May 13, 2016

5 Iyyar 5776


     Parshat Kedoshim
Candle Lighting at 7:42 PM
Communal Experiences
Why does our parsha begin by saying that Hashem told Moshe to speak "to the entire community of Bnei Yisrael"-- "אל כל עדת בני ישראל", as opposed to the usual formula of "to Bnei Yisrael"--"אל בני ישראל"? Rashi explains that this formulation suggests that this parsha was taught to Bnei Yisrael as one communal speech, not in smaller groups as was usually done. But why was it important for the parsha of Kedoshim to be taught to the entire community together? The Chasidic master R. Klonimus Kalman Epstein explains, in his Maor V'Shemesh, that the Torah is conveying to us that  holiness is reached not through solitary communion with God, but by being part of a holy community striving together for greatness. By teaching the parsha of Kedoshim to the Jewish people as one group, Moshe was teaching us that holiness is achieved when we band together and support each other as one unified group.

Over the past week, our school community banded together to commemorate the horrors of the Shoah, to pay tribute to the holy soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defense of the State of Israel, and to celebrate the miracle that is the State of Israel. Yom Haatzmaut is the only day of the year on which the entire school davens Shacharit together. As we sang Hallel on Thursday morning, I was struck by the sense of holiness that can only be achieved through the feeling of unity that accompanies communal experiences. I want to thank all of the students and staff for joining together and making the experiences of Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut so incredibly meaningful.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Mon. May 16
Sports Banquet

May 20-21
Freshman Shabbaton 
Good and Welfare 
Bayla (Halbstein '09) & Dovid Weisman on the birth of a girl

Sarah Katz ('12) & Josh Hirth ('12)

Daniella Greer ('09) to Elie Jacobs

Mrs. Enny Wax  on the passing of her beloved father Shlomo Ancselovics

Mr. Jonathan Turk on the passing of his beloved father Abner Turk

Mrs. Dora Amram on the passing of her beloved father Yitzchak ben Solomon

Faculty Mazel Tovs
Amber Gingerich and Josh Silvey on their engagement

Yom Hashoah
Survivors and Son of Saul Make for Impactful Holocaust Remembrance Day
Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17)
Interview by Matthew A. Samilow ('17)

Our Yom Hashoa commemoration was generously sponsored in memory of 
Isak and Esther Bauman z"l 
whose legacy of extraordinary courage and fierce determination lives on in each of us.

Highlites Writing Editor, Matthew A. Samilow sat down with Rabbi Kroll to discuss last week's Yom Hashoah program.

Matthew A. Samilow: Why did YHS choose to screen Son of Saul and what impact do you think it had on the student body?
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll: There was something compelling about the film since it won the Academy Award this year for Best Foreign Film.  We thought it presented what many critics considered to be a very authentic depiction of the life of the sonderkommando. The role of the sonderkommando is something we thought was largely unexplored by most students and would therefore be a good topic to learn about. The artsy and cinematic features of the film also promoted interesting conversation.

MAS: Following the school-wide program, students broke off into different groups. What was this supposed to accomplish?
RJK: The film, and the speeches by survivors were heavy experiences. We thought it would be a good idea for students to meet with staff and unpack the morning and reflect on what they had seen and learned.  

MAS: Did the survivor who spoke, Mr. Baruch Epstein, say anything that had a particular impact on you?
RJK: I was particularly moved by Mr. Epstein's plea to the students to live a life committed to God and Judaism.

Yom Hazikaron
YHS Remembers Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror  
Graphic by Alec Gelman ('17)
Article by Eli Litwin ('18)

This past Wednesday a moving Yom Hazikaron event took place at Yeshiva High
School. The program commenced with a moment of silence for those who were killed in battle and in terror attacks across Israel. Immediately following, we were shown several short videos, one of which was created by our very Michal Amar. The videos were about the IDF and some of the victims of terror attacks and military operations. After the videos, we heard from Michael Grumer. Michael Grumer is the Director of the Religious Program of Garin Tzabar in North America. He spoke about his personal experiences in his service in the IDF and the deep meaning of Yom HaZikaron to him. The event was informative and meaningful and was a fitting way to observe Yom Hazikaron.

Yom Haatzmaut
Enthralling Speaker, Chagigah, BBQ Lunch and Roller Skating Highlight Celebrations
Graphic by Simcha Stadlan ('16)
Article by Highlites Staff

Thank you to Michael and Rebecca Wiederhorn for their sponsorship of the Yom Haatzmaut BBQ
in memory of their mother
Joan Meyers, z"l
Yom Haatzmaut at YHS was kicked off by a school-wide davening featuring a ruach filled Hallel.  Following breakfast, students chose from a series of Israel themed classes given by teachers.  Students then gathered in the main shul, first for a presentation by the JNF's Daniel Klein, who spoke about the IDF's new program "Special in Uniform", which helps Israelis with special needs integrate into the army.  The featured speaker was Col. Bentzi Gruber who had students spellbound with his informative and fascinating talk about the ethics under which IDF soldiers operate.  Students then headed to the social hall for a festive chagigah lead by our band, Chazak.  A delicious barbecue lunch was enjoyed by all before students and faculty headed to Davie for roller skating with Israeli music.  The day was a wonderful way to celebrate Israel's 68th birthday.
Humans of YHS 
Graphic by Bailey Frohlich ('16)
This Week in Pictures 

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff