Upper School Weekly Update

October 20th, 2017  -  Noach
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Rosh Chodesh
Upcoming Events
Mazel Tov!
Directory Online
Social Media
Division Newsletters
Next Week
In Two Weeks
Sun., Oct. 29
ACT Tests
Volleyball @ Cristo Rey (TBD)
Mon., Oct. 30
Girls' Soccer @ Pope John (3:45)
Boys' Soccer vs. Innovation Charter (6:15)
Tues., Oct. 24 
3:00 Dismissal, Special Schedule
Seminary Visit: 1st period, Midreshet Torat Chesed (all senior girls attend)
Wed., Nov. 1
Regular Schedule 
Thurs., Nov. 2
Regular Schedule 
Fri., Nov. 3
Seminary Visit: 1st period, Tiferet (all senior girls attend)
10th Grade Boys' Shabbaton

Having a

Find Maimonides On:
Quick Links
D'var Torah

by Rabbi Dov Huff

The common understanding of the sin of the generation of migdal Bavel was that they were trying to build a tower to heaven to wage war with Hashem. But if we look more closely at the text, we see that they wanted to build "a city, and a tower... to make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered all over the world." They were actually trying to hold their community together. They were building a tower to protect them from outside influences and to preserve and maintain the integrity of their society. Why is this so bad? Why does Hashem mix their languages and scatter them?
Rav Menachem Leibtag, who will be visiting our school on November 8th to give classes to our Upper Schoolers, gives us an answer to our question. He focuses on the use of the phrase "naaseh lanu shem" - to make for ourselves a name. They were trying to forge and maintain an identity by insulating themselves in their tight-knit community. Rav Leibtag contrasts this with Avraham Avinu, who "called in the name of Hashem." Avraham Avinu traveled near and far trying to spread monotheism and unite mankind in their worship of Hashem. 
What we see are two types of unity. In the first, we build barriers to keep people out, and in the second, we tear them down to bring people together. The first type is a selfish, exclusive unity - a clique - and the second is selfless and inclusive. The second type reaches out, uniting people around common beliefs and ethics. While migdal Bavel was trying to unify through contraction, Avraham Avinu was trying to unify through expansion. And for this reason, Hashem punishes migdal Bavel by mixing their languages and spreading them out - to show them that unity is more than shared language and geographic location, and that the mission of mankind is to call out to others in the name of Hashem. 
This is also what next week's international Shabbos Project is all about: Breaking down the barriers which separate us from our fellow Jews. We need to peek out of our insular communities and be korei be'shem Hashem as Am Yisrael in its entirety to keep it all together.
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi David Saltzman
Rabbi Soloveitchik writes that a major transformation in human beings occurred after the flood. He tells us that the Zohar states that Noach was partially to blame for the flood, because he did not daven for the people of his generation to be saved from the oncoming storm. Noach held that the generation was so entrenched in sin that they could never be removed from it. The pasuk describing man before the flood seems to validate Noach's thinking. When G-d decided to bring the flood, the pasuk states:
וַיַּרְא ה' כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וְכָל יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ רַק רַע כָּל הַיּוֹם:
And the Lord saw that the evil of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of his heart was only evil all the time.
The Rav explains that the words מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ רַק רַע mean that all of man's thoughts and instincts were rak ra - only evil. Before the flood, a person could become totally, irretrievably impure.
After the flood, however, G-d said about the people:
כִּי יֵצֶר לֵב הָאָדָם רַע מִנְּעֻרָיו
for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth
The Rav points out that the word רַק was removed. The Torah is teaching us that since the Mabul, from now on, man always has a chance to repent. There is always something good remaining in man, and the gates of repentance are never closed.

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan Celebration
Upper School students and faculty celebrated Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan with beautiful singing, dancing, and a special breakfast. In addition, the senior class danced and sang their way through both the Saval and Brener buildings, adding to the joy of the day.

Three Upcoming Events 

Thursday evening, November 2 - An Evening in Memory of Rabbi Reuven Cohn z"l
Sunday morning, November 5 - Yom Chesed
Sunday evening, November 5 - Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration
An Evening in Memory of Rabbi Reuven Cohn z"l
Please join us for an evening of learning, tribute, and appreciation in memory of our beloved teacher Rabbi Reuven Zvi Cohn z"l on Thursday, November 2 at 6:45 p.m. at Saval Campus, 34 Philbrick Road.
Sign up to learn mishnah in Rabbi Cohn's memory at http://hadranalach.com/419
Don't Wait - Register NOW for Yom Chesed!
Registration for Yom Chesed is going strong, and we're looking forward to seeing so many of you on Sunday, November 5! Though many projects are nearing capacity, there is still availability, and we welcome your involvement! 
This schoolwide community service initiative is in its 5th year and is fun for everyone, including students, parents, faculty, grandparents, alumni, and parents of alumni.
In addition to the many hands-on projects that take place in our school buildings and throughout the community, our Saval Auditorium will host two organizations that focus on medical needs. Gift of Life, a  bone marrow and blood stem cell registry, will be on hand to register new donors, and the Hope Time Cure Epilepsy Foundation will be here to share information about its mission to promote epilepsy awareness and provide support to individuals with epilepsy and their families.
Our Yom Chesed web page has a complete list of projects as well as an online registration form. Please don't wait to sign up - together we CAN make a difference!
Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration
Maimonides School's annual commemoration of the Kristallnacht pogrom is scheduled for Sunday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. (ma'ariv at 7:15).
The speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Skolnik, assistant professor of German and adjunct assistant professor of history and Judaic and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Maimonides began this lecture more than 20 years ago, when Rabbi Isaiah Wohlgemuth, זצ"ל , described his personal experiences on Kristallnacht - the night of Nov. 9, 1938. Rabbi Wohlgemuth, who joined the Maimonides faculty in 1945, was then a young rabbi in the town of Kitzingen, where a mob attacked his shul. Rabbi Wohlgemuth subsequently was detained at Dachau for several months.
Reservations are not required but would be appreciated (mike@maimonides.org, 617-232-4452 x 405).

Mazel Tov!
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to info@maimonides.org.
Invitational Basketball Tournament
Save the dates! The annual Maimonides 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.
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.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
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 the other divisions'
newsletters, please click here 
for the Elementary and Middle Schools, or click here for the Early Childhood Center.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails: