November 6, 2015

24th of Cheshvan 5776


     Parshat Chayei Sarah
Candle Lighting at 5:17 PM
Shake it Up
Toward the end of this week's parsha, the Torah tells us  "ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה לפנות ערב" --  "And Yitzchak went out 'lasuach' in the field toward evening." This is the only time in Tanakh that the verb "lasuach" appears, and so its precise definition is unclear. Some of the pashtanim explain that it means that Yitzchak went to wander through the bushes in the field; this is based on the description of Hagar placing Yishmael "תחת אחד השיחים", under one of the bushes. Rashi, however, cites the gemara which explains that Yitzchak was not wandering through the fields but that Yitzchak had a purpose; based on the word שיחה, a conversation, a term which is used to describe connecting to God, Rashi explains that Yitzchak was praying.

The image of Yitzchak leaving his home to enter the fields to have a conversation with God is a powerful model for us to emulate in our own tefila. Sometimes in order to encounter God, you need to leave the comfort of your regular routine, do things a little bit differently, and only then can you recognize the depth and beauty of engaging Hashem in tefila.

Over the past few weeks in school we've initiated some really interesting modes of tefila modeled after Yitzchak leaving his home and going to the fields in order to reach out to Hashem. Some of our minyanim have added chassidishe niggunim or lively music, others have included some English or thoughtful explanations and discussions; we're all trying to shake things up a bit so that we can better reach out to Hashem.

I think that the image of leaving your comfortable routine and going out into the fields is a model for more than just tefila. Routines are important, but it is also critical to sometimes leave those routines, shake things up, try something new, and inject our routine with a fresh dose of enthusiasm and spirit. Shaking things up is part of the spirit of YHS and the catalyst  to so many wonderful opportunities for growth, some of which you can read about in this edition of Highlites.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Wed. Nov. 11
Junior Night Out

Thurs. Nov 12
Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Good and Welfare

Jen Fisher ('07) to Yoel Hubert
We Laughed, We Cried, We Were Captivated
Kay Wilson Shares Her Story of Survival and Triumph
Graphic By Aaron Senfeld ('17), Bailey Frohlich ('16), and Gabi Frohlich ('17) 
Article by Eli Litwin ('18)  

This past Monday the entire YHS student body was privileged to hear from Kay Wilson. Ms. Wilson was a victim of a terrorist attack in Israel. She was a tour guide going about her daily business, guiding a tour through one of Israel's beautiful forests. She described the birds chirping, the scenery, and the overall sense of tranquility that was disrupted by two Palestinian terrorists, changing her life forever. Wilson was attacked and severely injured but was able to gather strength after the terrorists left to call for help. She was rushed to the hospital and around six months later was almost completely healed, but today still attends therapy and the emotional effects of the attack will reside with her. Kay Wilson is truly a living testament to the perseverance and strength of the Jewish people. She instilled a sense of heightened appreciation for life on this earth as a a result of her near death experience, and taught us that "every moment is a miracle." Kay Wilson was a truly inspiring speaker.

Sophomore Chesed Day and Night Out
Volunteering at Food Pantries By Day, Dave & Busters By Night 
Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19)
Article by Max Abramovitz ('18)

This past Wednesday, sophomores participated in a Chesed Day and Sophomore Night Out. Students were taken to two different Food Banks: JCS Kosher Food Pantry and Feeding South Florida.  There, the students got to work unpacking and organizing food to help out the Food Banks so they can reach people who need the support; by the end of the day students had prepared over 22,000 pounds of food and 18,710 meals for those in need.  Finishing off the day was pizza in the park, and a fun-filled time at Dave and Busters in Hollywood

AIPAC High School Summit
YHS Delegation Heads to D.C. For Lobbying Mission     
Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17) and Bailey Frolich ('16)
Article by Mathew A. Samilow ('17)

Last Sunday, I travelled with several other YHS students to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) Schusterman Advocacy High School Summit. Upon arriving we joined over 400 Jewish youths from all different backgrounds for a three day conference on how to effectively lobby for and defend Israel.

To kick off the conference we heard members of AIPAC's leadership team describe why they commit to AIPAC's mission of maintaining and strengthening the United States-Israel Alliance. The program then shifted to multiple sessions in which AIPAC representatives presented the challenges facing Israel and described how to best combat them. Present through all of this were the College Peer Facilitators, college students who interacted with the delegates and provided first hand experiences of both the pro-Israel and anti-Israel movements on a variety of college campuses. 
Tuesday was the culmination of the preceding days' work as delegates took to Capitol Hill to lobby their respective congressmen. The YHS delegation joined the NCSY and Donna Klein Jewish Academy delegations in meeting with Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-21). Delegates discussed with him concerns over both Palestinian Authority incitements as well as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (The Iranian Nuclear Deal). Tuesday provided a fitting end to an informative conference as delegates were able to put into practice their newly acquired skills.

One of a Kind Fundraiser
Students Duct Tape Rabbi Kroll to the Wall to Raise Money for Terror Victims  
Graphic by Tamar Ciment ('16) and Noa Markovitz ('18)
Article by Highlites Staff

In just 20 minutes of a lunch period, Jonah Rose ('17) with the help of Rabbi Kroll raised $308 for the Henkin children, whose parents were Rabbi Eitam and Na'ama Henkin were murdered in Israel earlier this month at the hands by terrorists. How did they do it? Rabbi Kroll agreed to be duct taped to a wall, a phenomenon you may have seen across Facebook to help schools raise money for different causes. Students paid $3 for one strip of tape and $5 for two strips.  In just twenty minutes, $308 was raised and hilarity ensued.

This Week in Pictures  


The Yeshiva Highlites Staff