Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
The Talmud is replete with the idea that one of the root causes of tzara’at is the speaking of lashon hara. The Gemara Erchin (16A) contains one of the prime examples:

״אמר שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר׳ יוחנן על שבעה דברים נגעים באין על לשון הרע ועל שפיכות דמים ועל שבועת שוא ועל גילוי עריות ועל גסות הרוח ועל הגזל ועל צרות העין.״

“Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Leprous marks come and afflict a
person for seven sinful matters: For malicious speech, for bloodshed, for an oath taken in vain,
for forbidden sexual relations, for arrogance, for theft, and for stinginess.”

The Rambam (Hilchot Deot 7) makes a very interesting comment regarding speaking lashon hara
that is somewhat counterintuitive:

"ועוד אמרו חכמים שלשה לשון הרע הורגת, האומרו והמקבלו וזה שאומרין עליו, והמקבלו יתר מן האומרו"

“Our Rabbis teach us that lashon hara kills three people: the one who says it, the one who
accepts it, and the one who is spoken about. And the one who accepts it is more severe than the
one who speaks it.”

Although the source of this statement is not clear cut, the Rambam clearly had this as part of his mesorah. The question is obvious. Why should this be so? Without this Rambam, left to
my own thought process, I would have first argued that both participants are complicit in this distasteful behavior and we don’t have to gauge which one of them is worse. And even if we had to pick a side, I would have argued that speaking lashon hara is worse than listening, as speaking is active while listening is merely passive. Throughout the gemara we find that aveirot that require action are more problematic than aveirot that are accomplished passively. What is the rationale of this comment of the Rambam?

Allow me to don my psychology hat for a moment to attempt to understand. Early psychologists
present what we call defense mechanisms, strategies that we employ in order to protect our very delicate egos. One of these strategies is called projection. Any inadequacy that exists within us, we find and point out in others. Unbeknownst to those early psychologists, the Gemara Kiddushin
already introduced us to this idea: “כל הפוסל, במומו פוסל” -- “Anyone who disqualifies another is
disqualifying him based on his own imperfections.”

The speaker of lashon hara is suffering the embarrassment of flaunting his own inadequacies when
saying anything harmful about others. And as for the listener, what is he doing that makes his attentiveness even more egregious?

The speaker of lashon hara needs a receptive audience. When nobody is listening, there is simply never a temptation to speak. The audience lays the fertile ground; the speaker knows that he has a rich environment in which to plant his lashon hara. The peaked interest of the listener invites someone with juicy information to share the goods, knowing that he or she has a captive audience. The listener is the real catalyst to the exchange of information, creating the necessary atmosphere for lashon hara to take place.

We all know and we can not understate how important it is to create the right environment. We, the teachers, and the parents of our impressionable young men and women, need to start by creating the right environment for positive growth. A beautiful school building, prepared teachers, and dynamic curricula are all the necessary groundwork to create that right environment for learning to happen.



Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Sugerman
  Remembering Israel’s Fallen Heroes
 Students Had the Privilege to Hear from the Weiss’s About their Son Ari z”l

Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23) and Rebecca Adler ('23)

This Wednesday, we joined thousands of Israelis and Jews around the world in commemorating Yom Hazikaron, a day to honor and remember the fallen soldiers of Israel’s Defense Forces and victims of Israeli terror attacks.

After first period classes, students heard from Rabbi Stuart and Susie Weiss over Zoom. The Weisses made Aliyah from Texas in the 1990s and moved to Raanana. Their beloved son, Ari Weiss, enlisted in the IDF and was unfortunately killed in 2002. The Weisses spoke of Ari’s determination, heroism, and love for his homeland. When asked whether they would have chosen to move to Israel had they known what would happen, the Weisses demonstrated incredible faith, love for Israel, and recognition of a Divine plan, explaining that they would never regret making aliyah. 

The tone for the day was set by beautiful displays constructed by the Hebrew department, which depicted Eretz Yisrael and its important symbols, along with candles that burned throughout the day. In Hebrew classes, students learned about the courageous fallen soldiers who died protecting our homeland.

Junior Sara Nagler remarked, “The school helped make Yom Hazikaron such a meaningful and emotional day for me because I was able to hear many stories about fallen soldiers, which allowed me to be a part of continuing each of their legacies.”

The Yom Hazikaron programming helped make this tragic day extremely meaningful for all.

Article by Ariella Greenerg ('22)

Cheers to 73 Years
KYHS Celebrates Yom Haatzmaut with Cookies and Fun Surprises
Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)
With 33 votes for, 13 votes against, and 10 abstaining votes, the United Nations officially declared the Jewish people’s homeland, Israel, a state on November 29, 1947 in the form of Resolution 181. As Rabbi Kimche spoke about during the Yom Ha'atzmaut program on Thursday, this was a momentous occasion that had Jews all over the world tuning in to listen. This decision meant that Jews could finally live in their own country, a place where they wouldn’t be persecuted simply for being Jewish.
 
During the program, students and faculty also listened to a recording of the United Nations ambassador calling out the final votes. After Rabbi Kimche’s speech, student council president, Tans Rosen (‘21), recited a “misheberach” for the well-being of the state of Israel.

Many students were inspired by the program, including Zohara Lam (‘23), who noted that she “was happy that the program was taken seriously ” and that she “learned a lot from Rabbi Kimche’s speech.”

Following Rabbi Kimche and Tans’s words, Daniel Lugassy (‘24) won a highly coveted “prize”— a ticket to Israel on EL-AL. However, when he opened the envelope, he did not find a ticket but instead saw a note announcing that it was Color War!

As Rabbi Wolk explained, “the plane ticket and the backstory to it were made up and the Goodyear blimp flying overhead was complete luck; it wasn’t planned.” Students enjoyed Color War festivities for the rest of Thursday and Friday!

Article by Judah Frohlich ('23)
Magnificent Morot
Morah Cohen Describes Her Life Growing
Up in Israel
Graphic by Elie Loberfeld ('22) and Mikaila Shandler ('22)

Long before she began teaching Hebrew at KYHS, Mrs. Cohen knew teaching would be in her future. Growing up in Jerusalem, Israel, she loved assisting her young siblings with their schoolwork and teaching them when they needed it. She joined the IDF as a teenager and later became a commander, teaching soldiers how to use different types of weapons, training them in CPR and First Aid, and teaching a class on unconventional warfare. What she loves about teaching, she says, is “the connection with the students and to see the growth and progress of my students.” In particular, she “loves the feeling of family in KYHS” and watching her students speak Hebrew fluently, especially as they go on to their gap years in Israel.

Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing games—in fact, growing up in a world without cell phones, she and her friends loved to create their own games—as well as travelling, cooking, visiting Israel, and baking with her family, her husband Avi, and their three teenagers, Nadav, Daniel, and Michaela. 


Article by Arey Schraf ('24)
Storm Speaks
Hear from Well Respected, Highly Appreciated Storm for Israel Members
Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24) and Dan Himelstein ('24)
Feeling Falafely
 Naomi Tells Us How to Make the Best Falafel
Graphic by Chantal Newman ('22)

Chag Atzmaut Sameach, Noshers! What a day it has been!!! After a long day of Color War, and being that it is Yom Haatzmaut, all I could ever dream of eating for dinner would be none other than Israel’s worst kept secret, the holy grail, falafel!

I am going to provide you with the best falafel recipe in existence! I hope you will come along with me for this most special journey.

First, you should get your car keys ready, because this recipe involves driving. Put your keys into the ignition and blast those Israeli tunes. Make sure to check for civilians before going into reverse and pulling out of your driveway. Now, put your car in drive and exit your neighborhood. 

The next step is really complicated, so please attempt to keep up. We can’t have you process slowly right now. Once out of your neighborhood, you should make your way to Boca Grill. Once you have arrived, walk into the store and pretend you are an Israeli with chutzpah so they will not hesitate to take your order. You should order falafel in a pita with hummus, techina, and Israeli salad. 

Once you receive your food, wash al netilat yadayim, make a heimishe holy bracha, and enjoy! In my opinion, this is my best recipe yet. 

Israel’s birthday was a smashing success this year and ending it off with some fresh, homemade falafel really just tied the whole day together. If you want to celebrate in the best way possible, chap a Naomi’s Nosh.

Article by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)
  If You Give KYHS
a Cookie…
Color War Breaks Out

Graphic by Olivia Kahane ('23)

To Be Continued....
Highlites Staff