Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)
In the parsha we read this coming Shabbat, we learn that the kohanim have to be trained to note the difference between one white hair and two white hairs in order to distinguish between those who have tzara’at and those who don't. As Rav Binny Freedman writes, one could get lost in the contemplation of one's own arm hairs in wonderment over the spiritual nature of this world. Still, people need to take out the garbage, else this would be a stinky place in which to live, and just so much arm hair contemplation can take place. Finding the balance between perceiving Hashem's provenance contemplatively and engaging in the mundane of the world is a lifelong balancing act that sometimes requires kohanim and rabbis to help the rest of us when we need a moment to reset. 
 
Rav Judah Mischel of Camp HASC visited school this week and served as exactly that kind of spiritual reset. See the article that details the many, many presentations he provided to the students (and the staff) during this week. 
 
A week ago on Saturday night, Rabbi Stohl, Rabbi Lanner, and Dr. Wolf hosted incoming 8th grade boys in an evening of Torah, STEM, and basketball. Although the Hollywood guys had an interesting bus adventure, the pizza was great and we all learned a bit more about just how normal the Torah wants us to be. 
 
Yeshiva University hosted the annual Sarachek boys varsity basketball tournament over the past weekend. Our guys posted a win in the Sunday game, and even if it was our only win of the weekend, the shabbaton, the trips to Washington Heights and to Teaneck (from Princeton, NJ!!), and Mendy's Most Memorable Femur Award made the weekend an unforgettable experience. 
 
When I first moved to Florida, Hurricane Dorian threatened the peninsula until Hashem heard our prayers and the storm took a sharp turn and headed up the coast, leaving us unscathed. New Orleans has been a community not nearly as fortunate, and as a result, under the auspices of NCSY, a hard-working group of KYHS students went to the Down Easy for anything but easy cleanup of destroyed homes. See the piece about their sledgehammers and debris removal skills.
 
While we do not have an article about Ukraine in this edition, the war is still very much on my mind and I encourage our students (and parents) to continue to be aware of a battle between freedom and authoritarianism that is taking place far from our shores. Seeing blue and yellow colors adorning soldiers' coffins should remind us that freedom comes at a cost, and we extend our thanks to those who serve to ensure our freedoms and our peaceful way of life. 


Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Levitt
Varsity Basketball
Storms Sarachek
Boys Basketball Takes on 23 Other Teams
at the YU Sarachek Tournament
Graphic by Shoshana Weinstock ('24)

Over the weekend the KYHS boys varsity basketball team, along with head and assistant coaches Eli ('08) and Gabey Baratz ('13), traveled to New York City to partake in the Annual Red Sarachek Tournament hosted by Yeshiva University. The boys arrived Wednesday evening and stayed in Princeton, New Jersey along with many other teams from various schools from around the country. Throughout the tournament they played multiple games at YU, TABC, and SAR against schools from Philadelphia, Flatbush, the Five Towns, and Houston with loud and crowded fan sections filled with KYHS seniors who came to cheer on their peers.

The team experienced a fulfilling and uplifting Shabbat hearing from meaningful speakers like Rabbi Green and YU Macs head coach, Elliot Steinmetz, and enjoyed down time to socialize and get to know the other boys. After a tough loss on Saturday night, the KYHS athletes and their coaches enjoyed a nice dinner and got to bond as a team. Sunday, spirits were high as the team won their first game against Beren Academy.

After a final game Monday at SAR and a little reunion with former head of school Rabbi Jon Kroll, the boys packed up and headed home. Zak Stern ('22) said, “It was so great to meet so many people and even though we lost most of our games, the experience was amazing and we all had a blast!” We are so proud of our talented team and happy to have them home!  


Article by Eilat Berger ('22)
The Ikkar is the Vibes
Students Hear Inspirational Words from
Rav Judah Mischel
Graphic by Eitan Kaminetzky ('25)
On Wednesday and Thursday, all KYHS students had the zechut of hearing from Rav Judah Mischel, who came all the way from Eretz Yisrael to speak to our students! Rav Judah, the director of Camp HASC and author of his new book Baderech, spoke about the power of tefillah. He explained that according to Rav Kook, not only should one have davening in mind while praying, but also throughout the whole day. To further his point, he added that your soul should be in a constant state of prayer. Davening may start at Shacharit and end with Maariv, but we can make it last past that.

Rav Judah quoted Rav Nachman of Breslov, who writes that all worries are opportunities for tefillah and we shouldn’t just wait for the siddur to daven. Everyone can interpret davening in their own meaningful way and it’s important to utilize that skill. To conclude the shiur, Rav Judah gave us all different pictures to interpret. He then helped us transition our mindset from wanting change to praying to God for the change we wanted.

Overall it was an amazing shiur and we were so lucky to have experienced it! Denise Mann ('22) expressed that, “hearing from Rav Judah was very inspiring and I learned that talking about tefillah is way easier than doing it. He helped me change my mindset to take every event and turn it into!”

Avigayil Frisch ('22) added, “he’s the best!”

His book Baderech is an inspiring book on the concept of teshuva, and I recommend everyone read it as well.


Article by Lizi Bugay ('22)
Can We Fix it? KYHS Can!
KYHS Teams Up with NCSY on a Chesed Mission to New Orleans
Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

Starting on a Thursday morning, bright and early, thirteen KYHS students embarked on a chesed mission to New Orleans to help rebuild a woman’s house. Her home was damaged by hurricane Dorian and needed to be completely fixed. The organizations IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) and Nechama helped make this chesed trip possible and representatives of those two organizations were with the volunteers along the way.

The students were only expected to gut a few rooms in the time they were given, but because of their amazing teamwork they were able to gut the entire house. “This trip debunked the idea that I had in my head that Jews only help Jews and showed me the value of helping no matter what religion they are a part of,” said Judah Frohlich (‘23).

During this day the volunteers made sure to spread not only physical labor but labor of love and cheer as they worked. They danced and spread positivity, making the work enjoyable for everyone. Students had the privilege of davening at Anshei Sfard, a shul that was built in 1926. Judah Frohlich ('23) was able to find familiar artifacts there from his mother's side of the family, the Dulitz family, who were the founders of the shul.

On Friday the students went across the city’s river on a ferry and planted approximately fifty trees. They then went to Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter, where they were served delicious beignets. Saturday night, after a beautiful Shabbat, the students went on a horse and buggy tour of the French Quarter, where they visited gift shops and saw the beautiful architecture. Sunday was their last day and the students fit in as much chesed as they could, taking down and moving trees that had fallen during the hurricane.

The trip was incredibly inspiring and all the student volunteers felt they made a true impact. They were able to immerse themselves in the Jewish history of New Orleans and help those who had been devastated by the hurricanes. 


Article by Kira Jacoby ('22)
Mighty Mini-Masmidim
8th Grade Boys Join KYHS Masmidim and Rabbis to Enjoy a Night of Food, Sports, Stem, and Learning!
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

This past Motzei Shabbat, eleventh and twelfth grade Masmidim Ambassadors welcomed eighth grade Junior Masmidim boys for a fun and inspiring evening with the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Levitt, Masmidim rebbe Rabbi Stohl, and Assistant Principal for General Studies and 10th grade rebbe, Rabbi Lanner.

The boys enjoyed pizza and engaged in a short and sweet chabura learning program alongside their Masmidim Ambassadors that featured the Rambam’s famous piece on the necessity of being normal. After the chaburas, the attendees were treated to a fiery and inspiring shiur from our beloved Masmidim Rebbe, Rabbi Stohl, before heading out to the basketball courts to play ball and then to the STEM lab to do, well, STEM things.

Small games took place throughout the gymnasium while eighth, eleventh, and twelfth graders had the opportunity to display their talents. Among the most notable athletes were Meir Lanner (‘23), Elyada Shabtai (‘23), Jacob “Sharpshooter” Freedman (‘22), and of course, star varsity athlete, Rabbi Stohl.

After an incredible evening of eating, schmoozing, learning, and playing ball, all the boys were exhausted, full of pizza, and full of Torah. One Junior Masmid excitedly shared that “[he] like[s] pizza and basketball, but what [he] most like[s] about the Junior Masmidim program is the learning.” We are so happy to have shared a piece of Masmidim with the Junior Masmidim once again and hope to see them soon! 


Article by Eitan Pitch ('22)
Heard in the Halls by Jamie Berger ('23)
 Quote Jamie Berger, She May
Quote You Back
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

“There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Being alone means having nobody, whereas being lonely is a feeling. People might feel lonely, but no one is alone,” said Dassie Mergui (‘23).

The amount of times that I have heard people complaining in the hallways or crying in the bathroom about not having any friends is heartbreaking. So many people feel so alone and it is truly a problem. The reality is, however, that they are not alone.

It sounds way easier than it actually is, but everyone should realize this truth. Maybe you are in a fight with your best friends right now, maybe no one is checking up on you when you are obviously sad, maybe you have no one to sit with at lunch; however, these situations don't mean that nobody cares. There are always other perspectives that are often overlooked when a person is feeling emotional. Maybe the friend you are in a fight with really misses you and wants to make up, or maybe the friend that wasn’t checking up on you when you were sad was having an even worse day and you didn't notice.

There are always people who care about you and who are thinking about you. Sometimes they just don't know how to approach you. There are so many people in this school and in this world who care about you and it is so essential that you realize that. Feeling lonely is, of course, valid because everyone feels that way sometimes. Even the person who you think has a perfect life and is always super happy feels lonely sometimes. Ultimately no one is alone, and just like Dassie said, you just have to open up your heart to allow those people who care about you in.


Article by Jamie Berger ('23)
Highlites Staff