assistance in his mission. Almost immediately upon completion of his prayer, Rivka meets him at the well, and Eliezer is amazed at her acts of kindness and compassion. He knows his tefillah was answered! After he gives her some jewelry, she invites him to stay the night and meet her family. Before he journeys to her home, the Torah says that Eliezer:
וַיִּקֹּ֣ד הָאִ֔ישׁ וַיִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ לַֽה'׃
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר בָּר֤וּךְ ה' אֱלֹקי֙ אֲדֹנִ֣י אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲ֠שֶׁר לֹֽא־עָזַ֥ב חַסְדּ֛וֹ וַאֲמִתּ֖וֹ מֵעִ֣ם אֲדֹנִ֑י אָנֹכִ֗י בַּדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ נָחַ֣נִי ה' בֵּ֖ית אֲחֵ֥י אֲדֹנִֽי׃
The man bowed low in homage to the L-rd
and said, "Blessed be the L-rd, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His steadfast faithfulness from my master. For I have been guided on my errand by the L-rd, to the house of my master's kinsmen."
As we would expect, Eliezer recognizes the great benefit that Hashem just performed on his behalf, and even before leaving, he bows and gives thanks to Hashem. Eliezer thanked G-d and expressed hakarat hatov in the moment and while the event was still unfolding. As the Radak explains:
קידה על אפים השתחויה זו פישוט ידים ורגלים. והודה לא-ל שהצליח דרכו:
The bowing and thanking was to express his gratitude to G-d for having heard his prayer.
One lesson from this episode is not to miss an opportunity to give hakarat hatov, especially when you have the strongest feelings of appreciation. Saying a bracha when you eat, or saying thanks to someone immediately after they performed a favor for you, would emulate this trait of Eliezer.  
Secondly, at Rivka's home, Eliezer recounts the story to her family and recalls many of the salient details regarding how he knew Rivka was the right choice. It is interesting to note that when reviewing the story with Rivka's parents and brother, Eliezer also mentions that:
וָאֶקֹּ֥ד וָֽאֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֖ה לַה' וָאֲבָרֵ֗ךְ אֶת־ה' אֱלֹקי֙ אֲדֹנִ֣י אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִנְחַ֙נִי֙ בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ אֱמֶ֔ת לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־בַּת־אֲחִ֥י אֲדֹנִ֖י לִבְנֽוֹ׃
Then I bowed low in homage to the L-rd and blessed the L-rd, the G-d of my master Abraham, who led me on the right way to get the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
In addition to all the details of the encounter between himself and Rivka, Eliezer also recounts how he gave immediate thanks to Hashem. Eliezer, realizing this was an important element of his success, made sure to spread the important message of hakarat hatov as well.

Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi Dov Huff 
There are three purchases we made of land in Eretz Yisrael
Avraham purchases Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron from Ephron in this week's parsha.
Yaakov Avinu purchases a plot of land in Shechem from the sons of Chamor.
David Hamelech purchases Har Habayit from Aravna HaYevusi.
The Rav points out that these three purchases correspond to the three crowns given to Am Yisrael - Keter Torah, Keter Kehuna, and Keter Malchus - the Crowns of Torah, Priesthood, and Kingship.
The purchase of Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron is connected to Malchus (Kingship), since it is the place where the reign of David Hamelech began.
The purchase of land in Shechem is connected to Torah, because in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu, we carved the words of the Torah into Har G'rizim, reminiscent of Matan Torah.
And finally, the purchase of Har Habayit is connected to the Kehuna (Priesthood), which expressed itself through the service in the Beit Hamikdash, situated on that holy site.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thank you to everyone who joined us at conferences on Thursday and Friday!
Fall Parent- Teacher Conferences will continue: 
  • Sunday, November 19: Grades K-12 from 12:00 - 7:00 p.m., ECC from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The conference hours can also be viewed at http://www.maimonides.org/PTC 

Visit from Rabbi Leibtag
Rabbi Menachem Leibtag,  an internationally acclaimed Torah scholar and pioneer of Jewish education on the Internet , visited Maimonides this week as a guest lecturer in our Chumash and Navi classes.
In Israel, Rabbi Leibtag teaches at Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshivat Shaalavim, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Yeshiva University's Gruss Center. He also routinely lectures around the globe, primarily as a Scholar in Residence at communities in North America, and is a regular guest lecturer for students at universities such as Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Penn, and Brandeis.
Weekly Spotlight - English, Chemistry, and Physics
The Science of Writing and the Writing of Science
Writing an English essay and writing a good lab report rely on vastly different, unrelated skills. Right?

Wrong. Maimonides students will know better than to believe that whopper starting this month, when Chemistry and Physics students in grades 10 and 11 will engage in a new interdisciplinary workshop.  

By taking a fresh look at how the analytical skills used in an English essay can be applied to science writing, these students - led by Ms. Lora Gibbens (English), Dr. Megan Hamilton (English), and Dr. Jennifer Gordon (Science) - will become better editors of their work in both disciplines, and will make connections between an English student's use of an introduction, thesis, and textual evidence and a science student's use of a hypothesis, purpose statement, and presentation of evidence.

"Students who attend this Writing Lab Workshop will come away understanding the writing essentials that cross departmental boundaries, the things that both English teachers and science teachers look for in student papers," says Dr. Gordon. "They will walk away feeling more confident about their ability to write science reports - because they will have experienced first-hand how to apply their familiarity with the analytical essay to their lab-report writing," added Dr. Hamilton.
Our 5th Yom Chesed - Still Making a Difference!

Students, parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty and staff gathered to work together on meaningful chesed projects on campus, around town, and in Israel during our 5th Yom Chesed on Sunday.
The  morning began with davening followed by a welcome by Head of School Naty Katz and a thoughtful d'var Torah by Eliana Diamond '21.  Yom Chesed co-chairs Stef Mishkin and Alissa Muzin then recognized the volunteers, sponsors, and participants who contributed to make this day so special. Following breakfast, participants headed to locations throughout the school and the community to work on a wide range of projects.
Our 17 projects helped the following organizations and groups: Alex's Lemonade Stand; Brookline Parks; Brookline Police, Fire, and Neighbors; Center Communities; Children's Hospital; Friends of IDF; Gift of Life; Gittel's Kitchen; Heading Home; Hebrew SeniorLife; Hope Time Cure; Jewish Family and Children's Service/Chai Works; Lone Soldier Center; Ohr Shabbat; Pantry Packers (in Israel); ROFEH; and Yachad.
Our Yom Chesed video conveys the excitement of this special day.
Many thanks go to all of our volunteers and sponsors, who helped to make this Yom Chesed so special!

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.

Lady M-Cats Star Returning to Boston
One of Maimonides School's most celebrated student-athletes will compete with her collegiate teammates in Boston on
Motza'ei Shabbat, November 18.
Michal Alge '14 and the Yeshiva University Lady Macs will help open the Emmanuel College Tip-Off Classic with a match against the host school. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Jean Yawkey Center on the Emmanuel campus, 400 The Fenway. (Shabbat ends at 5:05 p.m.)  There will be a special presentation by Maimonides to Michal at halftime.
Tickets are $5 each and may be reserved by writing mike@maimonides.org or calling (617) 232-4452, ext. 405. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Maimonides athletics. There will also be a game on Sunday afternoon, November 19.
Last season Michal led the Lady Macs in scoring (almost 25 points per game), rebounding (13), and minutes played, and was tied for steals. She is still part of the Maimonides School landscape as director of the M-Cat Sports Camp each June and July.
Invitational Basketball Tournament
Save the dates! The annual Maimonides School Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memory of Leland Gelman is scheduled for Thursday - Sunday, December 7-10. Visiting teams will be from Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School (boys and girls), Joel Braverman High School of Yeshivah of Flatbush (boys and girls), Atlanta Jewish Academy (boys) and Melvin Berman Hebrew Academy (girls). Contact Ahron Solomont ( asolomont@aol.com) for information on serving as a tournament volunteer.
Mazel Tov!
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to info@maimonides.org.
See What's Happening in other Divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School! 

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newsletters, please click here 
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