Upper School Weekly Update

December 23, 2016  -  Vayeshev
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Invitational Basketball Tournament Video
Help Those in Need
2016-17 Calendars
Parent Handbook
Maimo on Instagram
Vehicle Policies
Directory Online
Division Newsletters
In Two Weeks
Monday, January 2  
New Year's Day Observed 
School Closed
Tuesday, January 3 
Classes resume

Boys' Basketball @ Legacy Christian (Var only 5:00)

 Girls' Basketball vs. Mt.
Alvernia (JV 5:30, var 7:00)

Wednesday, January 4 
No changes

Thursday, January 5 
Girls' Basketball @ Gann (JV only 4:15)

Friday, January 6 
No changes

Saturday, January 7 
Basketball @ Gann (Var only, Girls 7:00, Boys 8:30)
In Three Weeks 

Having a


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D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

Rav Kahana said... the Chanukah candle left above 20 cubits is invalid.
Rav Kahana said..."the pit was empty, it had no water"... this comes to teach us that it had no water, but it did have snakes and scorpions (Shabbat 22a)
What message about the Chanukah candles, and the pit into which Yosef was thrown, is the Gemara trying to convey through this juxtaposition?
The Meshech Chochma explains that the military victory of Chanukah and Yosef's meteoric rise to power, while spectacular, are not necessarily miraculous. It has happened in history that a small army has defeated a larger one. We could read the story of Yosef in a history book and attribute it to no more than coincidence. We have a tendency to perceive events only as rational occurrences. We make even spectacular events fit into our box of natural order. This tunnel vision prevents us from seeing the divine intervention in our everyday lives.
To correct this, Hashem gives us the lasting oil of Chanukah, and Yosef's protection from the deadly snakes. These "minor" peripheral miracles give us a different, miraculous perspective on the events surrounding the rest of these stories. A band of priests and educators could not have defeated the Hellenists without the help of Hashem, and Yosef could not have risen to power and overcome the great drought without divine intervention. Thus a message of Chanukah is that we must train ourselves to see the miraculous in the mundane - to see yad Hashem in our everyday lives. 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What things in your life do you take for granted, or label as "natural/rational," that when you step back can seem miraculous?
  2. How does our perspective on the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War change when we see them through the lens of the miraculous? 
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi Dov Huff  
When codifying the requirement to recite Hallel at various times throughout the year, the Rambam chose to place the relevant laws at the end of Hilchot Chanukah. This is surprising given the Rambam's meticulous nature in writing and organizing the Mishna Torah. Why are these laws not found in Hilchot Tefillah, where one would expect to find them?
The Rav answers that Hallel is usually relegated to the arena of tefillah. It is in prayer that we find ourselves best able to praise and thank Hashem for His miracles. Chanukah, says the Rav, is in its essence about praise. And it is on this holiday when we are able to say Hallel, to praise Hashem in the purest form - through action. For this reason the Rambam connected the two, because the idea of Hallel is the very nature of Chanukah itself.
Invitational Basketball Tournament

Our students did a fantastic job cheering on the players at the Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament. Mazal tov to tourney champs Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School (girls) and Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (boys).

We all had such a great time - this video will give you a glimpse of our Maimo ruach in action!


Help Those in Need with These Vital Donations!

In conjunction with Yom Chesed, we are collecting items for two local organizations that provide essential items for local families.

Full size toothpaste and deodorant are needed for Hope and Cure, a Newton-based organization that provides hygiene products for adults and children in need.

Family Table, the area's only kosher food pantry, is an organization that Maimonides supports throughout the year with donations of whole wheat crackers and canned salmon.

Collection boxes are located in the Brener (outside the Elementary School office) and Saval (outside the Upper School office) buildings. Your donations will be greatly appreciated!

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 http://maimonidescalendar.org/calendar 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 
http://maimonidescalendar.org/calendar-instructions 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