Maimonides Upper School

Upper School Weekly Update: October 14, 2016     
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Time to Make Lulavim
Volleyball Triumphs
2016-17 Calendars
Parent Handbook
Maimo on Instagram
Vehicle Policies
Directory Online
Division Newsletters
Next Week
Monday, October 17 Sukkot 1
School Closed
Tuesday, October 18 Sukkot 2
School Closed

Wednesday, October 19 Chol HaMoed Sukkot 
 3:45 Dismissal

Thursday, October 20

Chol HaMoed Sukkot

 3:45 Dismissal
Volleyball vs. New Mission (Var only 4:30)

Girls' Soccer @ Mt. Alvernia (4:00)

Boys' Soccer vs. St. Joseph's (4:00)

Friday, October 21

Chol HaMoed Sukkot

 Noon Dismissal
In Two Weeks 

Having a


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D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff
At the end of last week's parsha, Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu to pass the song of Ha'azinu down to the future generations of the Jewish people. 

The Tannanim and Amoraim in the gemara in Eruvin see in this command not only the transmission of the message of Ha'azinu in particular, but also a pedagogic strategy for teaching Torah in general. 

Rabbi Akiva asks: From where do we know that one must teach this to his students until the teaching is perfectly arranged in their mouths? As it says, "place it in their mouths." Rabbi Akiva, with his tens of thousands of students, knew that it is not about what the teacher is teaching, but about what the student is learning, and that the teacher must assess each student until they have fully mastered the lesson.

Rav Chisda says: Torah is only acquired through simanim- signs. This play on the word sima teaches us to help students remember the material with effective mnemonic strategies. Using acronyms, stories, songs, and associations can help the lesson stick.

We can also suggest a third lesson about Torah from the word shira. It needs to be a song. It has to move our students and bring them joy. The song of Torah needs to inspire our students.

While these lessons focus on the transmission of Torah, this week's parsha has a powerful message for the recipient. The pasuk says: "My lesson will drip like rain; my word will flow like dew; like storm winds on vegetation and like raindrops on grass."

Here too, Chazal take "my word" as a reference to Torah. The connection between Torah and water is one we are familiar with - both sustain life. The Midrash in the Sifri here takes the metaphor to another level. What is it that rain does?

"Just as rain falls on trees and enables them to produce tasty fruit each one depending on its type, the grape vine as it is, the olive tree as it is, the fig tree as it is... [and] the storm winds fall on vegetation and bring them up - some that are black, some that are green, some that are red and some that are white, so too with words of Torah, they produce teachers, good people, wise people, and righteous people."

The rain strikes everything the same way. But the recipients are different, each one uniquely producing its own beautiful fruit and its own beautiful flower. This is also the case with Torah. It is a catalyst - setting off a reaction which makes us develop into the best versions of ourselves. Just as the effect rain has on an apple tree is not the same one it has on an orange tree or a rosebush, Torah stimulates growth by developing our kochot - our best and unique character traits. 

With the coming of Sukkot, a holiday with a very pronounced water theme, may we have both the economic success which water symbolizes and spiritual success as we immerse ourselves in the waters of Torah and continue to blossom into the beautiful products we are destined to be.

Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. What are character traits of yours that Torah has helped to develop?
  3. How do these messages fit into the broader message of Parshat Ha'azinu?
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
We've been doing a lot of davening over the last few weeks, and there's even more to come! Rabbi Soloveitchik zt"l explains that punishment and affliction in this world are the currency we pay to G-d in order to renew ourselves. Once this "money" is given to G-d, we have bought ourselves back, and now we are cleansed and purified through the teshuva process. In reality, bringing a korban would suffice in place of the punishment, but since we are unable to bring korbanot today, we have to pay the price by receiving a penalty for our actions.

However, the Rav writes, tefilla can accomplish the same outcome. When one has sincere kavana (intention) during prayer, it causes deep internal, spiritual suffering. With the proper intent, this suffering can be in lieu of a korban and accomplish the same cleansing process as physical hardship.

Both physical pain and spiritual suffering take the place of the korban, and either one will suffice. Which will you choose?

Time to Make Lulavim
Time to make the lulavim! Our lunchroom was transformed on Thursday as the Class of 2017 assembled lulavim and inspected etrogim. Our oldest students welcomed some of our youngest as visitors from our Maimonides Early Childhood Center came to learn about the process.

Volleyball Teams Triumph

Mazel tov to our Girls' Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball teams, who both had nice wins this week!

Printable and Electronic Calendars Online

The printable school calendar for this year is now online at
The electronic calendar for 2016-17 is also online!  You can visit throughout the year for the most up-to-date information on everything that's happening, both throughout the school and in each individual division.

The online calendar can be customized to show only the divisions and events you wish to see.  See for more detailed information on how to use the calendar.

In addition, you will be able to subscribe so that school events and alerts will appear on your personal calendar.  More information will follow soon.

Handbook Now Online

The Parent/Student Handbook is now on the Maimo website!  Read it online here.

Username is: maimoparents 
Password is: horim

Follow Maimo on Instagram

expanding our social media network! Please follow us on Instagram at @Maimobrookline. If you're new to our community, note that we're also on Facebook 
(Maimonides School, Maimonides Early Childhood Center) and Twitter (@kolrambam). You'll find all the latest news and activities from school posted on our social media outlets. 

Vehicle Policies and Procedures

Please see this link
for current information on the school's parking policies, as well as updated drop-off and pick-up procedures.
Online Access to Directory
We know many of you are eager to connect with each other! The printed Maimonides School 2016-17 Directory is in production, but parents can access the directory information online via MyBackpack.  

In order to locate family or classmate contact information, follow these steps:
  1. Log into My Backpack
  2. To find a single family, search by last name in the Directory box
  3. To generate an entire grade list, click on "Advanced Search Options" and follow these steps:
    • Click on the "Search for Student" tab
    • Select the grade you want and click on "Search"
    • Click on "Detail" to see email address information         
NOTE: In order to return to the entire grade list, do NOT hit the browser back button. Instead, click on the "Back to Search Student/Parent" button, found above the student name (at top left).

See What's Happening in the Other Divisions

Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:

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