Dvar Torah

Parshat Bihaalotcha
By Rabbi Dr. Richard Ehrlich

The parsha ends with the story of Miriam and Aharon who “complain” against Moshe, their brother, “Why did Moshe separate from his wife? Just because he received prophesy? Don’t we also speak with G_d and we did not separate from our spouses?” Miriam is smitten with leprosy and Aharon beseeches Moshe’s intervention. Moshe, of course, acquiesces and prays a short prayer on behalf of Miriam, his beloved sister.

Mohe cries out to G_d and says, “Please G_d, heal her now.” Just five words. “Please G_d, heal her now.”

Rashi asks a very simple question: “Why did Moshe offer such a brief and shortened prayer?” Why not a much lengthier prayer on behalf of his sister? Rashi offers two explanations. First, he suggests that it was so that people should not say, “His sister is sick and all he can do is stand and pray?” Rashi then offers a second reason for why he did not give a lengthy prayer, he was afraid that people would criticize him and say: “For his sister, he prays a lot but for us he wouldn’t pray nearly that much.”

These two answers seem to contradict each other. Was Moshe opening himself up to criticism because his prayers were too short or was he opening himself up to criticism because his prayers were too long. Was the complaint against Mosher that he cared too much about hi sister or that he cared too little about his sister? Clearly, whatever moshe would have done would have been criticized. Despite the fact that Moshe was the greatest prophet who ever lived and despite the fact that Moseh was the greatest leader the Jewish people ever had, there was nothing that he could do that wouldn’t elicit complaints and criticism from the Jewish people.

Rav Yakov Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, references a famous fable attributed to Aesop to explain this phenomenon. A father and a son are traveling on a road. The father was riding a donkey and the son was walking beside him. They came upon a person who saw them and he told the father, “How cruel you are, you are riding the donkey and making your son walk? What kind of a father are you? The father then got off the donkey and put his son on the donkey in his place. They walked a little further and again came across someone who attacked them. “What kind of a son are you raising, how can you let your son ride like a prince while you walk along in the hot son? What kind of an education are you giving him, allowing him to do that?” He then took his son off the donkey and they both walked alongside the donkey. They met a third person who again attacked them. “What a bunch of fools you are, why doesn’t someone ride on the donkey?” They both got on the donkey and traveled and met a fourth man who again attacked them, “How cruel are you both, riding on this poor donkey. Don’t you have any concern for the welfare of animals?” They, therefore, decided to get off the donkey and they began carrying the donkey when they met a fifth person who laughed at them and just called them fools.
Nothing has changed. The Jewish people are still criticizing their leaders and complaining whatever they do as the famous adage goes, “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” The constant criticism of Rabbis, Principals, Morot and teachers continues to erode the respect that the Jewish people should have for their leaders. Because of this, children growing up will, unfortunately, hear these criticisms, internalize them and a new generation of complainers will develop ready to take their place alongside their parents.

Let us learn from the mistakes from our past and resolve to appreciate the very difficult job our Rabbis, Principals, Morot and teachers have. They work long hours, dedicated to teaching your children, and deserve your support and backing. As we take leave for the summer let us look back with thankfulness and admiration to our wonderful Staff.

Have a wonderful and restful summer.

Special Announcement

Happy Friday everyone!

The PTA wants to thank all the parent volunteers and staff that have worked hard to make the events of this month happen (chumash and siddur plays, graduations of our little ones and big ones, and Father’s Day Sale).

The Father’s Day sale was as successful as ever and this year we had a $50 raffle.

We want to congratulate Madison Graham from 7th grade for winning the raffle! Please see the pictures attached. Special thank you to Israel (Issie) Hanukkah for selecting the winner.

The video for the winner selection can be found here and the video for Madison getting the good news about being the winner can be found here!

Shabbat Shalom,

Your friendly PTA Crew


Kindergarten and First Grade
We had a super week in Judaics and can’t believe that the year is almost over.
The first graders are getting really quick at reading. They are working on splitting up big words and reading them accurately. I’m so proud of them!
The kindergarteners did a fantastic job on their graduation! They showed the incredible amount that they learned this year and are ready to become big first graders!
They also really wanted to begin learning how to read Hebrew, so they began learning the first nekuda, kamatz.

