The beginning of Parshas Kidoshim contains a pasuk which presents a very interesting juxtaposition of mitzvot: “Every man shall revere his mother and his father and you shall observe My Sabbaths I am Hashem your G_d” [Vayikra 19:3]. Rashi wonders about the connection between Shabbat observance and revering one’s parents. Rashi cites the Medrash Toras Kohanim which teaches, based on the juxtaposition in this pasuk: “Although I enjoined you about revering a parent, if your parent should say to you, ‘Desecrate the Shabbat, do not listen to them. And, so, too it is with regard to other commandments.” This is a halachic principle brought down several times in the Talmud, which is also codified in the Shulchan Aruch as well.
Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky (1891-1986) adds that the Torah is teaching us another message as well. We believe that G_d created the world in six days and that on the seventh day He rested. Prior to Creation the world did not exist and obviously people did not exist. This “Creation scenario” is not universally accepted. There are many people who, in fact, deny any role of G_d in creation. The Darwinian Theory and others posit that human beings evolved from lower species and reject the “story of Creation” as spelled out in the beginning of the Book of Bereshit/Genesis. This is a philosophical-theological dispute of how one views the world.
There is a practical difference between these two world views. The difference boils down to who needs to honor whom? Should older people need to honor younger people or should younger people need to honor older people? If one believes that man has evolved from the lower forms of life, then presumably, the further one gets away from that “original man” the higher form of life one would expect. If man evolved from a monkey, then the first generations of men were not very far removed from monkeys. Later generations have “evolved more” than earlier ones and hence the earlier generations must honor the later ones. The bottom line is that parents should honor their children. If, on the other hand, as we believe, the Almighty created the First Man, it follows that the First Man was the most perfect human being that the world has ever seen. He was without flaws because he was the handiwork of the Master of the Universe himself. No one can improve upon that! As we get further away from that First Man, man diminishes in stature. If we are going down, rather than up, it is clear that the younger generations need to honor the previous generations.
With this introduction, the pasuk is now crystal clear. “A man shall revere his mother and his father.” Why? It is because “My Sabbaths you shall keep I am Hashem your G_d.” There is a link between these two parts of the pasuk. Since there was a Creation, which you testify to by observance of Shabbat on the seventh day of the week, then parents who are a generation closer to creation and to the original man, who was created by the Almighty, need to be revered by the younger generation!
This insight of Rav Yaakov comes with a story as well. In his later years, Rav Yaakov attended a Kenesiah Gedolah (meeting of leading orthodox rabbis) in Eretz Yisrael. He was already an older man at the time and was accompanied on his travels by one of his sons. As we all know, the trip to Eretz Yisrael is a long trip and Rav Yaakov was an older man. His son waited on him hand and foot throughout the journey. There was a person on the plane sitting nearby who was astounded by the love, respect, and dedication the son was showing his father. At one point, he commented to Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, “My children do not treat me like that. What is your secret in child-raising that your son treats you like a King?”
He responded and told him the above quoted idea. We implant in our children the belief that the further we are removed from Sinai, the more one has had to endure the phenomenon of “yeridat haDorot”[lessening of the generations]. Therefore, they understand that the older generation is a “better generation” and hence they honor and respect us. “If your children do not act this way”, Rav Yaakov told the gentleman on the plane, “perhaps it is because they feel that they are more advanced than you are, and that on the contrary, you should honor them.”
Rabbi Dr. Richard Ehrlich
CONGRATULATIONS to our amazing Students of the Month for April!
Kindergarten – Brittney Sanders
First Grade – Alexander Braun
Second Grade – Jaiden Rebibo
Third Grade – Noah Sharoni
Fourth Grade – Avraham Landsmen
5A – Evelina Bass
5B – Ethan Shankman
Middle School – Secular: Ilan Abramov
Middle School – Judaics: Etai Factor
A great, big, THANK YOU to the PTA for all of their hard work in setting up the Yom Haatzmaut celebration on Thursday!
The celebration was a smashing success! The students and their families enjoyed the bounce houses, face painting, and delicious food.
Special mention goes to our intrepid 8th graders who helped with managing the bounce houses, making cotton candy, and being overall helpful in setting up the celebration!
B”H we had another productive week in 2nd grade. We learned about the holy city of Jerusalem and it’s history. This weeks Parsha Kidoshim is filled with many commandments such as honoring parents, loving your fellow man and not to take revenge. We discussed the mitzva of honoring parents in great detail. Tsion (Jaiden) proudly raised his hand and told the class how quiet he was in order to avoid disturbing his mother while she was resting. When discussing the mitzva of respecting elders, Esty (Sloane) told the class how her family went out for dinner and there was an old lady at the restaurant who almost fell and Esty’s father helped her. We are constantly reviewing the Hebrew prefixes and suffixes as well as daily Kriya (reading) practice. Shabbat Shalom. Morah Spiegel
Another great week in third grade!
On Monday was Rosh chodesh; the first day of the month. We sang beautifully together the special prayer of Hallel.
We also started another tefilla contest for when we pray. Together as a class we are trying to fill a jar with diamonds. They really pray so beautifully Hashem is so proud and is giving them real reward more precious than diamonds.
We also had lots of fun practicing for our Chumash play! We are really looking forward to this momentous occasion!
Tuesday, May 10 at 9:30 am
Remember all students should please wear a white shirt
Looking forward to seeing you!
Wow!! The week went by quickly. As the saying goes “Time flies when you are having a good time.”
We learned in Chumash all about the story that Sarai did not have children. Sarai gave her Egyptian maidservant to Avram to have children. Hagar would cause pain to Sarai saying that she was greater that Sarai, being that she had a child to Avram, and Sarai did not. Really Sarai was the great one. We see from here how important it is never to make a person feel bad.
The Davening this week was just beautiful. The tunes and the words were nicely said.
In honor of the day of Yom Ha’atzmaot, many children were blue and white. We played a video of Yerushalayim in honor of the event.
The celebration at school was super. We all had a great time with the slide and jumping machine, and all the refreshments. Thank you for all the hard work the PTA put into it.
A congratulations to Tanya Shutman for being one of the School’s Kriah Pro winners.
5th and 6th Girls
Thank G-d, we had an awesome week
It was so nice to see many of you at the Yom Ha’atzmaut BBQ.
We are launching a very exciting campaign in our class, the Mitzvah – A – Thon. We’ve been learning many Mitzvot this year, in our Halacha class. Each girl is presenting one Mitzvah on May 24th.
Throughout the next 2 and a half weeks, until presentations, every time the girls do one of the Mitzvot that we’ve learned, they will fill out a raffle card with their name and the details of their Mitzvah. They can also fill out a card for every time that they’ve caused another person, whether a family member or friend, to do a Mitzvah.
Each raffle card will go into the envelope for that Mitzvah.
On presentation day, we will choose a winner for each Mitzvah raffle.
Every 5 cards that the girls fill out for themselves, they will receive a scratch-off-card that they will scratch off to receive exciting prizes !!
One last thing 🙂 – The leading Mitzvah with the most raffle cards will be the winner of the Mitzvah – A – Thon. The girl who presented that Mitzvah will receive an exciting gift. Every girl should be trying to rally for their Mitzvah to acquire more cards in their envelope..
Good luck ! May the best man win.
We’ve learned this week the 4th Ani Maamin that Hashem is the first and the last. We looked at pictures of an egg and a chicken and argued for a while about what comes first. Turns out, Hashem came first and created one of them.
This week is Parshat Kedoshim. We learned that G-d is Holy, and we are supposed to emulate His beautiful ways and be holy as well.
And many more stuff
Shabbat Shalom U’mevorach!
5th and 6th Boys
We learned a new Mishna about a Suka that originally had on top of it only metal poles or long wooden poles from a bed.
Both of those items constitute pasul s’chach unkosher Suka covering. The Mishna taught us that the way to correct this would be to remove a little more than 50% of those items and replace them with Kosher s’chach.
We also learned about someone who carves into a stack of grain which then develops into a suka with kosher s’chach, but nevertheless is NOT kosher.
This is because of “Ta’ase v’lo min he’asui” . We are taught that we are to “make ” a suka, but not that it should happen as a byproduct of our actions.
In Parashat Bo we learned the maka of Choshech-Darkness. We learned that the first 3 days were extremely dark, but the 2nd 3 days were not only dark, but so thick that if someone was standing they wouldn’t be able to sit and vice versa.
We covered a lot of details in the Parasha i.e. Kilayim= not mixing plant seeds to create a hybrid, and not wearing a mixture of wool and linen sown together. We also covered that the main Mitzvah in the Torah is to love your friend like yourself=do not do to him what you don’t want done to yourself.
We completed studying the laws of sefirat haomer,and will begin the laws of Shavuot in the near future.
In Tfila we are completing Shemoneh esre=amida, daily.
This Thursday we discussed laws that are specific to the land of Israel, i.e. Ma’aser, Trumah, Orla, etc. We discussed that we should not purchase fruits/vegetables from Shoprite, stop and Shop etc, if they come from Israel. This is because we can NOT be assured that the proper procedure was followed regarding these plants. The same is true when shopping in Israel.
There always is more in store.
Discuss the above with your children.
7th and 8th Girls
This week, we completed and mastered our study of Sefirat Haomer. We were quizzed on the laws, and everyone aced the quiz!
We moved on in our in depth study of Navi Yehoshua. We learned about a bunch of kings in K’naan banding together against the Jewish people, but Yehoshua conquering them, nonetheless.
In B’haalot’cha, we covered many new ideas about the first born becoming Kohanim, then losing the privilege because of serving the Egel Hazahav.We also covered the procedure of how us Jews when we were in the Midbar, knew that it was time to travel/camp. We learned about the trumpets and their specific sounds that signified to different people to come to meet with Moshe at the Ohel Moed=Tent of Meeting [remember; in those days, there were no phones pa systems etc.]
We began studying new Halachot, this week, the Halachot of how to say a Bracha i.e. hold the food in our right hand , no talking until after we swallow our food etc. We also learned that although there is no minimum amount of food required in order to necessitate a Bracha before we eat, however there is a minimum amount and a maximum amount of time required for the consumption of the food in order to necessitate an after Bracha.
Each girl had a chance to choose a food item and look it up in Rabbi Kuritsky’s Kzayit Book = book which depicts, with photographs, many different food items and their minimum required amount to be consumed in order to necessitate the “After Bracha ”.
We also covered many pertinent Halachot from this week’s Parasha i.e.
respecting our parents, standing up for our parents, not sitting in our parents designated seat at home, in the office or in shul. We also covered that we never call our parents by their first name. As a matter of fact, we also learned that we do not even call our friend that has the same name as our parent, by his or her name in our parents’ presence!
We learned that we do not wear a mixture of wool and linen sewn together.
There is always more in store.
Speak to your offspring about our studies.
7th and 8th Boys
What an accomplishing week we had in class.
We started with a beautiful davening with the “Bachurim” putting on their Tefillin. Watching the boys put on their Tefillin with such excitement, was great to witness.
We had our daily reading of Tehillim. I told the boys that when we say Tehillim after Davening, it brings me back to my middle school years, being that my Rabbi said with us Tehillim after Davening.
In Pirkei Avot we learnt that a person needs to have Torah and Derech Eretz . If he has both of these things, he forgets to do sins. Torah and Derech Eretz are very important for a Jew’s life.
In Halacha we started learning about the laws of Tefillin. Boys in the class were either Bar Mitzvah or going to be Bar Mitzvah soon. There are a lot of Halachot and it was a great opportunity to know how to do the Mitzva properly.
Congratulations to David and Mark for being the “Students of the week”
This week kindergarten learned how to read and spell long O and long U words. They continued to work on writing and illustrating their class book. They read a story about a pig and a cat making a home for a dog so he would not get wet in the rain. In math they learned about the dime and the nickel. They learned how much each coin is worth and how to identify them. They loved playing store to practice counting money. I gave them real money so they could count out the correct amount of change to purchase erasers that they could keep. In social studies they learned about goods and services. In science they learned all about the parts of the flower and they learned a fun song to help them remember all of the parts of the flower.
Our first graders were busy celebrating and learning this week. Thursday students prepared for the Carnival in honor of Yom Ha’Atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. Students wore blue and white representing Israel’s flag. They also wrote letters to thank those who fought and sacrificed for freedom. Students learned to tell time on an analog clock. They were delighted to state the time by the hour, half hour, and quarter hour. Students also wrote stories and practiced drawing conclusions in Reading. The first graders made beautiful projects in honor of Mother’s Day. We hope all of our 1st grade moms enjoy them.
