Dvar Torah Parshas Vayeishev

In this week’s Parsha, the tragic story of M’cheras Yosef is told. Besides being intrinsically horrific, the after effects are perhaps even more appalling.
[The Asara Harigei malchus- the Roman’s murdering of ten great innocent Torah scholars, generations later, is attributed to this chronicle]
The story basically is; the 10 [brothers besides Binyamin] Shevatim decide that Yosef is Chayav Meesa, to be sentenced to death, based on some of his actions.
Reuvein, the Bchor, first born son,decides to “push off” carrying out this sentence by having Yosef deposited in a pit [Rashi explains that in truth, Reuvein’s intention was to save him completely].
After Reuvein leaves, to spend time with his father, the brothers encounter a passing caravan of Arabs, Yehuda speaks up and says “why should we spill blood, let’s sell him instead as a slave”.
They do sell Yosef to the Arabs.
The Posuk states a seemingly unnecessary statement “the Arabs were carrying beautiful smelling perfumes”.
Why does the Torah deem this statement necessary?
Rashi explains that this was an unusual “load” for these Arabs, as they usually would transport and sell neft, foul smelling freight. Hashem arranged this so that the Tzadik, Yosef would not have to bear the foul smelling neft.

The question is; at the end of the day, Yosef was sold as a slave, and he would be a slave for the next 13 years! Who cares that he was transported with spices versus neft?

We can ask a similar question about the holiday of Chanuka.
We are all excited about the upcoming holiday. We were told by our Rabbis thousands of years ago to celebrate every year for 8 days!
The question is; if we study the era in history preceding Chanuka and after Chanuka, we find really hard and difficult times for us Jews!
Why the celebration, it was only for a short period of time that we enjoyed tranquility?

I heard a beautiful answer from my Rabbi in Lakewood, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Kahan shlita, that can answer both questions.

It is true that Yosef was being sold and transported as a slave, but the fact that the Arabs were carrying beautiful smelling perfumes and spices v.s. foul smelling neft, that was the norm for Arabs to transport, was a clear message to Yosef from Hashem. Hashem was telling him “I am with you”!

Hashem shone a light on Yosef in his time of darkness.

The same is true for Chanuka, although times were turbulent for us Jews prior to the events of the Greeks and the Chashmonaim, and they were turbulent and troublesome after the winning of the war against the Greeks, but since Hashem shined His light on us,

His message was clear “I am with you”!

That is plenty of reason for celebration!

Each of us in our own lives have gone through, or may be going through a “dark period”, but if we look, we will see the “light that Hashem is shining” on us.

An excursion:
I recently broke my patella [knee cap] while bike riding in Ohio this summer. This was a pretty dark period, for me. I meritted to see the “light that Hashem made shine” upon me, nevertheless. For example;
Within 60 seconds of falling on the bike trail, a registered nurse came and offered me help.
I was not with my family,as I had taken a group of “special adults” on an excursion.
How was I to get home back to New Jersey?
Hashem arranged that my chavrusa [learning partner] came to Ohio by plane for the same weekend with his wife and children. He [and his wife!] agreed to drive my van home with me and the special adults. {an 8 hour ride!}.
The list goes on and on…
May we all merit to see the “light of Hashem” shine on us, whether in dark times or in pleasant times, and may we merit seeing the coming of Moshiach and the “light” of redemption speedily in our days!
Shabbat Shalom
Happy Chanuka
Rabbi Kuritsky

Special Announcement! Chanukah is here! 

A great big thank you to the SIHA PTA for organizing an amazing week for the SIHA students! So many fun surprises are in store: Menorah making, Chanukah sale, gelt, Dreidels, projects, Sufganiot decorating, party, piñata making and the biggest of them all The Traveling Tykes Carnival is coming to us!!! Please look forward to it! 


Kindergarten and First Grade
We had a great week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics! Our kindergarteners have learnt the letter kaf and enda kaf! We have a special song for these letters and can make our fingers into their shapes! In First Grade we have begun a new nekuda, shva! We are getting very good at reading three letter words in hebrew! This week we continued to learn about Channukah! We learnt how the weak Macabim won the war against the Greeks. We learnt how after the Jewish people cleaned up the Bet Hamikdash they could not find the special pure oil to light the menorah. Finally they found one jar, that was only supposed to last for one night. Hashem made a big miracle and the oil lasted for eight nights! In honor of Chanukah we decorated our very own menorahs, we can’t wait to use them at home!
Happy Channukah and Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Kaplan

Second Grade
We had a busy week getting through all the preparations for Chanukah. We hope all mothers in 2nd grade will enjoy the Chanukah Gift we made
especially for you and will think of us when you light the Shabbat candles. We are sure you are all enjoying the custom made Chanukah mat, menorah and all the other goodies we brought home to honor this wonderful festival. This week we still managed to practice our reading skills, learn about Chanukah and complete the weekly Parsha. In this weeks Parsha we discussed how the brothers were jealous of Yosef and how he was sold as a slave, worked for Potiphar and was thrown into jail where he interpreted the dreams which the butler and baker were
troubled by.
Have a Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom.
Morah Spiegel

Third Grade
What a fun filled and interesting week we had in third grade. We continued learning all about Chanukah. We were so inspired and empowered by the stories of Chana and her 7 sons and Yehudit who prayed and bravely carried out her plan to kill the wicked general.
We learned how, when, where and why we light the Menorah on Chanukah and a lot more.
Thanks to PTA and Ms Dershowitz, we made the most beautiful menorah that we can use to light each night of Chanukah. We made sure our Menorah is Kosher as we lined our candle holders in a straight line and made sure to place the shamash on a different level.
We also practiced singing the special blessings and Chanukah songs.
We are so excited to celebrate this very special holiday!
Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom!
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade
We so enjoyed hearing all about the history of Chanukah! The story came alive with the fill- in-the- blank books that we follow along with. Menorah making hit the spot even though they accidentally got sent home unwrapped.
Happy Chanukah!
Morah Toba

We spent a lot of this week preparing for Chanukah. The children learned the Chanuka Story as well as some Halachos (Laws) of Chanuka!
Have a happy and enjoyable Chanuka!
Morah Bistriz

Love, Morah Bistritz

Judaics – Middle School

5th and 6th Grade Girls

Dear parents.
Wow, we had an amazing week.
We learned all about Chanukah. The Greeks were trying to force the Jews to assimilate to the Greek culture. Antiochus, their wicked king, decreed laws preventing the Jews from keeping Torah and Mitzvot. No keeping Shabbat, no keeping Kashrut, no learning Torah, no giving a Brit Milah. Any Jews caught breaking any of these laws was killed!
Lots of Jews went to hide in caves to learn Torah. They would learn with their Sefarim (Torah books), while there was a watchman at the door making sure that no Greek soldiers were coming. Whenever they saw a Greek soldier coming, the watchmen would quickly notify the people, who would then take out their dreidels and start to play. When the Greek soldiers walked in, hoping to find some torah-learning Jews to kill – the Jews were all playing dreidel!
In our classroom, we appointed watchmen to notify us when the Greeks were coming. We also appointed 2 students as Greek soldiers – who came marching into our classroom to kill whoever was learning Torah. The watchmen quickly notified everyone and the girls immediately took out their dreidels and began to play. We had a great time acting this out!
We painted and made beautiful glass cube Menorahs this week. Every girl did a great job and the Menorahs came out stunning!
We all wrapped our Chanukah lighting Brachot/songs card and candles beautifully and came home with a beautiful package (our students packed them for the whole school!!) with a dreidel and instructions, the Menorah contest and The Chanukah Post – Siha’s Chanukah Newspaper.
All the girls worked to say the blessing/beracha of Asher Yatzar after they went to the bathroom, thanking Hashem for the wisdom in our bodies and that we’re alive.
Our weekly Halacha – Jewish Law – raffle winner is Gabby Fishman! Great job, Gabby We had a great time going to 7-11 to get a Slurpee.
Happy Chanukah!
Have a great weekend!
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Grade Boys
This week in Tefila we began giving a more in depth look into the Shemona Esrai.
We explained how the only one we can truly rely on is Hashem and how the prayer for healing (Refaeinu) has taken on more meaning during corona.
We also got into the Chanukah mode by Building our own Menoras and discussing some of the concepts of the Holiday. Stay tuned!
Rabbi Levy

7th and 8th Grade Girls
Our zoom ride this week was successful and enjoyable. We prepared our minds and hearts for this very meaningful week of light-styled festivities that are coming up. We learnt all about the true, deep meaning of light. Rabbi Charlie Harary spoke beautifully on this topic! We also learnt how to make the perfect Latkes, yummm.
Happy Chanukah!!
Morah Toba

7th and 8th Grade Boys
7th and 8th grade boys faced a real life challenge this week, quarantining at home and schooling on zoom!
It was really nice to see the boys, albeit on zoom and have their participation. This week, we took a 50+ question test on Chanukah facts. The boys scored well. We learned many points on this week’s Parsha, Parshas Vayeishev.
We also made our very own wooden Menorah. We painted, glued and put pieces together.
Rabbi Kuritsky

Elementary School

This week kindergarten finished writing their first books! They did such an amazing job. They are very excited to read their books to the class. They also learned about Impolite Theo who makes the TH sound. They listened to read alouds all about Chanukah and made dreidel people. In math they used toys and number lines to help them understand the concept of adding 1 more and subtracting 1 less using mental math. They also had so much fun measuring the height of things using non standard tools. In science they learned how to describe the physical properties of different objects and they went on a scavenger hunt to find wood, metal, and plastic items. In social studies they made a family glyph. They made such beautiful family trees. They began sharing their family trees with the class and they loved getting to tell us all about their family.
Ms. Syetta

First Grade
Our first graders are really learning a lot. In addition to learning about the genres of Fantasy and Reality, the first grade has been solving number puzzles and subtraction equations. It is amazing to see how well they understand the relationship between numbers
Also, in celebration of Chanukah the first grade wrote paragraphs describing in detail their love for the season. They love lighting the menorah and eating the latkes. They were especially excited to design their own dreidel patterns! You may see them proudly displayed this week in our first grade classroom.
Mrs. Adams

Third Grade
This week in Math, third graders continued to develop their mental math skills to solve addition and subtraction equations and word problems with multiple steps. They were also introduced to the rainbow method to solve problems with three digits and practiced creating and interpreting bar models. In Russian, students have been fervently discovering more and more vocabulary words. This week we concentrated on the vowel /Aa/ vocabulary words. In Grammar, students continued to learn about methods to modify singular nouns into their plural forms. As of now, they have mastered adding -s, -es, and -ies (and understanding why) and are excited to try working with irregular plural nouns next week. In Social Studies, students began to discuss climate (vs. weather) and how it effects our lives.

Miss Sasha

Second Grade
The second grade had a great week! In ELA, the students took a grammar test on nouns and learned all about present tense verbs. In math, the second-graders began a unit on measurement. They’ve been estimating and measuring the lengths of just about everything in the classroom. In social studies, the students learned how to read a timeline and created one of their own! On Wednesday, they had a blast shopping at the Chanukah Sale. The second-graders wish everyone a happy Chanukah!
Ms. Bronstein

Fourth Grade
This week in math we changed mixed numbers to improper fractions, expressed fractions in simplest form, changed improper fractions to mixed numbers, added and subtracted fractions.
And ELA we worked on present tense verbs, identified main and helping verbs and worked on persuasive writing. We completed our first chapter book Inside Out and Back Again.
In Social Studies this week we reviewed and took a test on chapter four Living In The East.
Mrs. Shats
4B had a fun week! Chanukah is upon us! We went down to the beautiful Chanukah sale that the PTA prepared for SIHA. It was truly bigger and better than ever before! The children bought toys, candy, and other trinkets. Many of them bought gifts for people as well! It was so nice to see my students being so selfless and using their money to buy gifts for their parents, classmates, and teachers as well! Happy Chanukah!
Mr. F

Fifth Grade
This week, the fifth graders practiced identifying verb tenses in grammar. In writing, we practiced finding themes in poems and writing about theme. In reading, we continued our novel study of Holes. We also continued working on our independent reading book project. In math, we finished off our unit on adding and subtracting fractions. In Social Studies, we continued our unit on geography of South America. Ms. Tatic would like to commend Charles Grego for being an amazing student!
Ms. Tatic

Middle School

Middle School ELA
6th Grade
Sixth graders had a great week! We spent the week reviewing. We went over different types of sentences, different ways to begin a sentence, and independent and dependent clauses. We also had a classwide Kahoot challenge. Oren Bilik got the highest score! Go Oren! After we wrapped up our unit on sentence variety, and had a grammar unit test. Everyone did great! In reading, we continued our novel study of The Lightning Thief.

7th grade
Seventh graders had a busy week! In grammar, we reviewed independent and dependent clauses, as well as three different sentence structures. Students wrote beautiful paragraphs. In writing, we wrapped up our unit on key details and themes in Literature. Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Ariella Shindelman for her wonderful writing!
In reading, we continued our novel study of Milkweed.

8th grade
Eighth graders had a good week! In grammar, we reviewed independent and dependent clauses, as well as four different sentence structures. Students put their skills to test with a grammar-themed Kahoot! Josh Osher got the highest score! Good job Josh!
In writing, students practiced identifying theme and key supporting details in literature. We also continued our novel study of The Giver.

Middle School Math
We started the unit on number operations. We’re using the LCM and GCF to do operations with fractions.

We started our unit on Geometry. This week we focused on scale drawing and finding the area. We will be going into geometric construction next week.

We reviewed radical operations and exponent rules. The class did radicals beyond square root and cube root. They completed advanced problems with radicals.

Middle School Social Studies
6th grade continued to learn about arguably the greatest civilization in antiquity, Ancient Egypt. Students this week learned about the “Age of the Pyramid Builders” and the various Egyptian scripts used in society. The mysteries of the Rosetta Stone were also discussed. Students then practiced what they learned in class.

7th grade learned about the second, and current, government of the United States of America, the Constitution. All seven articles of the document were explored, including the requirements for each major federal position and the powers of each branch.

8th grade continued to explore the Gilded Age by learning about the impacts of the Industrial Revolution. Immigraton and urbanization were two significant topics examined over the course of the week.