January 15, 2016

5 Sh'vat 5776


     Parshat Bo
Candle Lighting at 5:32 PM
Always Shining Brightly

In this week's parsha we are instructed to set up the Jewish calendar. What is the significance of the Jewish calendar being fundamentally a lunar calendar, as opposed to a solar calendar? The Sefat Emet offers a beautiful chasidic interpretation in his comments on this week's parsha. He explains that the common pattern of nations throughout history has been that when the sun has shone upon them they have excelled, but when they pass their prime and enter a period of darkness they have declined and disappeared from the world stage. The Jewish people, however, have been able to thrive both when the sun has shone upon us and also when we have encountered periods of darkness and exile. In that sense, explains the Sefat Emet, the Jewish people resemble the moon, which shines brightly even in periods of darkness.  

This theme of hope, of knowing that in periods of darkness we have the ability to shine, has allowed us as a nation to develop a sense of perseverance that has served us well throughout our history.  The State of Israel, which is a celebrated focus of our school, is perhaps the greatest manifestation of that sense of hope, that tikvah. Rising from the ashes of a period of great darkness, our people, like the moon, have shone and with the help of God created a country that gives us such great pride.

When you look through this week's Highlites, you'll get a sense of the central role that Israel plays in the life of the school. Thank you to the entire Highlites staff for another stellar edition.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Jan. 21-31
Winter Break- No classes 
Good and Welfare
Chaim Rosen on the loss of his brother, Yitz Rosen, z"l.

Suchie Gittler on the loss of his father, Norman Gittler, z"l.
War Hero Addresses Students 
Col. Ilan Egozi Shares His Heroic Story with 9th and 10th Graders

Graphic by Gabi Frohlich ('17)
Article by  Sara Deichman ('19)
On Tuesday morning, ninth and tenth grade students had the privilege of hearing Colonel Ilan Egozi speak about his experiences in the Israeli army. Growing up on a kibbutz, Col. Egozi decided from a young age that, if he was going to serve in the army, he wanted to serve with his heart and soul; little did he realize just how much he would be sacrificing for our country.  

Out of his class of 500, Col. Egozi was one of 15 who made completed his naval training. During the Six Day War, he was captured as a prisoner of war in Egypt, causing him to return home feeling as if he had failed his country. The feelings of despair did not last for long when in 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, a grenade exploded in his hand as he shielded his fellow soldiers from explosive device, rendering him a hero with life-altering injuries including the loss of an arm.

Reflecting on his experiences and his heroic service, Col. Egozi humbly remarked, "This is life.  No one knows their true potential." These words of a true hero are sure to resonate with YHS students in the months and years to come.

 Defending Israel After YHS  
Federation Program Educates and Prepares 11th and 12th Graders to Defend Israel on College Campuses

Graphic by Shara Saketkhou ('16) and Meir Lazar ('18)
Article by Miriam Gammerman ('17)
On Wednesday, the junior and senior classes visited the campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County for a presentation on how to stand up against anti-Semitism and advocate for Israel in potentially-hostile college environments. The program included a short film, presentations by college students, and a closing remarks by a reserve IDF soldier.

One of the main points repeated throughout the presentations was how to differentiate between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. The tip is to remember what Natan Sharansky calls the three Ds that characterize anti-Semitism:

Delegitimization: Challenging Israel's right to exist as a country or as a Jewish state.

Demonization: Depicting Israelis as villainous monsters, for example as Nazis who torture the Palestinians.

Double Standard: Holding Israel to a higher standard than any other country.

The speakers then explained how to bust several common myths and defend against the three Ds. It was an interesting and informative evening, and the students left with a better understanding of what goes on in college and how to deal with it.
Beyond the Classroom 
AP Psychology and Bio Medical Club Trips to FAU Bring Knowledge to Life

Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19) and Bailey Frohlich ('16)
Article by Sarina Solomon ('16)
As an AP Psychology student and member of the Bio-Medical club, last week I had the opportunity to explore two completely different labs at FAU. With my AP Psychology class, I got to explore the psychology labs, where my classmates and I met with Dr. Elan Barenholtz and his team of doctoral students experimenting with human thought-processes and learning. We watched a robot condition itself to respond to different colors without being "told" what to do, much like a human. We then had the opportunity to experiment with virtual reality, taking turns on a simulated roller coaster complete with graphics and sound effects that made it feel almost too authentic. It was really incredible seeing all of the things we have been learning about in AP Psychology actually in practice.

Two days later, I spent the day with the YHS Bio-Medical club at FAU's medical school simulation labs, where we were given a unique look at what it's like to be a doctor treating a patient. The human simulators were very advanced, complete with heart rates, pulses, and a myriad of complaints. With the help of the doctors and teachers at the lab, we were able to successfully diagnose and treat a "patient". We were given insider tips and advice on what the medical field is like and how to pursue our passions.

On behalf of all of the students who attended either of these trips, I would like to thank everyone at FAU and our amazing teachers for allowing us the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment outside of the classroom.
Humans of YHS
Graphic by Ariella Mamann ('16) and Noa Markovitz ('19)

 This Week in Pictures 


The Yeshiva Highlites Staff