Second Grade

Wow, it’s hard to believe the school year is over. Even though it was the second last week of school the 2nd graders were so excited to learn Chumash,work on Kriya skills and learn the Parsha. As this was our last Friday in school,this week we had a full Shabbat Party with challa grape juice and treats. We hope you enjoy the Shabbat package that was sent home. Have a wonderful weekend. Shabbat Shalom

Fourth Grade

Dear Parents,

Wow,what a great week,what a great year.

There is no slowing down in our class.The Davening this week was really amazing. The Students tried hard to get points and do a very good Davening.

In our Chumash lessons we reviewed the famous story of the 4 Kings against the five Kings. The Students wrote beautiful notes which we will put together next week. It was really good how everyone participated.

We did a great job with our kriah. We had Partner learning.The Students learnt with each other and it was great practice.

Happy birthday to Ben. May Hashem give you a long and Happy life.

Happy Fathers day to all the wonderful fathers of the class. We have great role models for our Students.

Students of the week: Ariella,Sarina, and Tanya.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi B.

5th and 6th Girls

Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week!
And wow, the year is almost over! It was wonderful teaching your amazing daughters this year. You should have lots of Nachat from each of them and please be in touch! If you’re ever in New Jersey (Lakewood) area, please let me know and stop by. I’ll be so excited to see every one of my students.
We’ve learned lots and lots over the year.
Sefer Shemot – the Jews in Egypt and their miraculous freedom, many many Mitzvot, Shemoneh Esrei, Ani Maamin, Parsha, Shomrei Halashon, Megillat Esther and Rut.. and much much more.
I hope that the girls continue becoming better and better like they are doing each day in Judaics class.
May you have much Nachat from them.
I’ll miss them all tremendously.
Mrs. Perlstein

5th and 6th Boys

This week we have “wrapped up” Perek Rishon-the first Perek in Mishna Suka.
This is a nice accomplishment, especially “coming on the heels of” also learning the first Perek of Baba Metzia, earlier in the year.
The boys now have substantial knowledge in many Halachot of a Suka.
1 Needs at least 3 walls
2 Walls must be at least 7 Tefachim-handbreadths wide and 10 Tefachim high.
3 The Schach must have grown from the ground
4 The Schach must cover the majority of the Suka
5 There is an idea that even if the Suka is covered with non kosher Schach for a large part of the Suka, the Suka can be Kosher if the non kosher Schach is at one side and not more than 4 Amot-Cubits wide/from the wall. and there is still the minimum amount of Kosher Schach and Suka. This is called Dofen Akuma-literally a bent wall. We look at that part as if the wall stretches and is bent over the Suka.
6 We really learned so much more..Please feel free to discuss and review with your son.
In Parasha we covered about thirty Parashot!
In Chumash we covered in depth and detail Parashat Va’eira and part of Parashat Bo.
In Halacha, we covered all the Chagim,Hilchot Brachot, and Sefirat Haomer.
We plan to cover Hilchot Kibud Av V’eim, this week, as well.

ALL boys in grade 5 and 6 were invited to Rabbi Kuritsky’s home for Shabbat.
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this they will have been already enjoying their time at the Rabbi’s house.
In general, it has been a terrific year full of accomplishments.

I am so happy I had the opportunity to teach these wonderful boys!
Shabbat Shalom

7th and 8th Girls
This week, although the last full week, we accomplished a lot!
We studied, in detail, the laws of Tzniut and Yichud. We also covered many detailed laws of Kibud Av V’em – respecting Father and mother.
We sincerely hope that the students will put these Halachot in their daily practice.
This year has been a fantastic year. I thoroughly enjoyed every day with these fantastic girls. We accomplished so much.
We studied in depth, Parashat B’haalot’cha.
We studied the 13 Ani Ma’amin – the 13 principles of Jewish faith.
We studied the Halachot of ALL the Chagim.
We studied Hilchot Berachot, in great detail.
We studied and mastered so much more..
More than anything, we had a fantastic and inspiring year!
Thank you, wonderful girls!
Shabbat Shalom

7th and 8th Boys

What a terrific week we had.

