September 4, 2015

20th of Elul 5775


     Parshat Ki Tavo
Candle Lighting at 7:19 PM
Looking Out For Others
With so many new faces walking through the hallways of YHS, a perplexing pasuk in this week's parsha comes to mind. The Torah cautions that if we do not observe the mitzvot then we will experience a number of extreme misfortunes, one of which is living a life of confusion. The pasuk describes: "והיית ממשש בצהרים כאשר ימשש העור באפלה"--"You will search during the daytime like a blind man searches in the dark." Rabbi Yossi (Masechet Megillah 24b) questions why the Torah would use the image of a blind person in the dark. If you're blind, it shouldn't matter whether it's light or dark outside! Rabbi Yossi then describes that his puzzlement was solved when he came upon a curious scene one night. As he walked on a dark road, he encountered a blind person carrying a torch. Rabbi Yossi approached the blind man and asked him what use the torch was to him. The blind man replied that he carried the torch at night so that others could see him and help make sure that when he walked he would not trip or hurt himself.

At the beginning of the school year, everyone experiences moments of confusion and, at times, a sense of being unsure of oneself. One of the things I've come to appreciate about our students is that everyone is constantly looking out for those who need an extra hand.
When a student walks through the halls like that blind man walking at night, other students are on the lookout to support them and make sure that they are on the right path. It brought me great joy when I watched more experienced students helping less experienced students make their own tzitzit this week. It made me feel proud of our school and our students when I saw an upperclassmen walk over to a freshman and ask him how he was doing and welcome him to school. The kids at YHS care for each other and demonstrate such wonderful middot. As we begin to say selichot this Motzei Shabbat, we begin a season of introspection and repentance. It is reassuring to know that, as we each focus on improving ourselves, we are doing so in such a supportive environment. 
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Sat. Sept. 5
Selichot Program

Mon. Sept 7.
Labor Day. No Classes

Wed. Sept 9.
College 201: The Nuts and Bolts of Applying to College
Good and Welfare
Talia Len ('12) to Yaniv Frenkiel 

Click on the images above to jump to the corresponding article 
Non-Stop Learning
Record Turnout at First Night Seder 

   Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19) and Noa Markovitz ('19)
   Article by Chaya Green ('16)

The excitement of Night Seder is filling the hallways once again. Every Wednesday at Night Seder, students are given the opportunity to learn Judaic topics that are not included within the school curriculum. In addition, we also started a new program this year. Students are now able to choose from several topics to learn in groups, which for the girls are led by seniors, while the boys are led by different rabbis. Topics range from Mesilat Yesharim and Rabinnic Stories to the weekly parsha and contemporary halacha.

I led my group of fifteen girls in a discussion about the value of mitzvot, as well as their rewards and punishments. I have never felt more connected to these girls after exchanging phenomenal insights about this topic. Each of us had the chance to voice our opinions and learn things about God, each other, and ourselves. I am privileged to be a part of such a program where students not only have the opportunity to learn the Judaic topics of choice, but also have the chance to learn with students who are normally in different classes or grades. Night Seder creates an atmosphere that is conducive to growth, and I cannot wait for next Wednesday night!
Stand Up for Israel
IPAC Rallies Against a Nuclear Iran
   Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17) and Efraim Shachter ('16)
   Article by Maya Borzak ('16)

Although IPAC, YHS's Israel Public Affairs Committee, has lost the "W" in its title this year, it has already made a huge impact through its dedicated and involved students. IPAC is a student-run club that expresses its love of Israel through educating the YHS community about Israel and lobbying representatives on behalf of Israel. For IPAC, these past two weeks have been jam-packed.  Forty YHS students attended IPAC's first meeting during the first week of school to voice their opinions and support Israel. We sent out emails to the whole student body about the urgency regarding the current situation with Iran and the pending deal. Students have been emailing and calling their elected officials to voice their opinion about the ramifications of this "bad deal." 
On Sunday, August 30th, students joined members of the Boca Raton Synagogue in hearing Sgt. Robert Bartlett, a victim of Iranian terror and then headed to the International Summit for Israel at Nova Southeastern University. On Monday, August 31st, a group of YHS students and IPAC members rallied outside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's (23rd district) office in order to persuade her to come out against the deal. On Thursday, September 3rd, IPAC and many other students and faculty members joined nearly 500 other South Florida constituents and leaders at a rally at the Posnack JCC as Vice President Joe Biden addressed leaders of the South Florida Jewish community. And finally, today, Friday, September 4th, IPAC lobbied Congresswoman Lois Frankel (22nd district). Although the deal will likely remain intact, IPAC will not lose hope. We will call and email our representatives even more and lobby even more because as Americans and as Jews we will continue to advocate for what is important to us. 
Out of this World
10th Grade Students Offered New Astronomy Class

   Graphic by Ariella Mamann ('16), Azi Genet ('16), and Abby Linker ('18)
   Interview by Matthew Samilow ('17)
Matthew A. Samilow: In addition to your physics classes you also teach an elective. Please describe the nature and focus of the course.
Dr. Yosef Wolf: I teach astronomy to the sophomore class. In the class we use a virtual lab program called Stellarium. It allows us to travel to any spot on Earth at any time in its history. We can then view astronomical phenomena and retrograde orbits of the moons around their planets. We also watch movies on astronomy, listen to educational lectures, and engage in interactive question and answer sessions.
MAS: Astronomy is certainly fascinating to learn about in the classroom, but what are some of its practical uses?
DYW: Astronomy is mostly useful in regard to concepts such as interstellar and intergalactic travel. It has uses in calculating the mass of dark matter and other concepts of that nature. It is a course of study that is fascinating for those who are inclined towards space and science.
MAS: As previously mentioned, you teach physics classes at YHS. How does physics tie into astronomy and vice versa?
DYW: Physics almost always plays a role when talking about the physical world. Astronomy certainly has its physics components, but it is not the focus of this course. The purpose is to give a foundation of knowledge of astronomy that will serve the students well should they decide to pursue further study.
Project Tzitzit
 YHS Boys Make their Own Pairs of YHS Tzitzit   

   Graphic by Aaron Senfeld ('17)
Storm Watch
The Highlites Staff Wondered What Students Would Have Done If Hurricane Erika Canceled School

   Graphic by Tamar Ciment ('16) and Efraim Shachter ('16)
This Week in Pictures

   Graphic by Gabi Frohlich ('17) and Tzvi Eisenmann ('16)

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff