Upper School Weekly Update

March 24th, 2017  -  Vayakhel-Pekude
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Upper School Play
Alum Speaks on AIPAC
Yachad Speaker
Baseball Tournament
Help Write a Torah
Division Newsletters
Next Week

Sunday, March 26

JV Baseball 1st tryout (3:00-6:00)

Monday, March 27

Seniors at AIPAC - No 12th-grade classes

11th-grade trip to RI - No 11th-grade classes

Tuesday, March 28 

Rosh Chodesh Nisan

Seniors at AIPAC - No 12th-grade classes

Wednesday, March 29

Seniors post-AIPAC workshop

Thursday, March 30

Junior College Visit Weekend - No 11th-grade classes

10th grade PSAT

Friday, March 31

Junior College Visit Weekend - No 11th-grade classes 

In Two Weeks 

Having a


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D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

"You shall guard my Shabbos and fear my Sanctuary. I am Hashem."
The Rav points out that the Torah links Shabbos and the Mikdash in our parsha specifically, and throughout the Torah in general. The Rav explains that Shabbos and the Mikdash are both sanctuaries - the Mikdash in space, and Shabbos in time. Just as we are commanded with the Mishkan to create a physical space for Hashem - ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם, make for me a Mikdash and I will dwell among you - with Shabbos, we are commanded to create a space in time for Hashem as well. This idea gives new meaning to how we view Shabbos - to the intense spiritual experience it allows for us, as we carve out space in our own homes and in our own busy lives to connect with Hashem.
This idea of being makdish - sanctifying time in which Hashem can dwell among us - is one that the Rav extends to our limud Torah as well. The idea that "on the seventh day ... do not do any melacha" should not distract us from the first part of the pasuk - "six days melacha should be done." The Rav tells us that melacha is productive, creative work. The melacha of being koveah ittim leTorah - setting aside time for Torah - is yet another way in which we carve out time and create a sanctuary for Hashem in our daily lives.
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi David Saltzman

In the parasha this week we read about the completion of the building of the Mishkan. The Torah sums up this project, saying that the Jewish people did everything:
כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֶת משֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל הָעֲבֹדָה
In accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moshe, so did the children of Israel do all the work.
The Torah continues and states:
וַיַּרְא משֶׁה אֶת כָּל הַמְּלָאכָהוְהִנֵּה עָשׂוּ אֹתָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' כֵּן עָשּׂווַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם משֶׁה
Moshe saw the entire work, and lo! they had done it - as the Lord had commanded, so had they done. So Moshe blessed them.
The Torah uses two different words to describe the work of Bnei Yisrael: כָּל הָעֲבֹדָה and כָּל הַמְּלָאכָה. What does the word avodah mean in this context?
The Rav explains that the word avodah means the actual work itself, the physical labor that one does. It could be productive or unproductive. It could be meaningful or not. It is simply work. Here, with the Mishkan, the Torah tells us that the Jewish people finished all the physical labor they were assigned to do.
The Rav explains that there is a second aspect to avodah: That one is unfulfilled through their actions. When someone does avodah, they never feel that the work is complete. He explains that it is connected to the word eved - a slave who works for others and not for themselves. When one works for another person, and has to perform tasks they don't want to do, that is unsatisfying and incomplete work.
Avodah then has two connotations: Physical work, and not feeling like the work is complete.
It's interesting to note that the mitzvah of tefilla is called עבודה שבלב - work from the heart - from the pasuk of וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶם - and you should serve Hashem your G-d.
If tefilla is called עבודה, that means there are two things we can apply to tefilla based on the Rav. First, there is a physical element to tefilla. One needs to put mental effort and physical energy into their tefilla. Second, we can never feel like we are finished. You can never say "I'm done davening." There is always something more to daven for. The avodah of tefilla is never complete. We can fulfill the mitzvah to daven, but the need to daven to Hashem and thank Him, to ask for things and praise Him, is in no way ever satisfied.
Upper School Play a Success

Bravo to our Upper School actors and crew for a wonderful performance of "The Importance of Being Earnest"! Many thanks to faculty advisor Ms. Roberta Wright for all her hard work and energy.

Alum Speaks About AIPAC

Ariel Goldman, Class of 2015, spoke with the juniors and seniors today about his transformative experience at the AIPAC conference during his senior year at Maimonides.  The current senior class will be travelling to Washington, D.C. on Sunday morning for the annual Policy Conference.


Yachad Club Speaker

The Yachad Club heard this week from Arielle Zellis, a sophomore from Stern College who is passionate about promoting inclusion.  Arielle is at Maimonides for the Yachad Shabbaton this weekend, which is expected to have over 100 participants.

Save the Date for Baseball Tournament

The M-Cat baseball team will host a new invitational day-school tournament this spring in memory of Ezra Schwartz '15. The games are scheduled for May 18-21 in Sharon. Other schools participating will be Atlanta Jewish Academy and two Manhattan schools, Ramaz and SAR High School. More details and the full schedule will be announced shortly.
Help Write a Torah

As you may have heard, there is a beautiful and inspiring initiative underway, a joint initiative of The Afikim Foundation and Israel's Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, to write a Global Unity Sefer Torah celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a Reunited Jerusalem. Jews everywhere can inscribe letters in the Torah, NOT with money, but with simple acts of chesed, everyday kindnesses that positively impact the lives of others. To see more information about this global initiative, please watch this 1-minute video!
Since groups may reserve blocks of letters, we've taken the opportunity to reserve 1000 letters for our Maimonides family.  Let's complete the Maimonides block in the Global Unity Torah and inspire goodness in the world in honor of Jerusalem! The custom link for our school's block can be accessed by clicking here. You may reserve letters for yourself and/or your entire family as a group. (All blue letters are available.) It only takes a minute. 
A digital file containing the names of everyone who participated and their acts of chesed will remain permanently with the Torah, which will be dedicated in Jerusalem on May 24, Yom Yerushalayim.  (There will also be a drawing for 3 round-trip tickets to attend the dedication!) 
Please challenge yourself to commit and record at least 3 acts of kindness by May 24 - actions that are manageable and within your reach. There is no chesed too small!  
Visit jerusalem50.org for more information, or go directly to our block here.

See What's Happening in 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 
for the Elementary and Middle Schools, or click here for the Early Childhood Center.

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