Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23) and Rivka Reich ('24)
“The princes brought the shoham stones and the filling stones for the ephod and for the choshen” (Shmot 35:27).
The Nesi’im (heads of the tribes) each donated the precious stones for the breastplate of the Kohen Gadol. Even though these stones were extremely valuable, the Nesi’im’s names were written with a letter missing to denote that their contributions were lacking something.

Rashi explains that when Moshe called for donations in the initial collection of materials for the Mishkan, the Nesi’im didn’t act properly. They said, “Let the people bring what they will, and we will fill in the rest.” They underestimated the generosity of the people, though, and it turned out that the needs of the builders and artisans were quickly met without any contribution from the Nesi’im. They immediately took it upon themselves to donate the full amount needed for the precious stones. So even though this act was very generous, their name is written in a shortened form because of their initial laziness.

Rashi’s use of the word “laziness” is surprising. What they did seems noble! Why are they being accused of laziness?
Rabbi Bentzion Shafier explains Rashi’s intention with the following parable:

One of the most magnificent diamonds ever seen is the Millennium Star. It is flawless, and weighs more than 200 carats. If you know diamonds, just seeing it takes your breath away. But that’s not how the diamond started out. It was found in a diamond mine in South Africa, and when it first came out of the ground, it was 777 carats — a rough, dirty clump. It was clear that within it was a diamond of extraordinary value, but it was a challenge to cut away the rough in a manner that would preserve the largest section of unspoiled diamond. The DeBeers company hired a team of diamond cutters headed by Nir Livnat, an Israeli-born diamond cutter. Using high-powered microscopes, the team created countless diagrams and more than one hundred computer-generated models of the stone to determine the correct cut. They labored at it for three years. Finally, they felt ready, and the procedure was scheduled. On the day of the event, the team gathered, and everyone held their breath. In just a moment, they would either be looking at the world’s most precious gem or a worthless clump of stone. Nir gave the command, and the process began. Out came a near-perfect, magnificent 200-carat diamond. And as the story is told, the gravity of the moment fully hit him, and Nir passed out.

This seems to be the key to understanding Rashi. While the Nesi’im had a rationale for what they did, they likely wouldn’t have acted as they did if they would have had a greater appreciation of the opportunity presented to them. The Nesi’im were offered a chance to be a part of history. They could have had a huge part in the building of the Mishkan, Hashem’s dwelling place on this earth! But because they didn’t fully appreciate what that meant, they said, “Whatever the congregation doesn’t give, we will give.” Their words implied, “Let others do it; we’ll sit back.” 

From here we can learn a fundamental concept about the attitude required to seize every opportunity for growth that Hashem provides us. A person must learn to move with zerizut, alacrity, to begin what he or she can, and to carry through until the end. In addition, there is a second element that will determine a person’s actions: his/her value system. Even a lazy man will push himself if the stakes are high enough. If he knows he can make a hundred million dollars in a day, he’ll find a way to get himself moving. The more he recognizes the extraordinary value of even a single mitzvah, the more he will be motivated to charge forward and accomplish what he can in the time he is given in this world.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Wasser
 The Chamber is in Session
 KYHS Students Compete in Yeshiva League Model Congress
Graphic by Rebecca Adler ('23) and Orly Dimont ('23)

This week, KYHS sent its first-ever team to the Yeshiva League Model Congress. All day on Wednesday, ten students from our debate team took part in the conference, along with peers from Jewish schools across the nation. The students acted as members of Congress, making crucial decisions over pressing issues affecting the American people.

Within the committee sessions, students engaged in fierce debates over whether to pass various bills and resolutions they had written. They were also faced with sudden crises (such as Trump taking over the state of Florida and seceding from the United States or Russians forcing Kanye West to become president) and had to think quickly on their feet to provide resolutions. These scenarios gave students the opportunity to sharpen their public speaking skills along with their ability to work with peers.

Participants were also able to meet and bond with teens from all over the country while improving their problem-solving skills, all from the comfort of their own homes. Shoutout to Emma Schenker (‘22) for placing as runner-up on the Appropriations Committee and Eilat Berger (‘22) for placing second overall.

We hope to continue to participate in this event for many years to come, and we are so proud of each of our team members who prepared long and hard for this. Thank you to our team leader and advisor Mrs. Crowther, who did an outstanding job coaching the team and judging the event!

Article by Liad Mussaffi ('22)
I Heart Biomedical Club
Biomedical Club Rolls Up Their sleeves
With Dissections
Graphic by Mikaila Shandler ('22) and Elie Loberfeld ('22)
On Wednesday March 3, the Biomedical Club got together during lunch to dissect a cow's heart. Approximately 20-25 students from all four grades gathered during their respective lunch periods to learn firsthand about the heart after studying about it.

Senior Talia Shapiro attended the junior-senior dissection. She remarked, “The highlight of the cow-heart dissection was definitely being able to see and touch the heart with my own eyes and hands. It’s so amazing to see it come to life after learning about it so I would 100% recommend this to other students who are learning about the heart.”

“The highlight of the dissection was being able to get hands on and dissect the brain on our own,” junior Rebecca Henner said. “After Mrs. Hegna described the different parts of the brain, it was exciting to take a look for ourselves by dissecting it.”

