Maimonides School: Middle School Matters
June 3, 2016                      Parashat Bechukotai                      26 Iyyar, 5776    

Maimonides School
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Middle School Play
Sixth-Grade Mishna
Eighth-Grade Chumash
Senior Walk
More Than a School
School Calendar
Absence Notifications
Handbook Online
Online Photo Galleries
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear MS Families,   

The students are hard at work finishing up their school projects and preparing for the last few tests of the 2015-16 school year. They have grown both academically and physically this year, as we see every day when we walk past the office height chart!

Please read on for a d'var Torah from Rabbi Dov Huff, a thought from the works of Rav Soloveitchik, and some highlights from the week.

Shabbat Shalom! 

Brian Cohen
Associate Principal, Middle School       
D'var Torah

by Rabbi Dov Huff

Bechukotai begins by telling us the reward for keeping the mitzvot and following the Torah. One result of adherence to the Torah is that when fighting our enemies, "five of you will chase one hundred, and one hundred will chase ten thousand."
The Midrash quoted by Rashi notes the inconsistency in these ratios. If five Jews can chase one hundred enemies, then one hundred should chase two thousand. Why is it that one hundred are able to chase ten thousand, which is significantly more impressive than five chasing one hundred?
The Midrash explains that the power of Torah learning is such that as more people get involved, the potential positive impact increases exponentially. In this sense, the power of the individual is most pronounced when they are part of a group, because their impact is proportionally much greater when they strengthen a community.
At Maimonides we encourage our students to engage in and embrace their learning while treating one another with the utmost care and respect. Each student that commits to being a part of our Maimonides community and upholds our standards not only affects him or herself, but also has a tremendous impact on our school overall. 

Thoughts of the Rav
 by Rabbi David Saltzman
כִּסֵּ֣א כָב֔וֹד מָר֖וֹם מֵֽרִאשׁ֑וֹן מְק֖וֹם מִקְדָּשֵֽׁנוּ:
As a Throne of Glory, exalted from the beginning, so is the place of our Sanctuary.
(Yirmiyahu 16:12 - from the haftara)
The Rav explains that our right to claim Israel and Yerushalayim rest on one concept - kedusha. Maintaining that the land and Yerushalayim are ordinary real estate undermines our rights to the land.
The question is asked: Can kedusha and churban (destruction) co-exist? It would seem that these are opposite extremes, and kedusha would evaporate in the face of ruin.
The Rav claims that there is a second approach, which holds that kedusha tolerates churban. That G-d can dwell not only in a magnificent Temple, but also on Mount Zion, which has become desolate; foxes prowl over it (Lamentations 5:18).
The proof is found in the pasuk cited above. There is a dual image portrayed regarding the Beit HaMikdash. The כִּסֵּ֣א כָב֔וֹד מָר֖וֹם is the Beit HaMikdash above, the spiritual representation of the physical Beit HaMikdash below. The enemy can destroy and annihilate everything below, but as long as there is still a Beit HaMikdash above, he cannot affect its sanctity. And as long as מְק֖וֹם מִקְדָּשֵֽׁנוּ - the place of our sanctuary - exists, G-d's presence rests not only above, but also below.
Yom Yerushalayim sameach!
Based on Chumash Mesoras HaRav: Sefer Vayikra, pages 280 - 283
Middle School Play
The Maimonides Middle School Actor's Guild takes the stage once again this month with two performances of the classic Twelve Angry Men, retitled for this production as Twelve Angry Jurors as we modernize the jury room to allow for mixed genders.

The play is famous as an examination of the idea of "one against the crowd," but also has much to say about the current-day issue of "us" against "them" and racial/ethnic stereotyping.

The cast and crew include Meira Abraham, Jordan Avinoam, Chaya Baker, Chana Bension, Eliana Diamond, Ellie Klibaner-Schiff, Nathaniel Lesser, Esther Levin, Kayla Schechter, Noam Shapiro, Sam Stolarov, Aviel Taube, Devorah Wertheimer, and Ahava Winter.

Performances are Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fox Gymnasium on Saval Campus.

Sixth-Grade Mishna
by Rabbi Yaakov Beker

This year the sixth grade has learned thirteen mishnayot in detail. There will be a test on Tuesday, June 14, the day after we return from Shavuot. Each student has had an individual meeting with the teacher to discuss how many mishnayot he or she would be tested on, and had the opportunity to decide which specific texts he or she would like included on the test.

Since it is customary on Shavuot to study Torah, each student has a packet including all of the mishnayot, which they can review on their own, with their friends, or with you, their parents. I think you'll be very impressed by how much your children have learned.

Baruch Hashem, we had some great Torah learning going on in the sixth grade this year, and I hope you can experience some of that through your children, as you watch them learn and learn with them.  I wish you a chag sameach and much continued nachat from your children.  Thank you for all of your support and trust this year - it has been wonderful!

Eighth-Grade Chumash
By Mrs. Aliza Baronofsky

Eighth-grade Chumash is ending the year with a unit exploring the themes of Parashat Shoftim. We're currently studying the leaders described in Parashat Shoftim, focusing on the shofet, melech, cohen, and navi.

We recently welcomed Rabbi Aryeh Klapper of the Boston Beit Din, who explained to the class the ways in which the principles enshrined in the Torah are carried out by a modern Beit Din.

This week we had our famous "witchcraft lessons," in which we explored the temptations that witchcraft presented in that era, which will help us understand how nevua was able to counteract some of those temptations.

We will soon be moving on to a study of the rules of due process according to the Torah.

 New Maimo Tradition Debuts: The Senior Walk!

Inaugurating a new tradition, students and faculty from our Early Childhood Center, Elementary and Middle Schools lined the hallways yesterday to congratulate the Class of 2016 on their upcoming graduation. The seniors, dressed in their caps and gowns, made their way through the Brener Building and Saval Campus receiving applause, "high fives," and kavod from students and teachers alike, who took a few minutes from class time to honor the almost-graduates.

So Much More Than a School!
Maimonides is so much more than a school -- we're a family and a community too! That's why your partnership in our annual campaign is so important.

We hope you will consider supporting Maimonides School with a gift to our 2016 campaign. Our goal is $1.7 million, and every single gift makes a difference. Your participation is essential and allows us to strengthen and improve our programming for all our students.

Please click here to donate now. For questions, please contact Ellen Pulda, Development and PR Officer at x423, or

Calendar PDF Online

The 2015-16 academic calendar is available in PDF form for easy printing. Please click here to access it.


Absences and Tardy Notifications

We wish that none of our students ever felt ill -- we'd love to have 100% attendance every day -- but we know that germs don't always listen to our desires!

However, we do need to know where our students are.
If your child needs to miss a day of school,
or will be tardy or leave early, please be certain to inform Sharona Vedol in the Middle School office
by email:

Please note:
We will not be using the absence hotline this year!
All absence notifications must come in via email. 
We ask that you e-mail the office for safety reasons -- it allows for far more efficient accounting of student absences.

Parent and Student Handbooks Online
This year's Parent-Student Handbooks are all linked to the Maimo website and are password-protected.  

Username: maimoparents 
Password: horim

You can find the handbooks online in two places:

(1) All handbooks are linked to the "Getting Ready for School page.

(2) The handbooks are also linked to each division's section under the "For Parents and Students" menu: 

On behalf of the entire Middle School:
Shabbat Shalom!

Brian Cohen

MS logo, medium size



Maimonides School | 34 Philbrick Road | Brookline | MA | 02445