A beautiful Davening is always the way
to start each and every day.

With a smile on each student’s face
with lessons going at a great pace.

So many great lessons we did learn
for learning more Torah is something we always yearn.

A final we had, covering what we accomplished in class
we cannot believe the year went so fast.

In Pirkei Avot we learnt when you are with two people in Torah you should talk
you must be careful in the right path you should walk.

In Halacha we learnt Honoring parents is the right thing to do
with all the Mitzvot, we have the pleasure to be a great Jew.

Students of the week: Yisroel Friedman Doron Glickman

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Berelowitz

Elementary School


I can’t be more proud of kindergarten! They did a wonderful job at their graduation. They had an amazing year! They always tried their best, made good choices, and they were kind to their classmates. In between all the excitement for graduation they also learned about adjectives and played a writing game using adjectives, They learned how to visualize when reading by listening to funny poems. They also did a great job reading a play. In math they did excellent on their addition and subtraction test. They learned how to add and subtract ones from 0 all the way to 100 using mental math. They also learned how to add 3 numbers by first making ten and then adding on using mental math. In science they were so excited to see that their butterflies had come out of their chrysalises. After watching the butterflies for a few days they let them fly away outside. In social studies they learned how to read a map key and find places on a map.

First Grade

I am proud to announce that our first grade students are now published authors! We created an informative picture book of animals entitled “Down By the Pond.” Students researched, drafted, revised, and edited their own individual pieces. Then we sent them off to the publisher to put them together in a book. The resulting product is amazing!

This last week of school has been both challenging and fun. The first graders completed the SATs and finished remaining workbooks. We emptied out the desks, cleaned up the classrooms, and packed up all of our first grade belongings. It is amazing to see how much they have grown and matured this year. Students are now writing paragraphs, telling time, multiplying, dividing, and reading all kinds of books.

Students also created beautiful ceramic plates and cards in honor of Father’s Day. You can see how much effort was given to each project.

Second Grade
This was our last full week of 2nd grade! Early in the week we completed the Stanford exams, followed by a math test on time. We have been cleaning our room, and starting to bring things home as we close out our 21-22 school year. We look forward to an exciting final week next week, with discovery day and a spelling bee! It has truly been a pleasure teaching the second grade this year. I will certainly never forget all of my students! I hope everyone has a wonderful summer! —
Mr. A. Ferrera B.S.Ed
Generalist Teacher, 2nd grade

Third Grade

This week was bittersweet. We began to wrap up the school year by taking our Stanford test. Each day the students worked hard to demonstrate all the skills they learned this school year. We made up for some of the testing anxiety with plenty of recess time :). Grade 3 continued to practice for the Spelling Bee next week. We cleaned out our classroom, desks and cubbies. We continued our read aloud of “I Survived the Nazi Invasion,1944” and we took time to have heartfelt class discussions about the topic. We also made Father’s Day cards to honor all the dad’s this Sunday.

Fourth Grade

This week in math kids finished reviewing all of the material that was taught this year and completed multi step word problems.
Continued to work on reading comprehension, short and long response questions. Completed a book report on the last class chapter book that we just finished reading.

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade had a busy week!
Students worked very hard to demonstrate their learning by taking the Stanford SAT-10 achievement tests. After the test, they wrapped up their book cube projects and presented them to the class. In math, students were working on a cumulative review.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

Middle school had a very busy and anxious week!
Students were taking their Regents, Finals, and Stanford Tests.

Middle School Math

Middle school took their finals and regents.

Middle School Science

Middle school took their finals and regents.

Jewish History

7th grade took their Jewish History Final and did an absolutely fantastic job. I am very proud of them. They really demonstrated their retention and knowledge.