September 25, 2015

12th of Tishrei 5776


     Parshat Ha'Azinu
Candle Lighting at 6:56 PM
Happiness Through Searching for Truth
In October of 1965, a song whose lyrics were written by Shlomo Hamelech reached #1 on the charts of American pop songs! To Everything There is a Season (Turn Turn Turn), whose melody was originally composed by Pete Seeger, was covered by the Byrds and topped the charts. The words of the song are taken from Megilat Kohelet (3:1-8). The pesukim describe how there is a time for everything in the world and its opposite: a time for birth and a time for death, a time for planting and a time for uprooting, etc. (For a less grammatically accurate but beautiful version of the song in Hebrew, listen to this classic by Dveykus).
As beautiful as both songs may be, they are part of a seemingly depressing book of Tanach. Why would we read what seems to be a gloomy book during Zman Simchateinu, our Holiday of Happiness? In fact, Megilat Kohelet was considered such a pessimistic book that the gemara recounts that there were those who argued against including it in the canon of Tanach!
Perhaps we might argue that the pensive questioning, the philosophical brooding of Shlomo Hamelech, is specifically read on this joyous holiday of Sukkot in order to emphasize that true happiness is gained through thorough searching for truth and deeply engaged questioning. Don't be fooled into thinking that the happiness of Sukkot is about eating, drinking, and being merry. Rather, Shlomo Hamelech instructs us that deeper happiness can be discovered by plumbing the depths of the meaning of existence and eventually realizing, as he does at the end of Kohelet, that our purpose in life is to humbly serve God and meaningfully engage the world by living a life of mitzvot.
I want to thank everyone for a wonderful start to the year and wish everyone a chag sameach. May our chag be filled with joyous time spent with our families and meaningful discovery of profound happiness in our relationship with God.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Sept. 26 - Oct. 7
Sukkot Break
Good and Welfare
Yaakov Seligman ('04) and Shoshana Turk Seligman ('04) on the birth of a daughter

Noah Cohen ('09) to Talia Lichtenstein

Doron David ('09) to Jennifer Shamsian

Donna Tripp on the loss of her father, Rabbi Sidney Shoham, z"l 

Club and Committee Fair
Students Learn More About Co-Curricular Opportunities at YHS 

Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19)

Kinnus Teshuva
Faculty Opens Homes for Pre-Yom Kippur Breakfast 
Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17)  and Noa Markovitz ('19)
Article by Matthew A. Samilow ('17)

The Kinnus Teshuva program is one of the more anticipated events of the school year. So, the palpable excitement felt around school last Thursday morning was unsurprising. As a junior boy, I accompanied my fellow classmates to the friendly abode of Rabbi Jonathan Kroll. We mingled and conversed over a breakfast of assorted pastries and cakes. We then had the seldom pleasure of watching a cleverly animated video narrated by by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In a break from tradition we followed that up with a thoroughly entertaining X-Box based danced competition. The program was a fine and fitting way to begin one of the last days of repentance before the Day of Atonement.

Golf Makes its Triumphant Return to the YHS Sports Scene 

Graphic by Simcha Stadlan('16) Azi Genbet ('16), and Yoni Mayer ('18)     
YHS' New Home on the Web
School Unveils the Brand New
Graphic by Aaron Senfeld ('17)

This Week in Pictures
We apologize for an error in last Highlites which prevented many readers from viewing "This Week in Pictures." Those pictures are included in this week's edition.

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff