Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

בראשית ברא אלוקים את השמים ואת הארץ

Let’s start with a simple question: what is shamayim and what is aretz? The answer can’t be “heaven” and “earth”, because those have yet to be created and the Torah is certainly giving a sequence to creation. The Ramban, in his commentary to Chumash, explains that the first step of creation is ex-nihilo, the formation of something from nothing, and the rest of creation is shaping and molding and developing. Still, that only begins to answer our question because we still have to explain the terms shamayim and aretz. If the first act of creation is “yesh ma’ayin”, doesn’t that need only a one word description? The Ramban elaborates on his commentary to the 8th pasuk of the first perek.

The shamayim is the spiritual realm, which has no physical properties. The Torah itself doesn’t elaborate on any of the spiritual entities contained within this realm, but Hashem’s first act of creation created the primordial “material” which these entities are fashioned from.  

Aretz is anything physical in this world, including our planet, the moon, and all the celestial bodies. The subsequent pesukim that give any description of creation are only describing the physical entities. Contrary to conventional thinking, the sun, moon, and stars are part of aretz and not shamayim.

Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, in his work Emes L’Yaakov, describes that he couldn’t help but think about the correctness of this Ramban when man landed on the moon in 1969 (in contrast to the Rambam’s understanding, see the 3rd chapter of Rambam, Hil. Yesodei Hatorah).  

What a fantastic way to look at the world -- where current events are viewed through the lens of the Torah!

I wonder why it's necessary for the Torah to make mention of this spiritual creation when the Torah doesn’t elaborate on any of its details, yet it makes up half of the creation?

Man, of course, is the pinnacle of creation, the goal and purpose of the creation of our universe. Man is also a microcosm of creation. In light of the Ramban, the Torah emphasizes that man is a composite of physical and spiritual, and although the only empirical aspects of man are his physical make-up, there exists a spiritual component (see the first chapter of Ramchal’s Dereh Hashem for more on this topic). As we leave the period of the Yamim Tovim and head into a few months of uninterrupted study of Torah, let’s tend to the spiritual aspects of our lives: an emphasis on learning Torah, davening with intent, and refining our character to nurture our ruchniyut, which is the blueprint of creation.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Sugerman
KYHS World Class Clubs Are Back and Better Than Ever
Virtual Club Fair Enables Students to Pick Their Favorite Clubs!
Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23)

Clubs are up and running for the 2020-2021 school year! With so many exciting clubs to join, it's difficult to choose which one to attend first! Due to the current situation, most clubs are running virtually on Zoom, and meetings take place during lunch or after school. Additionally, now that upper- and lower-classmen don’t share the same lunch period, all clubs have multiple presidents to lead meetings during different time slots. This is especially exciting for lower-classmen because they now have the opportunity to lead clubs for their grades! 

Storm for Israel, Harry Potter Society, Mahjong, Biomedical Club, No-Bake Dessert Club, and Health and Fitness Club are just a small fraction of the clubs KYHS has to offer. “Storm for Israel gave me the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests,” says Hila Blanka (‘23).

Jamie Berger, a current sophomore, remarked, “Mahjong Club provided me with healthy competition while giving me something to bond over with my Grandma,” in regards to her favorite club. Even if you haven’t signed up yet for clubs, it is never too late to join! 

Article by Zohara Lam ('23)
Freshmen Voted, Did You?
Class of 2024 Elected Fellow Classmates, Aaron Newman and Nava Shekhter
Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24) and Rebecca Adler ('23)
This year, two girls and two boys ran for freshman class president: Nava Shekhter, Lia Sedaghati, Gabe Stern, and Aaron Newman. Nava did not make any immediate promises about what she would do as class president, insisting on listening to her peers’ ideas and trying to fulfill them. Gabe promised he would organize activities to keep the freshman class interested and bonded, and Lia expressed similar ideas and goals. Lia assured her peers she would make school events a priority, noting that, “especially this year, we are all worried we will miss out on the fun parts of school.” Meanwhile, Aaron explained how his responsibility, organization, dedication, and school spirit make him a perfect fit for class president.

All four candidates gave great speeches! In the end, Nava Shekhter won for the girls and Aaron Newman won for the boys. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for this year!
Article by Aryeh Scharf ('24)
V'samachta B'chagecha!
KYHS Students' Z'man Simchateinu
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)
Last week, students and faculty enjoyed a break from school and work as they celebrated Sukkot. My family did our best to decorate a welcoming, beautiful Sukkah, which we would use often regardless of the frequent rain. 

This year, Sukkahs served an additional purpose: they were often the settings of outside, COVID-safe gatherings with friends and family. For example, Ashira Meyerowitz (‘21) used her Sukkah to “get together with her friends in a socially distanced way.” Mrs. Kimche and one of her senior Navi classes even had a socially distanced, outdoor gathering last week, where they played games, talked, and bonded. 

While students surely valued the downtime, seniors also had to worry about the rapidly-approaching college application deadlines. Ashira, for example, completed some of her applications during Chol HaMoed, making effective use of her holiday. 

Now that Sukkot has come to end, all students resumed school over Zoom this week to keep the potential post-vacation spread of COVID to a minimum. We are all looking forward to coming back to the building next week!

Article by Alex Lurie ('21)
New Self Love Podcast Leaves Students and Faculty Kvelling and Shepping Nachas
Molly Seghi ('22) Gives Highlites the Inside Scoop On Her Podcast, "Love Yourself Without Likes"
Graphic by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)
Eilat: What is your podcast called and what is the meaning behind it? 

Molly: My podcast is called “Love Yourself Without Likes.” While I was brainstorming ideas for the podcast, my good friend Rebecca Henner suggested this name and I absolutely loved it. The name “Love Yourself Without Likes” captures the purpose behind what I’m trying to achieve through my podcast: helping teenagers and other social media users find the right balance between using social media and maintaining their mental health and not letting social media and society’s standards affect the way they feel about themselves. 
Eilat: What inspired you to start this podcast? 
Molly: I have always disliked what social media stands for and who it made me become. I realized that I needed to channel my feelings somewhere. Originally, I wanted to create something that I could include in my AP Art portfolio, but I decided that this issue is so much bigger than me and my portfolio. I told myself I should try to help other people with the same feelings and let them know they aren’t alone. I explain this question better in my first episode: What is your personal experience with social media?
Eilat: What would you say is your main goal? 
Molly: The main goal of my podcast is to educate and empathize with people who can’t seem to “break up” with social media. I discuss this idea with guest speakers, my friends, and by sharing personal stories. I want to bring awareness about how social media has affected society’s standards and, more directly, us, and what we can do about it to combat the negativity. 
Eilat: Why, in your opinion, should people listen to “Love Yourself Without Likes”? 
Molly: People should listen to “Love Yourself Without Likes” because everyone should be aware of what is going on in the world around us and the downsides of technology. Some of my guests have been my peers, both boys and girls, so it’s relatable to all teenagers. Also, the upcoming episodes I have planned are really interesting, so stay tuned!
Eilat: What have you learned so far from starting this podcast? 
Molly: All the positive feedback I’ve been getting has shown me that I’m not alone. It makes me hopeful that with enough people behind the cause of combating social media’s negative effects on society, we can make a difference.  
Eilat: What do you hope to accomplish for yourself and others with this project?
Molly: I hope to make a change. Even if that change is helping one person delete one app, take some extra time to reflect, or even feel that they have power over their life, I will feel like I have made a difference. I hope that once I’m able to do this, the positivity spreads so other people can make a difference too.

Article By Eilat Berger ('22)
KYHS Kahoot Competition Comes With Crazy Cool Prices
KOSL Nafsheinu Initiative Continues to be a Fun Way for All Grades to Connect
Graphic by Abby Rosenthal ('23)
Even though the coronavirus doesn’t allow for close contact games like we’ve had in the past, the KOSL has done a great job making creative and fun games for our student body.

Before break, the KOSL hosted a Sukkot-related Kahoot, dubbed Sukkahoot, open to all grades as a Nafshenu competition. Several difficult questions made the competition close, but eventually, Yoni Greenblatt (’21) was declared the winner.

Approximately forty students competed, a majority of whom were seniors. Not only were the twelfth graders awarded a Nafshenu point for their success, but Yoni also received some storm swag. He expressed his gratitude for his win, thanking the KOSL for “putting on a great program during these troubling times,” and “doing a great job of keeping the student body together” even when we are physically apart. We are looking forward to future KOSL-led Nafshenu competitions so we can have fun and win points for our grades!

Article By Judah Frohlich ('23)
Highlites Staff