Thank you to faculty advisor Mrs. Hegna, who supervised the dissection, for organizing this program! The Biomedical Club is looking forward to more exciting experiences and invites all students to join!

Article by Carol Kornworcel ('21)
Holding the Keys to
Good Writing
 KYHS Students Win Gold and Silver Keys in the Scholastic Writing Competition

Graphic by Olivia Kahane ('23) and Chantal Newman ('22)

Every year, many of our students participate in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, which receives the best works of high school students from all across the country.

Students may submit a wide variety of writing pieces and artwork, ranging from short stories and poetry to ceramics and fashion design. Judges for each region distribute awards, and exceptional submissions eventually go on to the nationwide competition.

Regional awards include honorable mentions, Silver Keys, and Gold Keys. In 2020, over 320,000 works were submitted to the competition, and 12 of our students received awards! Ruth Abromovitz ('23), Mali Blanka ('24), Rebecca Henner ('22), Gani Hoch ('22), Avigail Levine ('22), and Levi Stein ('21) earned honorable mentions; Benjamin Cohen ('23), Dalia Leibowitz ('23), Saadya Levitt ('21), and Debbie Najman ('21) won Silver Keys; Ariella Greenberg (‘22) and Rachel Feld (‘23) received Gold Keys, which not only represents an esteemed award but also qualifies their work for national medals.

All Scholastic awards are considered highly prestigious; not only are they impressive for college applications, but they highlight these students’ amazing talent!

Article by Kira Jacoby ('22)
To the Bus!
The Sports Club Goes on a Field Trip
Graphic by Abby Rosenthal ('23) and Leeanne-Mizrachi-Mann ('23)

This past week, Judah Frohlich sat down with the faculty advisor of the Sports Card Investing club, Rabbi Wolk.

Judah: What does one do in the Sports Card Investing club and what days does the club meet?

Rabbi Wolk: We meet on Thursdays during lunch. In the meetings, we discuss general trends in the sports club investing market and specific players whose cards are increasing or decreasing at the time.

Judah: What gave you the idea to start the club?

Rabbi Wolk: I personally have a childhood card collection and, over COVID, I started selling them on eBay and reading more about the reinvigoration of the hobby. During this year, it came up in conversation with a bunch of students and one suggested we should start a club.

Judah: Has the club gone on any field trips? 

Rabbi Wolk: Last week, we went to Boca Sports Cards, which is a few miles down 441, and we spoke to the owner, a Jewish man named David Davidov. He gave us insight into investing and the intricacies of owning a shop. Then we perused and some students bought cards.

Judah: Which grades participate in the club?

Rabbi Wolk: Right now, there are only eleventh-grade boys in the club, but it is open to everyone and we invite girls to join as well.

Article by Judah Frohlich ('23)
 Sports Teams Start
to Scrimmage
As Covid Winds Down, Sports Ramp Up
Video by Binny Ciment ('24) and David Barrocas ('22)

For nearly the entire school year, the KYHS sports teams haven’t been able to practice man-on-man exercises. Instead, they did drills to improve their techniques and skills.

Sophomore Zohara Lam, a member of the soccer team, explained that “although we had some limitations, we were still able to practice effectively” in reference to her experiences on the varsity team this past year.

Now, the KYHS soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis teams are moving into Phase 3 of Covid guidelines, meaning that they will be able to practice sports without masks as long as each student athlete is tested for Covid twice a week. Students will be able to have intrasquad scrimmages and play games against their teammates, though not yet compete with other school’s teams.

Shifting to Phase 3 will allow the players to put the skills they have honed during drills into play, which Zohara notes, “really helps build the team dynamic.”

All of our sports team members are very excited to be able to play again, especially because they haven’t had normal practice or games in a year due to the pandemic. As Zohara put it, “it was a long wait to get to this point and I’m glad that all the phases were successful.”

Article by Hannah Shapiro ('23)
Saphira's Solutions
Saphira Helps You Stay Connected in More Ways Than You Can Count
Dear Saphira’s Solutions,

I am home for Pesach and am so upset. I don’t want a repeat of last year: being stuck in the house, bored, and bothering my family. What should I do?

Pesach Pessimist 

Dear Pesach Pessimist,

While many of us are home this year just like last year, the circumstances are extremely different. Unlike last year, we can now go to shul! This year, we can also hang out with friends as long as we stay socially distant and wear masks, and maybe we can even have meals with other families outside. On Chol Hamoed, there are a million and one fun things to do in Florida! You can go to the beach, take a day trip with friends to Busch Gardens or Rapids, rent a boat, go on a nature walk, and so much more. Plus, living in South Florida with so many kosher restaurants, we have great access to kosher l’Pesach food like at Aroma Kosher Catering (#ad). When it comes to meal prep, make sure to help your parents because they will definitely be stressed. Maybe look up a fun Pesach dessert recipe to make as an activity with your siblings. Remember, being home for Pesach doesn’t limit you; it just gives you access to different Pesach experiences. Hope this helps!

Article by Saphira Samuels ('21)
Highlites Staff