2nd grade had an action packed week, both academically and socially! We had 2 tests, a math test on money, and a grammar test on helping verbs, linking verbs, and irregular verbs. In the picture, you can see Sloane Garber solving a problem on the board involving money. We also continued reading Stuart Little, while reviewing for our upcoming social studies test on people at work. In the midst of all of that, we had a celebration on Thursday to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut! There was a bouncy house, a slide, music, and food! We partied like it was 1948! (The year Israel declared its independence 😉
In math grade 3 started doing Number Talks this week. We used mental math strategies to solve difficult multi-step problems and we used think aloud strategies to correct our errors and analyze our mistakes.
In ELA we continued in our shared reading of James and the Giant Peach. We used context clues from the text to help us understand our vocabulary words for this week.
This week in math we started a new unit Area and Perimeter. Students found missing sides of a rectangle or square given certain clues. Found area and perimeter of rectangles, squares, and composite figures.
In ELA students identified proper agreement of subject pronouns and present tense verbs. Combined sentences by joining subject or predicate pronouns. Kids completed a few story writings and a poem.
Kids are really enjoying our last class chapter book, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.
Greetings and salutations!
This week in 5A has been busy. The students began their thematic essay over the previous novel. They also began reading their new class novel, The City of Ember.
In Grammar, students were learning about the present-progressive and past-progressive form of verbs.
This week we continued our study of root words and dipped our toes into the 6th grade vocabulary. I am happy to see that so many students rose to the challenge of the new tier of words!
Greetings and salutations!
This week has been busy in 5B. The students began their thematic essay over the previous novel. They also began their new novel, Coraline. I am happy to see the students enjoying the new novel- especially our read alouds.
In Grammar, students learned about linking verbs. This week we also continued our study of root words and dipped our toes into the 6th grade vocabulary. I am happy to see that so man students rose to the new tier of words.
In math, 5th grade started learning about average and line plots.
Middle School ELA and Social Studies
Greetings and salutations!
This week in SS the students worked on a mythology project. The final poster is due on Monday. I am looking forward to their presentations!
Furthermore, the students began learning about ancient Rome. We had several enjoyable discussions where we drew parallels between the Roman Republic and the present day United States. I am happy to see the students enjoying learning about Rome!
In ELA, students wrapped up our novel study of Chasing Lincoln’s Killer and wrote an essay about its main character. We learned ten new words as part of our vocabulary study unit, and in grammar, practiced using adjectives.
In ELA, the 7th grade continued its novel study of the Giver. Students also practiced with Adjectives and learned 10 new words as part of our vocabulary study.
In social studies, we learned about the inception of our politics with America’s first two political parties. We discussed, in specific, the competing visions of Hamilton and Jefferson for America, and did a primary source discussion of George Washington’s farewell address.
In ELA, the 8th graders started and completed our first regents-style essay. We discussed the Enduring Issues as themes, and how to write about them in essay form. In grammar, we focused on comma rules, and on writing longer sentences in our essay.
In Social Studies, we continued our unit on the French Revolution.
Middle School Math
6th grade is learning how to solve algebraic equations.
7th grade is learning how to determine the number of solutions of a system of equations.
8th grade finished chapter 8 and started learning about rational exponents.
Middle School Science
Students learned and classified planets according to their location in the solar system; were able to identify the inner and outer planets; compare and contrast the similarities and differences between Earth and the other inner planets; were able to recognize different types of galaxies.
7th Grade Science
Students are investigating how our body systems work together to maintain homeostasis. They are currently taking a journey through the digestive system and discovering how nutrition and circulation play an important role in supplying our body with the nutrients it provides and how it actually gets through our bodies.
8th Grade Science
Students are preparing for the Living Environment Regent by taking practice exams and working through various aspects of this regent. In addition, students are investigating how energy flows through ecosystems, how biotic and abiotic factors affect those ecosystems and the importance of interdependence within each system.
7th grade spent quite a bit of time exploring how Hashem gave us the Torah, how we know that the Torah is true and how we know that the Torah we have today is the same Torah Hashem gave on Har Sinai.
8th grade compared and contrasted the light of the Geonim with the darkness of the Middle Ages and learned how the Talmud was written, why it was written and why we learn it today.